CPS aide accused of abusing boy, 4, with severe autism

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago Public Schools aide is accused of causing physical harm to a young boy with severe autism while he was transported from therapy to his daycare.

His mother said she doesn't have a car, so she relies on a school bus with a CPS aide to escort him to therapy. Now, she says she doesn't want her son alone with that aide on the bus.

Four-year-old King has been diagnosed with severe autism and is non-verbal, but has his own way of communicating interest, his mother said. But with a couple words and a gesture, he told his mom something on Wednesday.

"That was a million words to me. That was the entire story to me, when he pointed to his head and said 'Mom, hurt,'" Aja Cobbs said.

King attends day care in the South Loop and a CPS aide accompanies King when he goes to therapy at Walsh School.

On Wednesday, Cobbs said a Sunrise bus returned him to day care and the teacher suggested she check King for injuries after the bus ride. His mother said the 4-year-old had bruises, red marks and scrapes.

"He never said those words to me before," Cobbs said. She took him to the hospital and filed a police report.

The day care center declined comment. But a CPS spokeswoman responded regarding the CPS aide on King's bus ride, saying: "Student safety is the district's top priority and the district is launching an investigation into this incident. While the investigation remains ongoing, the aide has been pulled from the route."

"Overall I think that CPS needs to come up with a better plan, especially for the disabled children," Cobbs said.

CPS confirmed that the aide is not working with students during the investigation.

King has missed therapy this week. His mom hopes to find a way to get him back that keeps him safe.
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