Another lovely story in the news, just perfect for the end of Autism Awareness Month: Seems a trio of neighbors in a California suburb are so aware of four-year-old Spencer Trussle's autism that they want him, his sister, and his parents placed under what amounts to house arrest. Citing their fear that the preschooler "might come out with a firearm at anytime," these neighbors sued to restrict the Trussle family to their own home and driveway.
I thought maybe this was some sort of overreaction to news stories about violent adults with autism. But according to a 10news.com report, "The Trussles said there were no issues until Gary Trussle confronted another father on the cul de sac whose son was picking on Spencer. It didn't go well." There followed CPS reports and complaints to Gary Trussle's employer, and finally the lawsuit.
So far, the litigious threesome has found little support outside the cul de sac. CPS found the charges ungrounded, Trussle's employer stood up for him, and a judge threw the case out of court. Still, this is the kind of thing parents of children with special needs worry over every day, the need to live in the world, the fear of misjudgment, the risk that advocating for your child will be perceived as a threat. Whether it happens in a restaurant or a church or a classroom, on a city street or in their own backyard, children with autism are considered an alien threat rather than part of the community, and all the Autism Awareness activities in the world don't seem to be changing that.
Pretty gloomy way to end the month.