A Nova Scotia woman says her son was mistreated and abused at the in-patient unit where he lives and she’s calling for the facility to be shut down.

Matthew Meisner, 31, lives with autism and sensory distress. He has lived at Emerald Hall – a facility for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities at the Nova Scotia Hospital in Dartmouth – for 12 years.

Tracey Meisner says things have never been easy for her son, but they got worse on Sept. 3.

“There seems to be a thug mentality and culture of abuse there,” says Tracey. “I do worry about his well-being all the time.”

According to a preliminary government report, witnesses say Matthew’s bathroom was locked to prevent him from banging the toilet seat and waking other patients, and that there was feces on the floor and all over him.

The report states two witnesses reported a staff member, who was in charge at the time, called Matthew “That little f----“ and asked, “I wonder if his s--- is retarded?” within earshot of him.

“It was a registered nurse that said those things,” says Tracey.

Witnesses say the patient was banging his head against the door and was restrained in a timeout chair for two hours.

This broke policy, according to the report, as a patient shouldn’t be kept in a restraint chair for more than an hour without a physician’s order.

“What is scary to me is that the chair wasn’t used, what is scary to me is that the chair wasn’t utilized in the way it was supposed to be,” says Tracey. “And of course, there is a label on the chair saying that improper use could result in injury or death.”

The report states that witnesses consistently alleged the patient’s face was covered by a towel at two points during the restraint. The staff member documented that the patient was spitting.

A group that advocates for parents in Nova Scotia is calling on the province’s ombudsman to investigate the Protections for Persons in Care Act, and make a recommendation for change.

“Anytime there is a substantial abuse by a staff member to a resident in any circumstance in Nova Scotia, that once the report is finalized, it be referred to RCMP,” says Brenda Hardiman of Advocating Parents of Nova Scotia.

“The current policy is pretty stringent,” says Nova Scotia Health Minister Leo Glavine. “Any abuse is obviously of strong concern. And it’s my understanding that, in most cases, it is passed on to police.”

Tracey says she wants the case to be reported to police and her son to be removed from Emerald Hall. She’s also calling on the government to shut the facility down.

She has 30 days to provide her perspective before the report is finalized.

At the very least, she wants the staff member in question to lose her licence.

“She is just a symptom of a bigger problem.”

When asked about the status of the staff member, a spokesperson for the Nova Scotia Health Authority said she couldn’t answer questions or provide details related to specific cases. She did say allegations of abuse are taken very seriously.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Kayla Hounsell