Kindergarten Teacher Calls DCS on 5-year-old for Hugging Classmates
Have you ever read a new story and thought, "this CAN'T be true" only to find out that is is? That's exactly what happened to me when I ready multiple stories of a Tennessee Kindergarten Teacher at East Ridge Elementary calling authorities on an autistic 5-year-old for hugging one student and kissing another on the cheek.
As a father of a 15-year-old with autism who's not only dealing with his condition but also with budding hormones that he has NO idea what to do with, this story not only shocked me, but kinda scared me a little. This teacher thought it was appropriate to call Child Services on a 5-year-old without letting the parents know. Especially when trying to label the child as a sexual predator.
Anyone who know anything about autism know that it is a wide-ranging developmental disorder that affects children in different ways. Some are hyper-focused, some are socially withdrawn, and some are very affectionate.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
"autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability that may cause people to communicate, interact, and behave in ways that are different from most people.
There are behaviors that they will repeat and daily activities they are unwilling to change. Learning, thinking, and solving abilities can range from gifted to severely impaired. There is currently no cure for autism, but there are treatment services that can help autistic children gain developmental skills.
Early intervention treatment services help newborns to 36-month-old children to talk, walk, and interact with others."
At a recent parent-teacher conference, some of the special needs kids in my sons class came up to me to say HI by giving a big hug and sometimes taking my hats off my head because its bald and shiny! Even my son has done some "inappropriate" touching out of sheer curiousity, not from any kind of sexual deviancy. I'm just glad his teachers have been trained well enough to know how deal with these situations and not over-react like this East Ridge teacher did.