A terrified 8-year-old boy with autism was forced to hide under a table to keep himself safe from two childcare workers. But even climbing into his hiding spot couldn’t stop their cruel behavior.
A Snapchat video shows the child, who also suffers from ADHD, ODD, and has severe outbursts, curled up in tears under a table at Our Children’s Academy in Winter Haven, Florida, according to Fox 13.
According to reports, Kaderrica Smith and Alexus Henderson taunted the young boy, laughing at him and berating him with harsh words before throwing shoes and a backpack at him.
Their treatment of the 8-year-old escalated. When the child climbs out from under the table, one woman grabs his arm, before doing a “leg sweep” on him, making him slam onto the ground flat on his back.
Police say Smith and Henderson found nothing wrong with their treatment of the boy:
“When we interviewed them they defended what they had done as being the appropriate thing to deal with this child.”
Rae Ryan wasn’t surprised at the childcare workers’ treatment of the boy, as she had seen it happen in 2014 when her own 8-year-old son, who also has autism, went there:
“In January, I went into the school and witnessed them dragging a child by their arms and feet down the hallway, and that was the last day my son went there.”
The mother understands how the frightening experience the women put the child through could cause a long-term issue for him:
“I know for my son, just a change in teachers is a huge deal, so for somebody that he actually looks up to every day to do that to him, that’s huge.”
Smith and Henderson became certified to work with autistic children only last month, and now they are wanted by the police. Smith, 26, and Henderson, who was then 19, vanished after being interviewed by the police, who have turned to the public to track down the abusive pair.
Smith was charged with battery and child abuse, while Henderson faces a child neglect charge.
Police are asking for anyone with information on the women to contact them at Heartland Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-226-TIPS (8477). Tipsters may remain anonymous, and are eligible to receive an award.
While the investigation continues, the Florida Department of Children and Families have put the women’s certifications on hold so they can’t be employed by any organization that works with children.
See the disturbing video below.