Autistic boy, 11, arrested for biting

Kid in handcuffs 
By: Sarah Weiss 

An 11 year old autistic boy was handcuffed by police after they decided that he was a threat to himself as well as other people on his school bus.

Judy Santelices said that her son does not speak and has limited social skills. He also wears a safety harness when he is in public.

Her son learns at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, for students with severe learning disabilities that require special care not provided by public school systems. On his way home from the Kennedy Krieger Institute, the autistic boy became aggressive and he bit two students and his aide, that’s when the bus driver called 911.

"When the police officer arrived he tried to restrain the boy by placing him in handcuffs, he was handcuffed for his own safety and the safety of the others on the bus," police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said.

The mother was called after police have arrested her son. When she boarded the bus, Santelices was shocked to find her son handcuffed with his hands behind his back. Santelices demanded to know how her son got out of his harness in the first place.

“The aide who received training for working with special-education students from the Howard County school system, should know how to handle her autistic son rather than having police handcuff her son,” Santelices said.

Santelices temporarily pulled her son from classes at Kennedy Krieger. School officials said they are working with the family to review the situation and address their concerns. Kennedy Krieger spokesman, Bryan Stark, said, "Our role is to reach out and connect with the family, connect with the school system that's involved and connect with the transportation provider and bring them together to broker a dialogue to figure out what went wrong."

On Friday, the boy’s parents and school officials had a phone conference, to find a way to make the boy's bus ride more comfortable and provide training for the bus driver and aide.



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