People with Autism Especially Vulnerable
Perhaps like you, recently I read of an incident in Okeechobee, Florida, in which an 18-year-old man was recorded on video beating, choking, kicking, and holding a knife to the throat of a 16-year-old boy with autism. It made national news.
The National Institutes of Health defines autism spectrum disorder as "a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior." Due to lacking social skills, children with autism are at risk of being bullied or abused.
As an experiment, I recently Googled "autistic boy 2014" to see what I would find. Besides a number of internet "missing autistic boy" articles, I found many disturbing newspaper and TV stories about boys with autism being bullied or abused. (I placed "autistic" into Google because most media outlets still refer to children with autism as "autistic"; and "boy" because 80 percent of people with autism are male.)
Here's a sampling of what I found for 2014.
- In Maryland, two teenage girls faced sentencing after holding a butcher's knife to the throat of a 16-year-old boy with autism and luring him onto a half-frozen pond until he broke through. They refused to help. They recorded the incident on a cellphone.
- Two California parents were arrested for rooming their 11-year-old son in a large dog kennel.
- A New York City paraprofessional punched an 11-year-old boy with autism in a school cafeteria. Police, after watching video, charged the paraprofessional with felony assault, endangering a minor's welfare, menacing, and harassment. The boy had spilled water, and had not understood the paraprofessional's request to clean it up.
- A Michigan teacher verbally mocked in class a 10-year-old male student with autism stuck in a chair. She recorded the incident on her cellphone.
- In Texas, three teens robbed at gunpoint, beat, and knocked down a 17-year-old boy with autism.
- Recorded on video in a Walmart parking lot, a Florida man was arrested on child abuse charges for beating with closed fist a nonverbal, 13-year-old boy with autism.
- Also in Florida, and on video, a special education school bus driver was arrested on child abuse charges for repeatedly slapping across the face a 10-year-old boy with autism physically restrained in a harness while on the bus.
Remember, people of all ages with autism are especially vulnerable. If you witness an incident, do the right thing. Immediately report it.
LittleGiantFudge.com and Palmer Bus Service make this column possible.
Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.
Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com
Pet Care | Real Estate | Restaurants | Tech | View All | * Add/Upgrade Business
Placer County News HeadlinesRoseville Flash Crime Report (11.25.15)Roseville, CA- Crime flash report for Roseville, November 25, 2015.
Water Savings Fall Short AgainRoseville, CA. - Customers in San Juan Water District's retail service area reduced their October water use by 26 percent, which is 10 percent less
Chapa-De Indian Health Website for PatientsAUBURN, CA - Chapa-De Indian Health is proud to announce the launch of its newly updated website will also allow patients to learn about the comprehensive healthcare services
Blindness EtiquetteRoseville, CA - If you are meeting a person who is blind or visually impaired for the first time, do you offer your hand for him to shake?
Toyota RAV4 remains reliable compact SUVRoseville, CA- There is obviously a lot to like regarding the RAV4, starting with a sticker price that ranges from $23,680 to $29,850.
Roseville, Rocklin May Get Jobs Boost from Sunset Area PlanRoseville, CA - Currently known as the Sunset Industrial area west of Highway 65 and surrounded by the cities of Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln.
Loretta Claiborne: RevisitedRoseville, CA - Last week, I began telling you about Loretta Claiborne, an African American who was born poor, partially blind, and with an intellectual disability.
Placer County Water Agency Adopts 2016 BudgetAUBURN, Calif. - At its November 19 meeting, the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors adopted the Agency's 2016 budget
Rocklin Crime Report Update: DUI Arrests JumpRocklin, CA - Rocklin police weekly crime report digest update summary for the period of November 9- 15, 2015.
Roseville and Rocklin Among Beneficiaries of Clean Energy ProjectsRoseville, CA - The Placer County Board of Supervisors received a program update on mPOWER which has funded more than $35 million in clean energy projects
Cali Bowl in Roseville November 27-29Roseville, CA- The 8th Annual California Bowl comes to Roseville on Nov. 27-29 at the Woodcreek High School football stadium
Roseville to Hold Green Gardening at Home SeriesRoseville, CA - Starting this January, the Roseville Utility Exploration Center, 1501 Pleasant Grove Blvd. at Mahany Park
NEWS: In Case You Missed It