The Special Connection: A Dad Fights Back For His Autistic Son

BY  |  Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012 7:30am  |  COMMENTS (8)

With the statistics that nearly 13 million children suffer in schools and their community every year, we know that bullying happens to children frequently. But a recent NPR story discussed a recent survey, which found that nearly two-thirds of children with autism spectrum disorders have been bullied at some point. And it found that these kids are three times as likely as typical kids to have been bullied in the past month.

Upsetting, but now imagine that the bully is a grown-up. Or even worse than that–your child’s teacher. That’s what happened to Akain, a 10-year-old boy with autism. After notes started coming home from his school in Cherry Hill, NJ, stating that he was having violent outbursts, including him hitting his teacher and aide, Aikian’s father, Stuart Chaifetz, tried to find out why. When nothing came up, he decided to take things into his own hands and put a wire on his son. What he found was extremely disturbing and you can hear for yourself on the video above.

Despite the audio tape proof of bullying, the teacher and one aide did not get fired (one aide did get fired), but were moved to another classroom. Stuart Chaifetz made this video and has started a petition to make sure that teachers who bully children will be fired from their jobs. You can read the petition and sign it here. I did.


  1. POSTED BY herbeverschmel  |  April 25, 2012 @ 8:54 am

    I watched this yesterday it has been all over the news. It is difficult to watch and extremely sad. It goes against all rational thought that the father wasn’t allowed to know the name of the abusers because they are protected by the school district and union. I believe after a tremendous amount of pressure by the father that one was finally fired. I give the father so much credit for what he did for his son and it’s worth watching but at the same time you can’t believe these people were ever hired to care for society’s most vulnerable. Sad.

  2. POSTED BY Mrs Martta  |  April 25, 2012 @ 10:17 am

    I shake my head when I read things like this! Good for that dad. Sometimes I really despise unions. There’s a similar story in the news about abuse of an 87-year-woman in a nursing home in Bergen County. The daughter and grandson suspected something so they installed a “granny-cam” and what they saw was appalling. Who is hiring these people to care for our most vulnerable? What criteria are they using? I really would like to know.

  3. POSTED BY Georgette Gilmore  |  April 25, 2012 @ 10:23 am

    This father is amazing for fighting for his son, who is unable to fight for himself. As someone who taught in special education for 10 years, this really makes me angry. These women, who shouldn’t even dare to call themselves teachers, are despicable human beings. They give a bad name to the many incredible teachers I have known and know now.

  4. POSTED BY green  |  April 25, 2012 @ 10:44 am

    even if you just fast foward to 12:00 and listen to this heartfelt man speak- powerful. amazing dad…

  5. POSTED BY green  |  April 25, 2012 @ 10:44 am

    foward= forward. typo.

  6. POSTED BY Kristin  |  April 25, 2012 @ 11:55 am

    Just an FYI: The aide did get fired; the dad mentions this on his website.

  7. POSTED BY Georgette Gilmore  |  April 25, 2012 @ 11:59 am

    Thanks Kristin. I’ll correct.

  8. POSTED BY Holly Korus  |  April 25, 2012 @ 4:38 pm

    I can’t watch the video. My nephew is on the spectrum. I know he can be difficult. When we are out in public he makes wierd noises, puts his hands in places not considered polite and other things that people find stare-worthy.

    He has run away from me more than once, bitten me many times, taken his whole room apart and everything out of his closet hours after I put the whole thing back together, thrown dozens of my eggs, taken apart my room looking for a dvd, sprayed a fire extinguisher that put me in the hospital and the list goes on….never once have I wanted to hurt him. Never.

    There is a special place in hell for people who do such things.

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