How suspect science landed a dad in jail on charge of raping his autistic son | Miami Herald

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How suspect science landed a dad in jail on charge of raping his autistic son | Miami Herald

After he was accused of molesting his young special needs son, Jose Cordero spent 35 days in a Miami jail and was barred from seeing his family for months.

The allegations did not come directly from the 7-year-old boy, who has autism, speaks little and cannot write on his own. Instead, they came from the child’s elementary school teacher who claimed he relied on a technique called “hand over hand,” guiding the boy’s hands with his own to write down the disturbing details of sexual abuse.

This form of “facilitated” communication is a science that has been been largely debunked in the wake of high-profile scandals involving wrongfully accused parents over the past couple decades.

That didn’t stop Hialeah police from arresting Cordero last October. But Miami-Dade prosecutors soon grew suspicious of the teacher’s story. Never miss a local story.

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SUBSCRIBE NOW The boy, working through the teacher with the same technique, later made even more outlandish claims, using words and phrases familiar to adults but not to young children. And when paired with another teacher and specialists, the boy could no longer write a single word, let […]

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