(Trinidad Guardian) Police were last night interviewing several people after an 11-year-old autistic girl fell off the balcony of her home in Maloney. Police said they were told that the incident took place after the girl was refused permission to go to friend’s house earlier in the day to play.
The girl’s father, who described his daughter as not entirely autistic but “slow,” claimed that his daughter is very hard to control because of her mental condition and would throw tantrums whenever she is scolded or doesn’t get her way.
Yesterday’s incident occurred at about 2.10 pm, when she asked her mother to go to her friend’s house, which is several buildings away. When her mother denied the girl permission to leave she instead attempted to run away.
On the way down the stairs, the girl fell and hit an awning, which is believed to have saved her from fatal wounds.
The girl, up to press time, was in a stable condition and waiting to be warded at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex Paediatric Hospital, Mt Hope.
The girl’s father confirmed that she did not sustain life-threatening wounds nor broken bones. However, she is to undergo several CT scans including head and abdomen.
Speaking with the Guardian Media outside the apartment building, a resident, who lives in an opposite building, said he witnessed the entire incident and described it as horrifying.
He said, “Lucky she did not die. I videotaped the entire thing on my phone. It sad. I saw when the ambulance came and braced her neck and took her away in a stretcher so I know she did not die and I was relieved.”
Meanwhile, the girl’s father said he was allegedly forced to separate the girl from one of her siblings and have her live with her mother.
“I separated them weeks now and you don’t know what children thinking,” he said.
“She is a persistent young lady and she likes to do what she wants and she would find all means necessary to get there (referring to her friend) and that was one of the means. She doesn’t give me no problem but she mischievous.”
However, police investigators said they received information and are investigating another theory, where the child is often seen wandering the streets. The most recent wandering incident, police said, occurred three days ago. Asked about this claim, however, the child’s father denied this.
“They say she was looking for me but she knows very well where to find me. She knows everything and knows how to go by her friends but she knows that she just can’t walk out of my house but she also knows that her mother is not well and knows she can overpower the mother.”
The child’s mother also denied the wandering reports received by police.
The child’s father admitted that it is very hard to take care of his daughter because of her condition and admitted that he is “tired” of waiting to get her enrolled in a school. He said he tried several times to get her in a school but would only be given empty promises and blamed the “red-tape” system.
The girl’s mother also claimed that she made several reports to the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) to have faulty doors in her apartment repaired or replaced.
“Maybe with this happening now, they will get the things done,” she said.
In an immediate response, HDC issued a released saying that they were saddened to hear of the incident and added that one of their Social and Community team was dispatched to the family and also disclosed that a health and safety officer has been assigned to conduct an assessment.
Investigations are continuing.