The mother of a nine-year-old boy with autism says she began crying after learning her son was handcuffed at an Ottawa school on Thursday.

"We bring him there and hope that he's safe,” says Stephanie Huck. “I was horrified.”

Daniel Ten Oever was apparently throwing chairs before an Ottawa Police officer cuffed him at St. Jerome Catholic School.

Lynne Thibodeau, who works with children with behavioural problems, says she has never heard of a child being handcuffed.

“We work with many kids with severe problem behaviour -- aggression, property destruction -- and we don't use restraints," says Thibodeau, director of Spectrum Intervention Group.

Ottawa Police said officers will restrain people with handcuffs, when necessary, regardless of age or size.

The Ottawa Catholic School Board defended its actions in a brief statement that said “staff acted appropriately to ensure the safety of everyone involved.”

Dan Ten Oever, the boy’s father, says the outbursts can be handled without handcuffs.

Now, his son is scared of police, he says.

“The biggest issue for me is the trauma that he has had to go through.”

With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Eric Longley