According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 88 children in the United States is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. And though autism awareness is improving, the public perception of these disorders still holds a certain amount of stigma. Nancy Redd hosted a segment on HuffPost Live exploring autism today and how we can better educate the public as well as educators on issues surrounding autism.
Redd spoke with Stuart Chalfetz, a father and autism activist in Cherry Hill, NJ, about how schools can better serve autistic children. After seeing his autistic son's behavior begin to change, Chalfetz taped a recording device to him to find out how he was being treated at school. What he found out was astounding.
"His teacher and aides had been verbally abusing him and bullying him," Chalfetz said. "And one of the reasons I believe they did it and said some of the things that they did was because they probably thought that no one would ever find out."
Joining Chalfetz and Redd to discuss how autistic people are treated outside their homes were Michael Rosenthal, a pediatric neuropsychologist at Child Mind Institute, Trevor Pacelli the autistic author of '6 Word Lessons: Growing Up Autistic' and his mother Patty Pacelli, the co-founder of Pacelli Publishing.