The Gross National Debt

Friday, April 21, 2017

When reality won't behave

This is gonna make some people mad. It may cause hurt feelings. I ain't responsible for your feelings. I will plead guilty to trying to make you think. Whether you do so or not is up to you.

Life will go on no matter what you think.

This is the story of a 10-year-old boy with autism who was arrested at school. It's the story of his mother shooting video of the arrest.

This story is incomplete. You, me and the guy behind you who just ducked around the corner so you can't see him, do not have all the facts. The school system said it will not comment on the case. Ergo, you have it in black & white that not all the facts are presented.

So, lemme find my Clue x 4 collection and select a good one for today's lesson.

Up front - I am the parent of a special needs kid. I am an advocate for all kids. I have fought my school system for my son exactly like a Canadian chum has done for her son. I've worked with autistic kids.

But, this kid attacked people, according to the story.


1) An autistic man. He used to attend what amounts to an adult cay care center for people with mental deficiencies. He got mad one day at someone at the center and set fire to a home in town. Fortunately, the home was abandoned.

2) An autistic child with severe emotional and behavioral problems. This child regularly hit, kicked and scratched teachers. When he was about 12, he started a fire in his own home. He and his entire family died.

3)  The news is filled with similar stories. The news is not filled with similar stories because many such stories never get reported. Like the young autistic man with a machete. Like the young woman who attacked people at random. 

FAPE (Free and Appropriate Public Education)

I'm all for inclusive education until it begins to negatively affect the way other children learn. When that happens, need some intervention.

Some allowances must be made for disabled children, absolutely.

However, there also comes a point when someone must step in and say, "We've gotta stop this."

Schools are not meant to be daycare centers.


Gotta go metaphorical on you for just a moment.

HP Lovecraft created Cthulu, an entity many describe as the ultimate evil. As envisioned by Lovecraft, Cthulu is not evil. The entity is completely apathetic toward human and human creations. In other words, Cthulu looks on people like we do the bacteria that surround us. We ignore it unless it creates a problem, then we wipe it out of existence.

Cthulu is nothing more than reality.

Reality does not care about this 10 YOA. It does not care about you. It does not care about me.

Unless we become a nuisance. Then, we're not even history.

Reality is the world and the people around us. They do not care. No, they don't. You don't. I don't. We don't. If we cared, we'd be working in soup kitchens, working for Habitat for Humanity, the Red Cross, the United Way, volunteering in our schools specifically to help people like this 10 YOA and supporting other charities with our time and money.

(Yes, you do support some, but you also oppose some and don't care about others. Yes, you do.)

The Cthulu of Reality says this child might be in far more serious trouble than 3rd degree charge. This child may be barreling down a road that leads to his own violent death at the hands of someone he attacked because has autism.


Plenty of people don't care that this child has autism. They just see someone dangerous who needs to be put in a place where he cannot hurt anyone else. They have no interest in being put in the Hurt Locker, but don't have a problem putting this child there, if he will not conform to their expectations of behavior.

These people are in the majority and make the rules and are the reality we parents of disabled children must deal with.

Getting in your face blunt, such behavior in school is one thing (more in a moment). This kind of behavior, out in public and on the street, can easily result in that kid getting the pure hell beat out of him, if not killed.

In the US, minors can be arrested, put in handcuffs and taken into legal custody. They can be taken to the juvenile version of jail.


I hear what you are saying about this 10 year old with autism.

Hear what I am saying, if you were attacked by this child, what would you do?

Hear what I am saying. I have the right, as you do, to defend myself. If you think a 10 year old child cannot inflict serious bodily harm, then you are not paying attention. I had a 10 YOA who could bench press as much as a football player when he was 10. He also has (present tense) the highest tolerance for pain I have ever seen in a person. At 20, imagine what he can do now. Thankfully, Jesse is as kind-hearted a person as you'd ever meet. 

Hear what I am saying. School system employees are not paid to be attacked by children. Attacks cannot be tolerated. If this child attacked someone in public, charges would be pressed. The child could very well go to jail. The judge could take the disability into consideration. The judge could also order the child held in a juvenile psychiatric center. Enough attacks and the child will be "put away" long term.

Hear what I am saying. This world does not give a tinker's dam about this child's disability. No amount of education is going to change the way some people feel and react to people with disabilities.

Hear what I am saying. We parents of disabled kids will be gone some day. Our disabled children will be left behind. That means someone else will decide their fate.

Hear what I am saying. You may call me cold and cruel. Call me whatever names you like. But unless you are the parent of a disabled child, you don't have a f'dangin' clue what I go through, what I put up with and how hard I work to protect my child from other people and protect other people from him.

Hear what I am saying. Unless you are such a parent, you have no idea what it is like to lay awake and night and wonder what will happen to your child when you've left this realm of existence.

Hear what I am saying. I wish things could be otherwise. I hate what happened to this boy. I live in this thing called reality. I may wish it were otherwise, but reality is under no obligation to conform itself to my expectations. I have to accept reality or be crushed beneath it. I do not insist you also live in reality, but if you do not, don't look to me for help and support.

So, what would you do to, for and by this child? What would you do to, for and by the people he's attacked? What about future attacks?

Reality. It sucks, but that is what we have.


  1. One of the very best you have ever written. Very personal and very factual at the same time. Great read Ben. Thanks for this.

  2. Food for thought Ben. Well written as per usual.

    1. Thanks Maggie. Valerie liked it too. So, she doesn't yet hate me!


Hi. I welcome lively debate. Attack the argument. Go after a person in the thread, your comments will not be posted.