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Autistic 7-Year-Old Could Face Battery Charges

Last updated on Saturday, March 16, 2013

(LOGANSPORT) - “I don’t think that it’s justice for him to be 7 years old and have battery charges,” said Brandi Velasquez.

WLFI reports, that's the reaction that came from Velasquez after she heard her 7-year-old autistic son Noah could face battery charges for punching his teacher.

Velasquez said Noah was upset in class and was lying on the floor. According to Velasquez, when the teacher tried to pick him up by the arm, he hit her.

"In an autistic child, nobody knows how they think," said Velasquez. "This poor innocent child was traumatized by it."

Velasquez said Noah has a behavior plan that states when he's upset, he's not to be touched.

Franklin Elementary School Principal Haylee Ladow said she can't comment on specific cases, due to student privacy laws.

However, she said she knows the teacher handled the situation appropriately.

"We have policies and plans and procedures that we follow for our students to ensure their safety, as well as others," said Velasquez.

Yet, Velasquez said he is not happy with those procedures, or the fact that despite many attempts, the school will not identify her medically diagnosed autistic son as a special needs child in school.

Special Services Supervisor Cinda Milan said there's a reason for that.

"If it's not affecting their school progress, we would not identify," said Milan. "So, we're looking more for more on how it's affecting education performance for the child."

Velasquez said she met with school administrators on Wednesday to discuss the issue.

She has since decided to place Noah in a different school, and said at the end of the day, she knows what Noah did was not right.

However, she said pressing charges on a kindergartner isn't right either.

"I am Noah's voice and I will fight until the end for him," said Velasquez.

Logansport Detectives said the case has been turned over to the Cass County Prosecutor. He said it is unknown how soon a decision could be made.

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