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  1. #1
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    IA - 8 year old Autistic Girl Handcuffed at School

    http://www.kxly.com/global/story.asp?s=9669140

    "COEUR D'ALENE -- A Ponderay mom was left outraged when school officials ordered her autistic 8-year-old daughter handcuffed and taken from the school in a police car. Outside her Ponderay home, 8-year-old Evelyn Towry, in her pink boots and favorite sweatshirt explains why she's now suspended from school.
    "Because I was trying to leave and they hold me down," Evelyn said."


    I put this in this section, it should be a crime that police would handcuff an autistic child.
    Police need to be educated about Autism, as we are seeing more of police being called to deal with school problems nowadays.


  2. #2
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    This makes me angry too. I hope the mother sues the school system. It won't undue the damage they may have caused this little girl but at least it won't happen to another autistic child (or any child for that matter...8 years old?????).

    I'd also like to know why the teachers wouldn't allow her to wear the cow sweatshirt. What could it have harmed? Obviously these people should not have special needs students because they don't know how to deal with them.

  3. #3
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    Teachers should not have to put up with being spit on, kicked or pinched. Clearly this child needs another setting. It's not fair to the rest of the class nor the teachers. It's disruptive and dangerous.

    I have no problem with the way it was handled. Perhaps now she will understand that those behaviors will not be tolerated by the school or by society.

  4. #4
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    Mixed Emotions

    I have mixed feelings on this - with a BF who has an autistic sister with Asperger's I feel for the fear and confusion the child must have felt but as a sister of a teacher I also know that teachers should not be assaulted by a child or have to worry about that assault at any time.

    To me there are some definitely failures here - if this child has violent tendencies she should NOT be mainstreamed but should be in a special needs setting. Unfortunately many parents push to have their child mainstreamed too quickly and these issues arise. I think the cops may have been taking it too far but there is also the fact that the teachers union could have come back against school officials for not taking action when a teacher was attacked.

  5. #5
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    "She wanted to attend a Christmas party in her cow sweatshirt and they told her she couldn't that she would have to tuck the tail in and put ears down and she dug her heels in the way she does quite often and said she wouldn't take it off," Evelyn's mom Spring said. Spring says that when Evelyn tried to leave anyway two teachers restrained her, which is when Evelyn began kicking, pinching and spitting on the teachers.
    "Well, I kicked because I was upset they were holding me down and I got thumb bruises on me," Evelyn said.
    School officials then called the police and Evelyn's mom. When Spring got to school to pick her daughter up police were already escorting Evelyn in handcuffs out of the building and into a police cruiser. Police then took her to a local juvenile detention center where she stayed for an hour, after which she was allowed to go home."
    http://www.kxly.com/global/story.asp?s=9669140

    This just goes to show how uneducated people are with the autism spectrum.
    I, too, don't see any reason why she couldn't where her sweatshirt. In the article, to the right shows a picture of the girl and the sweatshirt has a hood with little cow ears. I used to have a sweatshirt like that with cat ears.
    Most likely the girl felt more comfortable wearing the hood, as a hood can help block out certain stimuli and one doesn't feel so exposed. I speak from experience here PDD-NOS, high functioning.

    The girl only got physically disruptive and combative when the teachers restrained her. She was most likely very scared. Restraining a child over a sweatshirt is ridiculous, and that's what caused the girl to act out. My mother works at a children's psychiatric hospital and they don't really restrain them there unless they are a danger to themself or staff. Usually they have a "team" that goes to the child and tries to talk them down (not getting in their space, unless they're a danger to themself, others, of staff).

  6. #6
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    If the rule is no hoods on the head in the school than that is what the rule is. It may seem silly to you, it may seem silly to me, that's not the point. The point is that's the rule and to make exceptions wouldn't be fair to all the other children capable of following it.

    The teachers restrained her after she became deficient and attempted to leave. Apparently, this is not the first time the child had acted out in a similar manner.

    Obviously, every attempt to deter her blatant disregard for authority and physical outbursts thus far has failed. I see nothing wrong with taking it to this level. This child needs to learn this behavior is unacceptable and it will not be tolerated!

    Her parents, instead of being outraged should use the experience as a teaching tool for their daughter. Bad things happen when you kick, bite and spit on people. It's a simple concept and one any mainstreamed child should be able to grasp in order to attend public school. Better she learn it now, she isn't going to be 8 forever.

  7. #7
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    I was all set to say that if you break the rules, you break the rules, autistic or not, and that being autistic didn't exempt you from handcuffs.

    But who handcuffs an 8-year-old child?? That's my issue -- that a child was handcuffed.

  8. #8
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    Oh, great! So now it's criminal to be autistic. What a special thing to teach all the other students in that school. NOT!

    Having educators in the family, gives me mixed feelings about this situation as well. However, I do feel the school and the police over-reacted in this situation. It seems all involved need a little more education about autism.

    I have a feeling this school district, police force, AND the parents are going to be working on this situtation further. EVERY ONE of those involved needs to get together and see how this type of situation can be avoided in the future. It's not as if this child can really 'help' her particular reaction to this occurance. She's got a condition that can't be treated by a few harsh words, handcuffs and policemen with guns!

    I hope they can work this out without too much a'do. They ALL need to realize they were WRONG. They ALL need to figure out how to avoid this from happening again. If not with this child, with 'others' with the same condition. With the way autism is multiplying, this situation WILL happen again.

    JMHO
    fran

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fran View Post
    Oh, great! So now it's criminal to be autistic. What a special thing to teach all the other students in that school. NOT!

    Having educators in the family, gives me mixed feelings about this situation as well. However, I do feel the school and the police over-reacted in this situation. It seems all involved need a little more education about autism.

    I have a feeling this school district, police force, AND the parents are going to be working on this situtation further. EVERY ONE of those involved needs to get together and see how this type of situation can be avoided in the future. It's not as if this child can really 'help' her particular reaction to this occurance. She's got a condition that can't be treated by a few harsh words, handcuffs and policemen with guns!

    I hope they can work this out without too much a'do. They ALL need to realize they were WRONG. They ALL need to figure out how to avoid this from happening again. If not with this child, with 'others' with the same condition. With the way autism is multiplying, this situation WILL happen again.

    JMHO
    fran
    Fran, thank you for your post, it is very well put. I think they handled the situation wrong from the beginning in trying to restrain an autistic child.

  10. #10
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    I disagree. This child can learn to control these unacceptable behaviors. ALL the focus should be on the child's behavior.

    No one should need to learn how to tolerate being kicked, pinched and spit on.

    If the child doesn't learn this now...what happens as she grows older and stronger?


  11. #11
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    Putting the autistic aspect aside, all children need to control unacceptable behavior. But by being handcuffed? No 8-year-old child needs to be handcuffed.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linda7NJ View Post
    If the rule is no hoods on the head in the school than that is what the rule is. It may seem silly to you, it may seem silly to me, that's not the point. The point is that's the rule and to make exceptions wouldn't be fair to all the other children capable of following it.

    The teachers restrained her after she became deficient and attempted to leave. Apparently, this is not the first time the child had acted out in a similar manner.

    Obviously, every attempt to deter her blatant disregard for authority and physical outbursts thus far has failed. I see nothing wrong with taking it to this level. This child needs to learn this behavior is unacceptable and it will not be tolerated!

    Her parents, instead of being outraged should use the experience as a teaching tool for their daughter. Bad things happen when you kick, bite and spit on people. It's a simple concept and one any mainstreamed child should be able to grasp in order to attend public school. Better she learn it now, she isn't going to be 8 forever.
    There was no rule about hoods in the school stated.
    The article said,

    "...they told her she couldn't that she would have to tuck the tail in and put ears down"

    They said to tuck in the tail (probably had a little tail with a poof puff at the end; i had a cat sweatshirt like that). They might have not wanted her to wear the hood with the ears sewn on over her head, if thats what they meant by put the ears down.

    It shows insensitivity to autistic children is what it shows

    For the school to resolve the incident by restraining the child and calling police is ridiculous and traumatic. Shows what society has resorted to. It's a sweatshirt, not a weapon. They should have called the girl's mother before trying to restrain her and call the police, it would have avoided the whole confrontation.

    The mother never even signed "the plan" the school had in place

    "
    School officials responded to a request for an interview for this story by e-mail, with the district superintendent saying they followed a specific safety plan for Evelyn which was agreed upon by the district and her mental health provider. The plan, according to the district, says that "If a student assaults staff it is appropriate to call parents, involved support agencies, and local law enforcement officials if needed. All of the above occurred regarding this unfortunate incident."
    "I never saw the plan, I never signed the plan," Spring said."

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linda7NJ View Post
    I disagree. This child can learn to control these unacceptable behaviors. ALL the focus should be on the child's behavior.

    No one should need to learn how to tolerate being kicked, pinched and spit on.

    If the child doesn't learn this now...what happens as she grows older and stronger?
    You should go to some different sites on Autism and the spectrums of it so you can learn more. I take offense to what you said, and i'm sure a lot of parents of autistic children would also.
    It's not always easy as 1,2,3..

  14. #14
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    Oh brother, these teachers need to learn how to pick their battles and count to ten. Their reaction to the situation was outrageous. Most autistic children can't tolerate being touched. What do these yahoos do? Hold her down. The child merely reacted as most autistic children would. The child didn't handle this improperly, nor caused the escalation. I would have a problem with any teacher holding any child down for wanting to merely walk away. What are they going to do next, start tazering kids? Oh yeah, they already are....

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeoW333 View Post
    You should go to some different sites on Autism and the spectrums of it so you can learn more. I take offense to what you said, and i'm sure a lot of parents of autistic children would also.
    It's not always easy as 1,2,3..

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