School officers handcuff 7-year-old with autism after he acts up

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Looking after children with special needs requires extra care: These children see and interpret the world around them differently, thus making their responses different from normal children

A mother in Florida was outraged when she found out that her 7-year-old son who suffers from autism had been thrown on the floor and handcuffed after an incident with one of the special needs teacher.

Sharing her disgust with her local school system, Sande Bard-Butler said on her Facebook post: “Allen says a child stepped on his lunch today so the teacher threw it away.”

“He was upset and wanted more food which they did not give him so he started kicking the teacher,” she added. “I do not approve of him behaving that way, however, Allen DOES act that way when he feels he was wronged in any way.”

READ: Autistic or autism?

After lashing out at his teacher, a resource officer from the school struck the boy in the head and handcuffed him. Not only that, the school tried to commit the boy into a mental institution, but the doctor refused to admit him.

“It is the schools job to know how to redirect and de-escalate him,” Sande said. “Instead the school SRO decided to Baker Act him and put my 7 year old Autistic son with a shunt in his brain into hand cuffs for over an hour while transporting him to psych facility.”

After her pleas for change fell on deaf ears at the school, she hired attorney Nicolette Nicoletti with the intention to sue.

READ: Handling an autistic kid

“We need to make sure that everyone who's involved in the education and treatment of the students are in fact properly trained,” Nicoletti said.

According to reports there had been seven students in Allen's class with two adults and the deputy. Meanwhile the sheriff's office did not intent to handcuff a child, but had to make sure he could not harm anyone else including himself.

Special needs

Looking after children with special needs requires extra care: These children see and interpret the world around them differently, thus making their responses different from normal children.

“They're not trained to handle the medical with the mental,” Sande lamented. “If you know the child can be dangerous with the pencil, don't give them a pencil. All this could have been avoided if they just gave him more lunch.”

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