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Raising Special Needs Kids Raising Special Needs Kids

Do you find it outrageous that police would charge a 9-year-old autistic boy with assault for this kind of incident?

Posted by on Sep. 25, 2012 at 3:46 PM
  • 11 Replies

Police Arrest 9-Year-Old Autistic Boy for Misbehaving at School


Posted by Julie Ryan Evans

handcuffsThis story out of Illinois in which a 9-year-old autistic boy was arrested for assault after an incident at school is as infuriating as it is heartbreaking. It's also a grim example of how ill-equipped our schools and society often are when it comes to dealing with autism.

Brandi Kirchner told KHQA about the incident that happened last week at the school of her son, Roger Parker, Jr. She said he had a "meltdown" during class, and school officials sent him to a "special area" to calm down. It didn't work, and after he climbed a dividing wall, the police were called.

As the officer pulled the young boy from the wall, the boy struggled and flailed, injuring his eye on the divider. At some point he reportedly kicked the police officer in the nose. Kirchner said the officer then pulled her son to the floor, handcuffed him, and took him to the police station. The traumatic event didn't end there. 

She told the news station:

I asked to see my son. Forty-five minutes later, after they told me he did not need a parent present because he was under arrest and not being interrogated. He was fingerprinted, photographed, and booked for aggravated battery to a police officer.

He is 9! He has autism! How was this allowed to happen? Kirchner says there was a plan in place as to how to handle her son if there was an outburst, and it was not followed. Of course for the safety and well-being of other students and the boy himself, something had to be done, but there had to be a better way. And to charge him for assault afterward is baffling.

Kirchner has since removed her son from the public school system and is looking into home school options. I would too if something like this happened to my child, but it's too bad that she has to do so.

Time and again we hear stories like this and worse in which students with autism and other special needs are being mistreated in our nation's schools. I don't doubt that it's a challenge for teachers and schools to meet the diverse and sometimes extreme needs of these children, as it is for their families as well, and I know resources are limited. But we've got to do a better job. With as many as 1 in 88 children being diagnosed with autism, it's a big issue, and incidents like this are a big problem.

Do you find it outrageous that police would charge a 9-year-old autistic boy with assault for this kind of incident?


Image via peter castleton/Flickr

by on Sep. 25, 2012 at 3:46 PM
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Replies (1-10):
lifeisajoy
by on Sep. 25, 2012 at 4:16 PM

Yes I for sure find it outrageous!

CameronsMommy23
by on Sep. 25, 2012 at 5:03 PM
That's terrible! Why would the school call an officer instead of his parents? And when an officer showed up why didn't the teachers mention that he was autistic? So sad!
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kathrynmryan
by on Sep. 25, 2012 at 5:07 PM

Completely crazy and unfair. If there was a plan in place I hope the courts will dismiss this!

trippyhippy
by Member on Sep. 25, 2012 at 5:47 PM

I would change schools and make the schools system pay for him to go to a sepecialized school that could handle my son and I would sue the hell out of everyone just to make a point that something needs to change.

jjamom
by Michele on Sep. 25, 2012 at 6:07 PM
The school failed him and the police treated him like an adult, and one without autism at that. Yes, I think it's outrageous. Are they even within their rights to disallow his parents to see him? You'd think they would be trained to handle this type of situation better.
JJsMommy706
by on Sep. 25, 2012 at 6:51 PM
I feel the problem here is another case of "numbers".. Where the child with special needs is not treated as such, but just another number. Of course every child is special in their own way, but children who need extra support amongst their peers to function properly should be taken into consideration with a situation like this. I can't see a judge letting this go through. Although intelligent, children with autism can't decipher right from wrong at times, especially during a meltdown. I'd have to agree on finding it outrageous and heartbreaking.
thedathree
by on Sep. 25, 2012 at 6:59 PM
that's such bullshit people are so ignorant. My nephew has autism and my son multiple significant special needs requiring constant care. I'm seriously considering home schooling mysellf bc my sons. basic needs are not met. he comes home with wet clothes every day bc they say its not realistic to change him as often as I do at home. So he just sits in piss pants that are soaked until they change him. always scheduled never as needed. It makes me sad I have to chose . He likes school but not sitting in soaking wet pants.
darbyakeep45
by Darby on Sep. 26, 2012 at 5:16 AM

Wow!  This is shocking to be honest.  

glory_love
by on Sep. 26, 2012 at 5:57 PM
And stupid too
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Autiziumom
by Bravo on Sep. 26, 2012 at 9:07 PM
I cannot believe this bull crap! They must be so ignorant at how to deal with these kind of children! I would had been livid! Slapping everyone with a lawsuit!
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