All of this article is important for everyone everywhere.
I wouldn't ask a first-grader to comprehend calculus (though some amazingly exceptional first-graders do). Thus, it is unreasonably inconsiderate to expect a special needs autistic child to comprehend certain instructions, gestures, and the like that he or she can not understand by mere virtue of his or her disabling condition.
As a Louisiana resident who provides services to and advocates for families and child victims of bullying abuse, I was absolutely confounded while reading about the traumatizing treatment of an autistic child in a Winnsboro, LA elementary school.
This disabled child was was cuffed to a chair, traumatized, and now he is suspended from school? This is illogical.
I am unsure how the police became involved in this situation at all. However, the Winnsboro, LA Police Department has absolutely no policy in place for handling special needs students (Jones, 2019). By their own admission, police were not equipped to handle this situation, and SHOULD NOT have been involved.
Perhaps the teacher/s and paraprofessional/s working with the population of special needs students at this elementary school would benefit greatly from immediate and continual training handling mild-moderate and severe-profound special needs students.
Professionals such as myself skilled in this area would have been aware of other techniques to employ with an autistic child. At this point, I can not conclusively assign accuracy to the school documents which allege the student "tried to head-butt and hit teachers" (Jones, 2019).
In my article Disability Bullying: Double Imbalance of Power, I highlight how "disability bullying creates a double bully-bullied imbalance of power because disabled individuals are physiologically and/or psychologically less equipped to combat bullies than are non-disabled individuals" (De Bouse, 2019). This is an excellent read as it compliments this article perfectly.
The double imbalance of power factor is why this story of an autistic child with a clear disability is so gut-wrenching.
As stated initially, I wouldn't ask a first-grade to comprehend calculus; why unreasonably expect an autistic child to understand or respond in ways that he or she can not?
- Greshun De Bouse™ © 2019 All Rights Reserved. First Move Life Coaching LLC™ © 2019 All Rights Reserved.
De Bouse, G. (2019, February 9). Disability bullying: Double imbalance of power. Disabled World. Retrieved from:
Jones, B. (2019, March 7). Autistic child handcuffed to chair in Louisiana. BR Proud. Retrieved from:
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