BOSTON (WHDH) - A Boston mother is speaking out after her son, who has autism, was given a flu shot at school despite her wishes.
The school told Gabriela Gomes her son’s consent form was overlooked. Speaking with 7NEWS, Gomes recently shared her reaction.
“I’m traumatized since that happened,” she said.
Gomes’s 21-year-old son Sean goes to Boston Community Leadership Academy, which held a vaccine clinic in October.
Gabriela Gomes said she checked off “no” on Sean’s flu shot consent form. Her selection of “no” on the consent form should have exempted her son from getting the vaccine. But, after the clinic, she was surprised to find Sean holding his arm, only to learn he had been vaccinated.
“For him to get a needle without me there — I’ve seen what happens,” Gabriela said. “He goes out of breath. He panics and it shouldn’t have been done without me, period.”
“It did hurt,” Sean said.
Asked by his mother if he was scared, Sean responded.
“Yeah, I was,” he said.
After meeting with Gabriela, school administrators wrote a letter to her admitting to their mistake. Gabriela also said the school told her it would follow up with parents about consent forms in the future.
In a statement to 7NEWS, the Boston Public Schools said it “has since developed protocols to ensure that all consent forms are thoroughly reviewed when vaccines are offered to students.”
Gabriela, though, believes there is no excuse for what happened to her son.
“I feel very violated, like they took his rights away,” she said.
Gabriela is now raising her voice for other parents of children with autism who may need someone to speak up for them.
“As an autism mother, we speak for our kid. That’s my son and I speak for him and, like I said, he said ‘no’ too,” she said. “His voice should’ve been heard beside me.”
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