January police officers. On February 1, Mr.

January 22, 2018 7:45PMUnderneath, an essay by Carlos G.Autism : The IMPORTANCE of Know”Different Not Less.”Autism is described as conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication.1 in 66 people have autism!The number of autistic kids have raised at an alarming rate, 1 in 45 children, have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. This is a 30% increase from 1 in 65 two years ago, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Autism spectrum disorder is also referred to as ASD.

Autism awareness is very important because 3.5million  americans live with ASD and the struggles that everyday life cause. Over the last year and half autistic kids and adults have been shot and killed by our own law enforcement! Most are off the simple fact of not knowing or understanding these unique people.

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This is 6 year old Jeremy Mardis .March 6, 2017, tragedy struck as Jeremy Mardis, a 6-year-old autistic boy was shot and killed brutally by Louisiana Officer, Derrick Stanford. His father was pulled over on a Louisiana highway for speeding, when officer Derrick approached the window, his body cam reveals that he asked Jeremy’s father to make Jeremy stop fidgeting in the backseat. Mr. Mardis tried to explain that Jeremy had autism but the officer didn’t understand, repeating phrases such as “What?!” or “I don’t understand… just make him stop!” Two harsh minutes later Jeremy reached to the bottom of the car floor… this spooked officer Derrick Stanford and caused him to fire 18 shots through the window killing Jeremy Mardis on the spot.

Now although this is just one example there are many others as well…February 1, 2017 Calumet City, Chicago 15 year old Stephon Edward Watts was shot and killed outside of his home by two Chicago police officers. On February 1, Mr. Watts, Stephon’s father, called Chicago police after arguing with his son over going to school. Mr. Watts was instructed by his sons SOCIAL WORKERS that his son Stephon should be helped by authorities when angered.

When officers William Coffey and Robert Hynek arrived at the Watts home, “Stephon was standing outside on his doorsteps and office automatically began to become hostile.” Mr. Watts reported. His mother began to shout for the officers to calm down that “you’re scaring him!” Stephon reached into his pocket to grab a bottle of bubbles that his mother said calmed him, when he reached into his pocket officer Coffey fired one shot into his right quad, officer Hynek then fired one into the left side of Stephon’s skull killing him instantly.In July, Arizona police officer Grossman pinned down a 14 year old boy named Connor Leibel because he wasn’t aware the boy had autism, he assumed that the movements of the boy were due to drug affiliations. Although this incident isn’t as brutal as the previous two these situations are still unacceptable.These are just three incidents of autistic kids being killed at the hands of our own police enforcement. Now although this is a major point to why autism awareness is important this isn’t the only reason by far.

As of November 2016, 35% of autistic adults live homeless due to the simple fact that companies do not hire the due to their condition. 48% of autistic adults and children in group homes are mistreated not only physically but mentally and emotionally because many employees are not given proper training over autism. My father used to work in a group home and would come home on many occasions telling us stories of how his co-workers would mistreat the kids and adults in the homes. Why should these unique people enjoy life less because of something they couldn’t control ? They are humans just like us and should be given opportunities that fit their unique abilities in order to succeed. 35% of autistic teens stop gaining educational lessons after high school ALE programs. There are hardly any post-graduation programs that help continue the education of autistic kids and the ones that are available cost hundreds of dollars to enroll in.

This is just unfair for those of lower income who want the same opportunities for this autistic children. I have seen all of this first hand as my 15 year old sister has a form of autism called prader willie which is a  genetic disorder that causes obesity, intellectual disability, and shortness in height.Everyday she is looked at in ugly ways, mistreated by kids, adults, and higher authorities due to the fact that she is misunderstood, I’ve seen her come home asking what certain inappropriate words mean because people have called her them throughout the day because they don’t understand why she is the way she is or looks a certain way. I’ve seen this happen multiple times with her and her classmate.

..It’s not a pleasant sight.Many can argue that there are many types of autism and it would be hard to learn all forms of them but if we learn most common forms such as Down Syndrome and Asperger Syndrome we could make a difference in society and allow these amazing kids to prosper in life just like your everyday american. We could also enforce better and more in depth law enforcement training with autistic kids and adults.We see autistic children and adults it’s time to stand up for them and allow them the freedom, protection and opportunities that we have because they are people just like us!As you see these beautiful autistic people remember Temple Grandin’s said “Different, not less”.

Thank you.


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