An autistic girl was beaten unconscious as teens filmed the attack on mobile phones has had her “whole life completely changed” and may never return to school, it has emerged.
Sickening images released last month showed Abbie Jarvis covered in blood after she was allegedly lured to a Glasgow park and attacked on Tuesday October 4.
Police Scotland have since arrested and charged a 13-year-old girl who officers said is set to appear in court at a later date. She cannot be identified for legal reasons.
The photographs show the bruises are still visible even a month after the attack on Abbie but her mum Angela fears her daughter’s emotional trauma over the incident may never be resolved.
National Autistic Society Scotland has warned Abbie’s ordeal is not an isolated case for young people with autism.
On the day of the attack, Angela found her daughter and took her to hospital fearing she may have suffered brain damage from multiple kicks to the head. Doctors were so concerned they carried out scans for a fractured skull.
Angela, 43, said specialist mental health services had now helped Abbie but she told the Mirror her daughter may never be able to face the classroom again.
She revealed Abbie believed she was going to meet a friend when she was attacked and her ability to trust people had been shattered.
She said: “We aren’t sure if she’ll be returning to school, she is very anxious and scared.
“I wanted to return to work, but I need to keep her safe. Her whole life has completely changed. Even walking to the shops she was grabbing my arm and said ‘Mum, don’t leave my side’.
“I’m like her bodyguard now, to keep her feeling safe.”
Angela said the family is considering home schooling Abbie and her 15-year-old brother Ethan, who has Asperger’s.
She said: “She has major trust issues and says everything doesn’t feel real. She can’t understand why she was attacked. I’m confused about why it all happened as well.”
Angela said it was her worst nightmare when she saw Abbie covered in blood.
She said: “I can’t describe the feeling, I nearly vomited and had to drive her to hospital. I was just in survival mode, she was mumbling and I just kept hoping that she’d get through this, I thought she might have brain damage.”
READ MORE: Sir Anthony Hopkins autism diagnosis
Angela added that Abbie had been diagnosed with autism before the attack, but with the help of CAMHS – the Children’s and Adolescent Mental Health Service – she built up her confidence and was in school making friends.
Angela said: “It will be Abbie’s decision if she is home-schooled, she would like to go to school as she enjoys being with her friends, but she is scared, so I’m leaving the decision to her.”
National Autistic Society Scotland’s external affairs manager Suzi Martin said: “This is a big problem for autistic young people across Scotland. This is not an isolated case.
“We regularly hear from families of autistic young people who are not in school or education for a variety of reasons including negative experiences with other pupils, such as bullying.
“There is simply not enough support for autistic young people in schools and we are urging the Scottish Government to focus on this issue, as well as campaigning for a Commissioner that can protect and promote the rights of autistic people.”
Ms Martin added that autistic young people can have one or more sensory differences so can feel overwhelmed by noise, smells, lights and find open spaces such as school canteens or sports fields hard places to be.
She said: “This can lead to stress and anxiety for an autistic child or young person and their behaviour can then be seen as challenging, which can result in children being excluded.
“They may be seen as acting up but they are trying to communicate their distress or self-regulate to keep their anxiety and stress under control.”
DON’T MISS: Cleopatra’s long-lost tomb may have been found
The National Autistic Society Scotland, alongside Scottish Autism and Children in Scotland has campaigned to stop autistic learners being excluded from education.
The Not Included, Not Engaged, Not Involved campaign found that 71 percent of those who took part said their child had missed school for reasons other than common childhood illness in the last two years.
And 85 percent did not receive support to catch up on work they had missed, regardless of the type of absence.
A Police Scotland spokeswoman told the Mirror: “A 13-year-old girl has been arrested and charged following the alleged serious assault of a 12-year-old girl in Southdeen Avenue near Southdeen Park, Drumchapel, Glasgow, on Tuesday, October 4.
“She has been released on an undertaking to appear at Glasgow Sheriff Court at a later date.
“A report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal and the Scottish Children’s Reporters Administration for consideration.”