• 9 Investigates: State takes action against group home after autistic man inexplicably injured


    9 Investigates learned the state is taking action against a group home after a patient there turned up with injuries no one could explain.

    At least one worker has been fired and the rest of the staff at the Winter Park home, run by Devereux Behavioral Health, is being retrained.

    Laura King pulled her 24-year-old autistic son out of the facility.

    Some of the violations listed in a report include a lack of supervision, medical attention and alleged abuse of residents of at least two Devereux-run group homes, including the one in Winter Park.

    Read: Security questioned at behavioral center after runaway teen allegedly attacks cab driver

    “It’s scary what you seem and then what you don’t see behind closed doors,” said King.

    Last fall, her son suffered an eye injury no staff member at the Winter Park location could explain.

    Three weeks later, his behavior changed.

    “They took him to the emergency room and discovered that he had foreign objects in his body, and a torn spleen on top of it,” said King.

    Scans show her son had swallowed a pen, a battery and a screw, despite the fact he was supposed to have a constant supervision in a state-funded, 24-hour facility.

    More: Woman accused of beating girl, 14, at behavioral facility in Viera

    A dual Department of Children and Families investigation report details inadequate supervision and numerous “implications for safety.”

    Among three violations Americans for Persons with Disabilities found in 2016 for the Devereux home in Winter Park and an Orlando location were inadequate supervision, and abuse when another resident was allegedly hit with a stick by staff.

    In December, APD deemed Winter Park’s corrective training from a 2015 incident as insufficient.

    King is pleased to see action but still wants more answers.

    The state said any future violations of the Winter Park location could result in fines or a loss of its license.

    King meanwhile said she has left her job to take care of her son full time because she doesn’t know is she can trust the care that he needs with another group home. 

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