The cruel irony of Autism Awareness Month: There’s still much to learn about autistic people

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There is a cruel irony to John Benjamin Haygood’s being arrested during Autism Awareness Month.

Video has gone viral of Haygood, a 10-year-old boy who is on the autism spectrum, being handcuffed and escorted out of the school while his mother vocally protests. Although she agrees with the district that he had displayed disruptive behavior in the past, she insists that the problem is with the district’s refusing to accommodate him, even describing its decision to invite her recently expelled child back on campus just to arrest him as “a ‘this is what you get.’”

While all of the details of Haygood’s case haven’t emerged, I have to say this much, as an autistic person:

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