Harvey Borrington was a non-verbal autistic boy who was unable to communicate his experiences to others. Leila Borrington, his stepmother, had abused him in the past but he was unable to tell anyone about it due to his condition. As a result, the abuse continued for a prolonged period of time, causing immense harm to Harvey.
Autism is a neurological disorder that affects communication and social skills. Non-verbal autism is a subtype of the disorder in which individuals are unable to speak or use language effectively. Such individuals may use other means of communication, such as gestures, facial expressions, or simple devices that assist in communication. However, many remain largely non-verbal and have difficulty communicating their experiences to others.
Leila Borrington, Harvey’s stepmother, took advantage of his non-verbal autism to continue abusing him without detection. The abuse was only discovered when Harvey’s school noticed bruises on his body, and he was taken to the hospital. The investigation revealed a history of abuse that had been going on for a long time, but had gone unnoticed due to Harvey’s inability to report it. This is a common problem with non-verbal autistic individuals, who are sometimes not understood or believed by others when they do try to report abuse.
The case of Harvey Borrington highlights the need for greater awareness and understanding of non-verbal autism and its impact. Those who work with non-verbal autistic individuals need to be trained to recognize signs of abuse and to support communication in alternative ways. It is also important that families and caregivers of non-verbal autistic children receive support in managing their conditions and dealing with any abuse that may occur. As for Leila Borrington, she was sentenced to prison for her abuse of Harvey, but the damage done to him will last a lifetime. Ultimately, we must recognize the value and dignity of all individuals, regardless of their mental or physical condition, and work to protect their safety and well-being.