Colton Granito, 8, of Sumner County, TN was attending an alternative school for children with special needs when he had what his parents described as a “meltdown.”
The school had a crisis management plan in place for Colton because he was prone to such behavior as “hitting” and “kicking.” The plan called for him to be treated with caring gestures, redirected to another activity or taken to a safe place where his episode could play out.
Instead of following the plan, the school called the police when Colton struck a teacher. He was arrested, handcuffed, placed in a straightjacket and charged with assault.
This 8-year-old boy on the autistic spectrum who doesn’t understand how to deal with this type of situation is now traumatized, terrified of police and having nightmares.
Colton’s mother Brittany had no choice but to leave her job to help her son with the trauma. Colton has transferred to another school, but the nightmares persist and Brittany says he has to wear pull-ups “every single night.”
Colton’s parents are livid and suing both the school district and the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office to the tune of a half million dollars.
Colton isn’t unique when it comes to police dealing with children on the autistic spectrum. 10-year-old Ryan is shown in this photo handcuffed and laid out like a common criminal on the back of a police cruiser:
With one in eighty-eight children born in America being diagnosed with autism, it’s becoming painfully obvious that something needs to be done about training police how to deal with people with special needs. Clearly a different approach is necessary.
Watch the video below courtesy of WNEM TV5:
H/T: The Free Thought Project | Image: Screengrab from video