Mother claims autistic daughter mistreated in Brandon daycare

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BRANDON, Miss. (WJTV)- Jennifer Jackson has called on Brandon Police Department to investigate mistreatment towards her 6-year-old autistic daughter Mya.

She claims Barnyard Kids Child Care Center advertised for special needs children, specifically those with Down syndrome and autism. Jackson admitted her daughter, who was once a foster child, has some behavioral issues, but she says she addressed it with staff.

“She assured me that they would be able to handle any behaviors. She had even shown me an additional room in the daycare… that they can allow her a moment to be by herself and collect herself.”

Jackson said they couldn’t handle it.

When she picked her daughter up from daycare July 11, Jackson said Mya wasn’t the same. Her voice was hoarse and it looked like she had been crying.

That’s when she said Mya told her she had been held down in a high chair all day.

“She told me they would let her out to go to the bathroom, but they would immediately put her back in. She said momma I wasn’t doing anything wrong.” 

However, Barnyard Kids Child Care Director Rosalind Harris has a different story. She claims the 6-year-old was too aggressive – hitting and screaming at children and adults. Harris said they thought the high chair would be the best solution to calm her down.

“We placed her in the high chair, which we’ve since talked to the health inspector and she said that you can’t place anybody in a high chair… but not only that, you can’t put a special needs child in a high chair or restrain them in any fashion.”

Harris emphasized she’s learned from the incident, but she won’t stop taking in special needs children.

“We have a protocol and a process that we’re setting up. We are definitely going to accept special needs kids, but we’re not going to accept special needs kids that are violent kids.”

Jackson has filed a police report for “neglect,” and has secured a representative with Disability Rights Mississippi. The organization will investigate to see if any of Mya’s rights were violated at the daycare.

WJTV 12’s Lanaya Lewis reached out to the Brandon Police chief about the status of this case, he confirms BPD and the Department of Human Services are investigating.

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