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Push for Awarness after Autistic student arrested

PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 6:35 pm
by Marie5656
I will make some comments as a response to this post. At the end of the article I have posted a direct link back to a local news website which has a video interview with the young man.

Advocates push for awareness after autistic teen jailed
Posted at: 04/09/2010 4:12 PM | Updated at: 04/09/2010 5:23 PM
By: Ray Levato |

It was an emotional reunion. Our cameras were there when a mother and her autistic son were reunited after he was let out of jail. Now there is a big push for awareness.

Local autism groups say both the school resource officer who arrested the teen and the Victor Town Justice who sent him to jail could have handled it better.

Nineteen-year-old Jarred Crawford was arrested Wednesday after a meltdown at Victor High School because there were four fire drills. He's accused of punching the resource officer.

As it turned out, the probation officer's report convinced the judge to release the boy to his mother.

After spending the previous night in the Ontario County jail -- Jarred was back home with his Mom and his dog. His mother, Jaime Britt, is relived to have him home.

Jarred's mother says he was unable to cope with all that had happened in school Wednesday. He was put into an in-school suspension room where he pounded on desks and threw some books. The school resource officer, a sheriff's deputy, arrested and handcuffed Jarred after he said the boy tried to kick and punch him.

Lawana Jones is the volunteer executive director of the Autism Council of Rochester. “I actually have a daughter who has autism and I found there's a hug need in the community for awareness.”

She's got an active training program for area law enforcement agencies to know how to deal with autism. “They look like they don't have a disability But that is the characteristic of autism. You can't assume that individual understands exactly what you mean. He may have said stop, but the student may not have understood exactly what he meant. The onus is on the staff to be trained, including the resource officer.”

Jarred’s mother says even though he's 19, her son functions at a six-year-old level.

“They don't know any other way to communicate, so sometimes they communicate through physical behavior.” The Advocacy Center is trying to get the state to recognize Jarred as someone needing disability services. Director Paul Shew says it was a mistake to put the boy in jail “Putting this individual in jail will have no effect whatsoever. It would seem in any future behavior because he wouldn't be capable of making that connection that what he did is why he ended up in jail.”

News 10NBC spoke with Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo. He said he saw our story but isn't able to say anything more.

The District Attorney says he has to wait until he gets the investigative file from the sheriff's office. And then -- as in every case -- he will take all factors into account -- including the person's medical background.

April is autism awareness month. Link to video

Re: Push for Awarness after Autistic student arrested

PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 6:39 pm
by Marie5656
Over the years I have been aquainted with several people with Autism. Many are fairly high functioning..and many people with autism have goneon to careers in science and medicine!!
The young man in this report was responding to a series of 4 fire drills at his school Lots of noise and commotion can be extremly stressful to even the highest functioning person with Autism. It is part of their disability. I am hoping the staff of this school will be re trained to have a heightened awareness of dealing with Autism.