Mother bugged son's cuddly toy over respite concern

Christine Mayor hid a recording device in her son's toy

The mother of an autistic teenager hid a recording device in his teddy bear when she suspected respite centre carers of inappropriate behaviour.

Christine Mayor, 46, of Aberdare, Rhondda Cynon Taf, acted after 15-year-old Kyle began to used bad language and was distressed at going to the home.

Mr Mayor recorded swearing and verbal abuse by four staff at the council-run Nantgwyn home.

The council said the dialogue was "wholly inappropriate".

Four members of staff at Nantgwyn have received formal warnings after a disciplinary hearing.

Nantgwyn Four staff at the respite home were disciplined after an investigation

Kyle, who is not very verbal, suffers with Echolalia, which means he repeats a lot of what is said to him.

He had been a regular at the home for four years until the autumn of 2012 when he started using foul language as well as biting his hands and showing other signs of stress.

He kept saying that he did not want to go to the "big house," his name for the respite centre where he spent time to give his mother a break from caring for him.

Concerned at his sudden use of foul language at home, Ms Mayor decided to hide a simple recording device in her son's favourite cuddly toy.

What she heard on the recordings shocked and upset her and led to an investigation at the home.

She said: "It was appalling. They were shouting at him. Calling him a "dirty boy," they were calling him Kylie, they weren't calling him Kyle, they were calling him Kylie, a girl's name.

"I was upset. It upsets me now, that he couldn't tell me."

Kyle Mayor  Kyle Mayor now goes to a different centre

In a letter to Ms Mayor, the council's director of children's services, Tony Young, said: "Clearly, the dialogue that appears to have taken place and which was captured by the recordings was wholly inappropriate in the context of a children's respite facility.

"Much of the subject matter, tone and choice of language used was simply unacceptable and represented a clear and serious breach of discipline."

Four staff were given formal warnings.

Mr Young added that the council was bringing in an action plan to "ensure a much higher standard of conduct at all times" by staff at Nantgwyn.

Kyle now attends a different respite centre.

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