Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Autism Reality: 12 Year Old With Autism Threatens Suicide, Bites Teacher

MSNBC reports that a 12 year old Tennessee boy with autism and borderline mental retardation threatened suicide and then yesterday bit a teacher on the right thumb during the past week. He has been arrested and charged with assault. He is now receiving medical help at a psychiatric hospital.

The boy's mother, Cindy Gaspard, fears her son might be incarcerated and wishes he had received help sooner:

"Last Monday, I was notified that Dylan had threatened to kill himself and ran out the front door of the building and said he was going to get hit by a car .... Dylan should have been taken to a hospital for a medical and psychiatric evaluation for his suicide attempt, rather than charged with assault and taken to jail ..."I'm worried about him going to jail for a behavior that is a result of his disability."

The unfortunate reality is that some autistic children and adults become violent.... because of their autism disorder. This reality is whitewashed by Neurodiversity ideologues who feel offended that any of the behaviors associated with autism might be seen as negative but it is a reality that can only be ignored with serious consequences for autistic children, family members and professional carers and educators.

The serious challenges presented by some persons with autism disorders should be dealt with through treatment not whitewashed and ignored until it is too late.

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Skinny Dipper said...

If the 12 year old gets in front of a judge, hopefully that judge will be understanding and drop any charges.

simoart said...

The boy is diagnosed with Autism and that is a disability. I think the judge will drop the charges.

Christine said...

First of all what can we do to protect those with autism who when agitated become aggressive? Secondly, does the school not have a non-violent crisis intervention plan in place to protect the student with autism, the staff and other students? Why was this child and his family not given an ABC plan? A=antecendent B=behavior C=consequences. Behavior's in my opinion can be triggered at anytime and display different consequences and intervention plans should have been put in place to assess these behaviors before they escalate. Is this another fear parents are going to have if their child at times has behaviors not suitable to society? Are we going to punish them by jail time and restraints which will ultimately trigger another espisode? There must be a protective law put in place for those with autism and their parents to not have to fight criminal charges at any stage. Where did the police officers have to take this child first? The answer should be put in place when dealing with any age person who has autism. Take them to their parents if capable and allow the parents options for treatment. This should not be another horrifying obstacle parents should have to deal with when the answer is so easy. Get the child or adult the treatment they are entitled to not criminal charges. While I think judges will understand, the money in court costs could be spent getting the person the treatment(s) they deserve and need.