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Relief as Omori prepares for school return

Complex requirement: Marcia Scraders and her son, Omori (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

A boy with severe developmental difficulties will return to school on Monday, ending six months of uncertainty for his family.

The Ministry of Education informed Marcia Scraders on Wednesday that her ten-year-old son, Omori, can attend Dame Marjorie Bean Hope Academy for children with physical and/or mental disadvantages.

“I feel a little relieved; we’ll see how it goes at school,” Mrs Scraders told The Royal Gazette. Omori has pervasive developmental disorder, which is characterised by complications in behaviour and communication. He does not talk, is not toilet trained, usually refuses to wear clothes beyond a diaper, endangers himself by climbing furniture and can behave aggressively — a problem exacerbated by his strength.

The youngster has attended multiple schools, both in Bermuda and his mother’s native Jamaica, but left each one after repeatedly running away and displaying hyperactive or violent behaviour — including at Dame Marjorie Bean Hope Academy.

Mrs Scraders spoke to The Royal Gazette in June about her exasperation in trying to find a school which can handle her son’s complex requirements.

While he has been out of the education system, Omori has stayed at home in Pembroke during the week where Mrs Scraders — who works as a chef — and her husband, Omar, struggle to control him.

“He pushes and fights, and he tries to hit himself in the head too,” she said. “The medication he’s taking for autism isn’t working. He’s getting worse.”

Mrs Scraders now believes that her son’s autism may have been misdiagnosed, and is investigating whether his problems instead stem from difficulties at birth.

“Omori doesn’t behave like other autistic children. I’m going to meet with doctors and try to find out what happened when he was born,” she said.