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Post Reply 10-year-old with autism arrested at Florida school
qwueri 
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32 / M / TN
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Posted 4/21/17
Leaves me wondering what fell through for the teacher to report assault to the police rather than resolve the issue within the school.
Posted 4/21/17
Posted 4/22/17 , edited 4/22/17
I feel like a lot of this has been taken out of context. The sad thing is that every single news article suggests that they invited the child back just to arrest him. I took some time to speak to my girlfriend about this (she's a special education teacher) to try to figure out what the normal policy would be in cases like these. I agree with both sides, to a degree. I'll break down some of the "points" that have been discussed here already.


  • "This is sad, he has autism!" - As many already know, there are various "levels" of Autism (Autism Spectrum Disorder has a fairly wide range and sometimes requires occupational therapy to determine exactly where along the spectrum one lies). If he's able to construct a full sentence, he's likely HFA (high-functioning autistic) and somewhat understands what's going on at times. -- I'll follow up more on this later.
  • "The paraprofessional should have known better and understood what dealing with a child with autism entails." - In this case, I would argue that the paraprofessional knew exactly what dealing with a child with autism entails. Most school rules indicate that if a child assaults a teacher, they can easily press charges against them. At the same time, many paraprofessionals and special education teachers dismiss this because they know what's going on (to a point). My girlfriend has been stabbed in the face with a pencil, bitten to the point of drawing blood, spat at, punched, and many other things by a student with autism. Sometimes speaking to the parents will only go so far when trying to curb this kind of behavior when an autistic child has a negative reaction.
  • "If you watch the full video the mother took, it's very obvious that she is also playing things up, which doesn't help the child stay calm. And that video also shows a little bit of how disruptive he is." - This. You wouldn't believe how many parents attempt to sue the school/county over things that they perfectly understand and have been informed in great detail over. From expecting all schools to have a one-on-one instructor with every individual student in special education to demanding that "music therapy" be part of their child's curriculum... these have all been the root cause of lawsuits. This was an obvious ploy from the mother to aid in her lawsuit.


Overall, it appears that the mother has been resistant to the school and the paraeducator in regards to helping her son. She's so defensive that she's basically allowed him to get away with the behavior that he's exhibited. Yes, I understand that it's difficult with autism (I helped raised a former step-son who has HFA) but this seems to be something that was required. It's difficult and sad that the matter had to be escalated to this point in order to actually suggest the child gets the help he needs. The mother will argue that she knows best (which may very well be the case, for all we know). The articles that have been made about this case completely ignore the disruptive nature that can easily be curbed with behavior therapy (without touching him). None of us have the whole story - that's where there's a gaping hole in the line of logic. We only know the mother's story and a few lines from the paraeducator or the principle. But in my experience and understanding - this could have been entirely avoided if there were more collaboration between the mother and the school.
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Posted 4/22/17

Amyas_Leigh wrote:

The kid assaulted a teacher. He's going to have an adult body capable of doing some real damage in a few years, better to teach him there are consequences for actions now rather than after he's put someone in the hospital.


if he was having an Autistic meltdown depending on the severity of his Autism chances are he has no control over himself.
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Posted 4/22/17

PeripheralVisionary wrote:

I am not sure if autism is a valid excuse in this situation, once we get the middle school thing going.

But yeah, the original incident was in October 2016, and they decided arrest him now? Why?


Well to be fair is it ok to arrest someone who has no control over their own actions?

Most Autistic people when in a meltdown have no control whatsoever very few of us are lucky enough to have minor control
Posted 4/22/17
I am thinking what is this kid going be like when he hits adulthood..
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Posted 4/22/17

MysteryMiss wrote:

I am thinking what is this kid going be like when he hits adulthood..


Probably the same it's not like he can magically gain control of his meltdowns.

If there was a solution it would involve invasive brain surgery most likely...
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Posted 4/22/17

Ryulightorb wrote:


PeripheralVisionary wrote:

I am not sure if autism is a valid excuse in this situation, once we get the middle school thing going.

But yeah, the original incident was in October 2016, and they decided arrest him now? Why?


Well to be fair is it ok to arrest someone who has no control over their own actions?

Most Autistic people when in a meltdown have no control whatsoever very few of us are lucky enough to have minor control


Depends on the severity of the autism, and of course, the age of the offender. In any case, most people with the more serious cases are sequestered in different classes or different schools.
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21 / M / Bundaberg, Queens...
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Posted 4/22/17

PeripheralVisionary wrote:


Ryulightorb wrote:


PeripheralVisionary wrote:

I am not sure if autism is a valid excuse in this situation, once we get the middle school thing going.

But yeah, the original incident was in October 2016, and they decided arrest him now? Why?


Well to be fair is it ok to arrest someone who has no control over their own actions?

Most Autistic people when in a meltdown have no control whatsoever very few of us are lucky enough to have minor control


Depends on the severity of the autism, and of course, the age of the offender. In any case, most people with the more serious cases are sequestered in different classes or different schools.


That's true still i don't think if he had no control of it regardless of age he should goto prison.
at his age its hard to say much but honestly.........at that age shit like that should be let go imho if it's not done in ill will
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Posted 4/22/17
America is a strange and unusual place.
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Posted 4/22/17

Ryulightorb wrote:


PeripheralVisionary wrote:


Ryulightorb wrote:


PeripheralVisionary wrote:

I am not sure if autism is a valid excuse in this situation, once we get the middle school thing going.

But yeah, the original incident was in October 2016, and they decided arrest him now? Why?


Well to be fair is it ok to arrest someone who has no control over their own actions?

Most Autistic people when in a meltdown have no control whatsoever very few of us are lucky enough to have minor control


Depends on the severity of the autism, and of course, the age of the offender. In any case, most people with the more serious cases are sequestered in different classes or different schools.


That's true still i don't think if he had no control of it regardless of age he should goto prison.
at his age its hard to say much but honestly.........at that age shit like that should be let go imho if it's not done in ill will


I think the thing here is that they are trying to give their mother a wake up call, so to speak.

Except the professional did not realize, with lack of legal expertise, that he could not drop charges, when it turned into a civil case between two people (Like Judge Judy) to a criminal case of the state versus him.

It does have some pointer, with the state prosecutor trying to approach it non judicially, not pursue criminal charges.


""In this case, we are not seeking to give him a criminal record or anything of that nature," Albright said about John. "The goal is to get the Department of Juvenile Justice and the state of Florida to provide some additional assistance and counseling for him"


I wouldn't say the law of not being able to drop charges in unreasonable, allowing the state to act on behalf of someone who cannot or will not act.
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Posted 4/22/17 , edited 4/22/17

Ryulightorb wrote:


MysteryMiss wrote:

I am thinking what is this kid going be like when he hits adulthood..


Probably the same it's not like he can magically gain control of his meltdowns.

If there was a solution it would involve invasive brain surgery most likely...



That's not true. I'm living proof.

When I was growing up, no one around me even knew about autism, let alone why I freaked out constantly. I was always in pain (severe food allergies no one knew about, severe sensory issues like light and touch sensitivity that no one understood). I was extremely violent when I had meltdowns. I put multiple other kids into the hospital. I never got in trouble for my behavior, because no one believed that I would have intentionally lashed out like that, since I was extremely well behaved other than these sensory overload induced violent episodes.

Over the years, since there was no one around who understood me or could teach me coping mechanisms, I eventually found ways to cope all by myself. I learned how to avoid the things that gave me meltdowns, to make sure I stayed away from anything that would hurt me or cause me distress, and I learned other methods of reacting that weren't violent. Instead of hitting someone that had hurt me by putting their hand on my shoulder, I learned to run away and pace in circles or rock back and forth until I calmed down. Instead of attacking someone that wore a strong scent or played loud music next to me, I learned to get away from them to ask them to turn it down.

Pacing back and forth, walking or running in circles, waving your hands or doing other similar repetitive hand motions, wearing noise canceling headphones or earplugs with gentle music playing, using a facial mask, chewing gum... These are all ways that someone with autism can calm themselves down and prevent themselves from acting violently. And they can be learned. Either from someone teaching you, or, as I learned, by figuring it out yourself.

That kid has plenty of time to learn coping mechanisms. It's ignorant and rude to say he will always be violent, or that he needs something as ridiculous as brain surgery just to change his behavior.
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Posted 4/22/17

Hazard wrote:


Ryulightorb wrote:


MysteryMiss wrote:

I am thinking what is this kid going be like when he hits adulthood..


Probably the same it's not like he can magically gain control of his meltdowns.

If there was a solution it would involve invasive brain surgery most likely...



That's not true. I'm living proof.

When I was growing up, no one around me even knew about autism, let alone why I freaked out constantly. I was always in pain (severe food allergies no one knew about, severe sensory issues like light and touch sensitivity that no one understood). I was extremely violent when I had meltdowns. I put multiple other kids into the hospital. I never got in trouble for my behavior, because no one believed that I would have intentionally lashed out like that, since I was extremely well behaved other than these sensory overload induced violent episodes.

Over the years, since there was no one around who understood me or could teach me coping mechanisms, I eventually found ways to cope all by myself. I learned how to avoid the things that gave me meltdowns, to make sure I stayed away from anything that would hurt me or cause me distress, and I learned other methods of reacting that weren't violent. Instead of hitting someone that had hurt me by putting their hand on my shoulder, I learned to run away and pace in circles or rock back and forth until I calmed down. Instead of attacking someone that wore a strong scent or played loud music next to me, I learned to get away from them to ask them to turn it down.

Pacing back and forth, walking or running in circles, waving your hands or doing other similar repetitive hand motions, wearing noise canceling headphones or earplugs with gentle music playing, using a facial mask, chewing gum... These are all ways that someone with autism can calm themselves down and prevent themselves from acting violently. And they can be learned. Either from someone teaching you, or, as I learned, by figuring it out yourself.

That kid has plenty of time to learn coping mechanisms. It's ignorant and rude to say he will always be violent, or that he needs something as ridiculous as brain surgery just to change his behavior.


As an Autistic person i get what you mean i mean i have control over my meltdowns to an extent also HOWEVER there are Autistic people that no matter what have no control over it there is a possibility this kid is one.

Coping mechanisms can work with some Autistic people but for some it's impossible it's just a fact of life the only way to change them would be brain surgery and imo that is just barbaric.

There are multiple levels of Autism most people have some form of control over it at that age atleast i did so i'm making the guess that he MAY be one of the people who cannot have a coping mechanism or stop themselves and just need to go through the meltdown till it passes.

Denying people like that exist is just objectively false and ignorant but i understand that was not your intention i figure you think i was saying all Autistic people are like that which is not true and i would know.
llunga 
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Posted 4/22/17 , edited 4/22/17
Pretty sure he can't just abuse the staff although many schools actually take that crap from the kids. They should have notified the mother first and took care of it better than that. I can understand punishment but he was terrified?
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Posted 4/22/17 , edited 4/22/17
Autism is hard to gauge, that's why they call it a spectrum.

There's probably a ton of details & personal info we're missing so I'm not going to pretend like I know how the situation should've been handled. I will say if the child was being violent it's obvious he should be detained in a manner until the parents or guardians can be present.

I live in Florida and have a friend with an autistic child. From talking with her it seems difficult to find faculties equipped with staff who can properly teach and deal with kids on the spectrum. Her kid is adjusting well since they caught it early he didn't have an extreme case.
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