Op-Ed: When a 10 year old with #Autism is arrested for assault 

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While pressing charges is a personal decision, made by the teacher, I’m not sure I understand the motives. What is there to gain by pressing charges against a 10 year old boy with special needs? He was already expelled. 

Maybe she’s hoping to teach him a lesson, but I’m can almost assure you that there will be no lesson learned. All that’s going to happen by treating this kid as a criminal, is further traumatizing him and very likely creating more problems. I don’t get it. 

If this was a typical kid, with the cognitive ability to benefit in the long run from an experience like this, that would be one thing. Even then, I’m not sure how I feel about that. 

One of the other concerns I have is how law enforcement responded. On what planet is it okay to handcuff a special needs childs arms behind their back, with the cuffs on their upper arms? For a kid who doesn’t like to be touched, this approach isn’t going to help. 

If taking the child to a different location is necessary, why not allow the parents to transport the child. Things will likely go much smoother. 

Like I said, I can’t really judge because I have no first hand knowledge of what happened. At the same time, this doesn’t seem to pass the smell test for me. I’m sure there’s more to the story. 

I imagine the school isn’t without blame and neither is John, but does this appear to be handled correctly? 

What good can come from throwing a special needs child into the legal system for something relatively minor? Again, I don’t want to downplay the teacher being injured but this doesn’t feel right. 

I absolutely believe there needs to be accountability for one’s actions, but the punishment should fit the crime. We also need to keep in mind the person’s developmental level as well. 

Please share your thoughts below in the comments… I’d love to hear your opinion. 

Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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Maria Hall

My son was also arrested at a young age, cuffed and stuffed. School didn’t tell the officer he had autism nor how to contact me. I called CPD to find out where he was, to make sure they knew he has autism and doesn’t know his phone number. Nobody would it could tell me where he was. When I finally heard from faircrest they m mentioned how hard it had been to contact me as he didn’t know his phone number. I was horrified that the school would do this and not bother giving the officers pertinent information for a child they knew had a communication disorder. Incidentally, he had give out a window into a roof after being chased by staff. The principal crawled out with him to try and get him back inside. He was panic stricken and trapped without an escape. His crime was throwing a rock he found at the principal to make him stay away. They also knew his personal space needs increased with anxiety. And they didn’t have a plan. I don’t blame the principal for going out after him. But it was a whole big mess on the first day of school, with a sub in the classroom and he was doing great until the principal went to check on how it was going and my kid panicked thinking he was in trouble. The principal said that the sub told him everything was going great and he had been fine until then. Now I can laugh about it. I could not then. Now I can see the good that came of it, but at the time it was utter despair. The police is not a behavior plan. Never ever. BTW, I was hit, scratched, pinched and has my hair torn out by Alzheimer’s pathogens when working in the nursing home. I could file charges, but to what end? I would look like an asshole, and the patient is not competent, not even maybe. A panicked kid with autism has more in common with those patients than you think. And I’m telling you nobody would ever think it acceptable to file felony charges against that poor demented grandma. Not ever. Why is it acceptable to do this to a child that has behavioral needs and limited understanding of consequences?

Maria Hall

My son was also arrested at a young age, cuffed and stuffed. School didn’t tell the officer he had autism nor how to contact me. I called CPD to find out where he was, to make sure they knew he has autism and doesn’t know his phone number. Nobody would it could tell me where he was. When I finally heard from faircrest they m mentioned how hard it had been to contact me as he didn’t know his phone number. I was horrified that the school would do this and not bother giving the officers pertinent information for a child they knew had a communication disorder. Incidentally, he had give out a window into a roof after being chased by staff. The principal crawled out with him to try and get him back inside. He was panic stricken and trapped without an escape. His crime was throwing a rock he found at the principal to make him stay away. They also knew his personal space needs increased with anxiety. And they didn’t have a plan. I don’t blame the principal for going out after him. But it was a whole big mess on the first day of school, with a sub in the classroom and he was doing great until the principal went to check on how it was going and my kid panicked thinking he was in trouble. The principal said that the sub told him everything was going great and he had been fine until then. Now I can laugh about it. I could not then. Now I can see the good that came of it, but at the time it was utter despair. The police is not a behavior plan. Never ever. BTW, I was hit, scratched, pinched and has my hair torn out by Alzheimer’s pathogens when working in the nursing home. I could file charges, but to what end? I would look like an asshole, and the patient is not competent, not even maybe. A panicked kid with autism has more in common with those patients than you think. And I’m telling you nobody would ever think it acceptable to file felony charges against that poor demented grandma. Not ever. Why is it acceptable to do this to a child that has behavioral needs and limited understanding of consequences?

unable2pwn

Cops said they weren’t told the boy had autism, if that’s true it is ridiculous on the school’s part

LaKenya

In the video of the arrest, shown on my local news, you could clearly hear the mom stating that he has autism. I absolutely couldn’t believe my eyes! From an educator’s perspective, you want and need to feel safe and in control of your classroom. As a parent it made me angry and fearful. What if that was my child? I can’t fathom the rationale behind calling the police on a special needs student. What message does that send to the other students?

Maria Hall

My son was also arrested at a young age, cuffed and stuffed. School didn’t tell the officer he had autism nor how to contact me. I called CPD to find out where he was, to make sure they knew he has autism and doesn’t know his phone number. Nobody would it could tell me where he was. When I finally heard from faircrest they m mentioned how hard it had been to contact me as he didn’t know his phone number. I was horrified that the school would do this and not bother giving the officers pertinent information for a child they knew had a communication disorder. Incidentally, he had give out a window into a roof after being chased by staff. The principal crawled out with him to try and get him back inside. He was panic stricken and trapped without an escape. His crime was throwing a rock he found at the principal to make him stay away. They also knew his personal space needs increased with anxiety. And they didn’t have a plan. I don’t blame the principal for going out after him. But it was a whole big mess on the first day of school, with a sub in the classroom and he was doing great until the principal went to check on how it was going and my kid panicked thinking he was in trouble. The principal said that the sub told him everything was going great and he had been fine until then. Now I can laugh about it. I could not then. Now I can see the good that came of it, but at the time it was utter despair. The police is not a behavior plan. Never ever. BTW, I was hit, scratched, pinched and has my hair torn out by Alzheimer’s pathogens when working in the nursing home. I could file charges, but to what end? I would look like an asshole, and the patient is not competent, not even maybe. A panicked kid with autism has more in common with those patients than you think. And I’m telling you nobody would ever think it acceptable to file felony charges against that poor demented grandma. Not ever. Why is it acceptable to do this to a child that has behavioral needs and limited understanding of consequences?

unable2pwn

Cops said they weren’t told the boy had autism, if that’s true it is ridiculous on the school’s part

LaKenya

In the video of the arrest, shown on my local news, you could clearly hear the mom stating that he has autism. I absolutely couldn’t believe my eyes! From an educator’s perspective, you want and need to feel safe and in control of your classroom. As a parent it made me angry and fearful. What if that was my child? I can’t fathom the rationale behind calling the police on a special needs student. What message does that send to the other students?