Milestones Autism Resources is incredibly disheartened to hear of the recent bullying incident at Greenbriar Middle School involving a young boy with autism. Any act of verbal or physical harassment is unacceptable.
Evidence suggests that individuals with autism are highly vulnerable to bullying, with over 60% of children with autism reporting being bullied at some point in their lives. Milestones can provide support to individuals, families, or school teams seeking resources to combat the occurrence of bullying and the emotional trauma that may result.
If you or someone you know is experiencing bullying and is in need of individualized resources, please call the Milestones free autism Helpdesk at 216.464.7600.
Last month, over 100 first responders gathered at the La Casa Bella Party Center in Oakwood Village, OH, for a training about autism and how to interact with individuals with ASD. The training, led by Milestones Autism Resources Program Director Beth Thompson, allowed participants to learn how to handle common issues like eloping, sensory overload, and communication challenges. At least 40 local police departments were represented as well as firefighters, school security and special agents from the FBI.
“The autism community knows the danger of first responders not receiving the training they need to work with individuals on the autism spectrum,” said Thompson. “Milestones is proud to provide that education to our community of first responders.”
During the training, the crowd also heard from a panel of self-advocates and parents of individuals with ASD. Nathan Morgan, who joined the Milestones team in February as an Early Childhood & School Age Coordinator, was one of the panelists in attendance.
“As a social worker, it was enlightening to hear the diverse perspective of the officers,” said Morgan. “As an autism self-advocate, it was empowering to share my voice and perspectives to promote positive interactions between persons with autism, their loved ones, and the officers serving the community.”
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The entire team at Milestones Autism Resources mourns the loss of the 17 victims in Parkland, Florida. We are deeply saddened by such a tragic event. In light of speculation that the assailant may have autism, we support the following statement from the Autism Society of America: “No reliable research has found that a person who is autistic is more likely to commit violence than a person without an autism diagnosis.”
We ask that those reporting on this matter avoid suggesting a linkage between senseless violence and autism. Suggesting such a correlation between the two misrepresents the millions of individuals in America affected by autism. In fact, research has shown that individuals with autism are more likely to be victims of violence than those without autism.
Again, our thoughts are with those affected by this tragic event. We hope effective solutions are developed to prevent such devastating loss in the future.
If you have any concerns or questions, please call Milestones at 216.464.7600 for local information and support during this time.