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.
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.
The victim suffered a facial laceration and concussion, police said.
RCMP say an investigation is ongoing.
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.
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.