Family with autistic son faces lawsuit for son being 'public nuisance'
A California family with an 11-year-old autistic son is facing a lawsuit from their Sunnyvale neighbors who say the boy is a public nuisance. The neighbors insist that the lawsuit has nothing to do with autism in general, but rather with this particular boy's behavior.
According to plaintiff Robert Flowers, the boy has attacked other neighborhood children in multiple instances. He said:
"For us this case is not about autism as far as we're concerned. It's about the safety of our children. They were attacked on multiple occasions and we felt like this was a last resort to protect our children from further attacks."
While the families filing the suit don't blame the 11-year-old boy for his alleged acts, they believe his parents should figure out how to teach him better behavior. Plaintiff Bindu Pothen claims that the 11-year-old attacked other neighborhood children during a birthday party. The children are now afraid of the boy. Pothen said:
"All the children here have witnessed so much violence. There was an increased fear in the kids. They didn't even want to step outside of their house."
Autism advocates worry that a court ruling against the family will create a barrier that will only further separate autistic children from others. They don't believe a lawsuit is the proper solution to the issue.
Since receiving the lawsuit, the 11-year-old's family have moved to a different neighborhood.
Watch this video to learn more about autistic children's behavioral patterns:
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