The Tale of the Psychic, the Teacher, and the Very Angry Mother

One prediction a psychic can make that will always come true is "If you tell anyone what I say to you, you will look like an idiot." In this case, the psychic failed to predict that her predictions would be used against her client, a teaching assistant in Ontario. The teaching assistant had visited a psychic who asked her if she taught a student whose name began with a "V". That would be Victoria, an autistic 11-year old. The psychic then went on to say that "V" was being sexually abused by by a man 23-26 years old. In a weird case of confirmation bias, the school administrators concluded that the girl's odd behavior supported the sexual abuse charge, and called an urgent meeting with the mother, Colleen Leduc.
Mom wants apology after psychic's abuse claim
Leduc said she was shocked by the information, and that her daughter had not even been around anyone of that age.

Officials at Terry Fox Elementary School then gave Leduc a list of behaviours exhibited by her daughter, which taken together with the report from the psychic, formed a theory of abuse.

"You have to keep in mind she has autism, and she's in pre-pubescence so she's developing, and she has no inhibitions," Leduc says, "so she's exhibiting behaviours that may be construed as sexual in nature in a social environment."

Under the Child and Family Services Act, anyone who works with children and has reasonable grounds to suspect a youngster is being harmed must report it immediately - and the CAS is obligated to follow up.

"Reasonable grounds"? I understand you always want to fail on the safe side when it comes to children, but this is FAIL period. Now why didn't the psychic predict that?

This story has been big news in Toronto. One of the best comments I've seen:
As a founder of the Ontario Autism Coalition, this story came to my attention because of the autism aspect of the matter. The problem here highlights the lack of training and common sense that afflicts so many people tasked with supporting children with autism in our school system, but it also transcends autism.

When we give the "feelings" of a "psychic" the same value as factual evidence, we return to the same world-view that resulted in witch burnings. This "suspicion" is not nearly reasonable, but I think it's fairly reasonable grounds for a lawsuit. At the very least, the school board employees whose actions resulted in the CAS investigation should be dismissed and made to pay the costs of the investigation.
What is described in your story is something known as the "Forer Effect," employed by many so-called psychics to make their "readings" seem accurate. It makes for good entertainment, but it's a poor excuse for a child-safety rubric.

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