first_imgAlayna Higdon reacts Tuesday when a Clark County jury acquitted her and John Eckhart of unlawful imprisonment in connection with their practice of locking Eckhart’s two autistic sons in a bedroom secured with a cage-like door. Learn more about autism:n Autism Society of Washington: http://www.autismsocietyofwa.org• Autism Society of Washington Southwest Chapter: http://www.autismsocietyofwa.org/asw-southwest• The Arc of Southwest Washington: http://www.arcswwa.org• Autism Speaks: http://www.autismspeaks.org/• Washington Autism Alliance & Advocacy: http://www.washingtonautism advocacy.org/For autism behavioral therapy in Southwest Washington:n Autism Behavioral Consulting: http://www.autismabc.orgIn light of a jury’s decision to acquit a Vancouver couple of unlawful imprisonment for keeping two autistic boys behind a locked gate, autism experts have weighed in to say that restraint is not the best solution for special needs children — but is a common one.There are resources for parents of severely autistic children, when it reaches the point that the children are harming themselves or others, said Arzu Forough, chief executive officer of Washington Autism Alliance & Advocacy. Forough, a mother of two autistic children, said she strongly supports intensive behavioral therapy to teach the children ways to communicate.“The child needs to be taught to self-advocate about what’s prompting these behaviors,” Forough said.John Eckhart and Alayna Higdon presented a defense that the boys, ages 5 and 7, were locked up in the bedroom for fear they would wander from the apartment at night, injure themselves and eat inedible objects. Two experts, a psychologist and speech therapist, supported this defense.Autism is a disorder where the typicalneurological development of the brain does not occur. People with autism have social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, according to the National Institutes of Health.last_img

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