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Assault on teen with autism in Richmond, B.C. has advocacy group pleading for understanding

Click to play video 'Richmond RCMP looking for witnesses to an unprovoked attack on teen with autism' Richmond RCMP looking for witnesses to an unprovoked attack on teen with autism
WATCH: A distraught father is speaking out about a shocking and unprovoked assault on his son. The teen who has autism was playing basketball at a local court about a week ago, when he was punched, leaving him concussed and bloodied. Rumina Daya has details. A warning: the following story includes disturbing images. – Aug 27, 2020

Warning: This story contains details that may be disturbing to readers. 

A group that advocates on behalf of people with autism is calling for increased empathy and understanding after recent incidents involving young people on the spectrum.

One incident involved an attack on a teen with autism who was playing basketball at a school in the 7100-block of Minoru Boulevard on Aug. 21.

Click to play video 'Devastating report details lack of support for child with autism in B.C.' Devastating report details lack of support for child with autism in B.C.
Devastating report details lack of support for child with autism in B.C – Dec 10, 2018

According to one witness, the suspect was told that the teen had a developmental disability. The suspect still proceeded to punch the boy, police said.

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The victim suffered a facial laceration and concussion, police said.

RCMP say an investigation is ongoing.

Read more: Teen with autism left with cuts, concussion after unprovoked attack, B.C. police say

AutismBC says individuals on the autism spectrum can often display behaviours that appear to be aggressive in nature when in reality they are driven by anxiety or a lack of comprehension.

Click to play video 'First responders receive training on treating people with autism' First responders receive training on treating people with autism
First responders receive training on treating people with autism – Nov 20, 2017

Anyone who has an unexpected interaction with a child on the spectrum should reach out to a parent or caregiver in the area or give the child space to allow their caregiver to intervene, the group says.

“It is our sincere hope that the public will continue to educate themselves and learn to approach perceived misbehaviour with calmness and understanding,” the group said.

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