Alex (not his real name) was 4, but still couldn’t speak. At mealtimes, he refused to eat anything but plain white rice. In class, he bit classmates. When upset, he banged his head against the wall or hid under the table.
Teachers suspected Alex had special needs, but his parents were reluctant to send him for assessment. The family’s financial difficulties could have played a role.
Things took a turn for the worse when Alex’s father was jailed for a crime and, upon his release, sent home to India.