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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Autistic Young Adults Being Labeled Violent Sex Offenders for Life in Virginia


The below comes from The Arc, for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities website. 

I have previously posted (http://goo.gl/D7VZLo , http://goo.gl/XvhRKE , http://goo.gl/Al9r0y , http://goo.gl/eoquyw) about young Autistic people being labeled Violent Sex Offenders for life. 

The below Arc post is about a young Autistic Virginian who was swept up in the Commonwealth’s Sexual Predator hysteria in which sentences are applied as one-size-fits-all no matter what the specifics of the individual case might be.  

Mary Devoy 

 

Mislabeled a Sex Offender: The Kelmar Family’s Fight for Justice, April 6, 2016

My name is Brian Kelmar, and I am the father of a 24 year old son who has autism and auditory and sensory processing disabilities. Our nightmare began almost six years ago, right after my son graduated high school. It’s a case of the “perfect storm” that resulted in my son being punished and treated as an outcast in our community and in society. 

Do words like “trusting, bullied, eager to please, and not understanding social situations” sound familiar? These words describe my son and how he interacts and/or experiences the world around him.  Like others with autism, he had few friends growing up, let alone a girlfriend.  That core need for friendship hasn’t changed. He continues to long to fit in and feel included, and have friends in his life that he can talk to. So, when a female friend of my younger son started texting my son, he was so happy that he found someone nice to talk to. 

The girl’s texts started innocently enough with just small talk.  The communication began when he was away at a college summer orientation where he was learning about the autism program he was to begin in the fall. The texting from her soon became very sexually aggressive, and he did not understand what the texts were about. He answered her questions with short words or answers, such as “like”, “what”, “ok”, and “huh”? She pointed out to him, “you really don’t understand what I am talking about” in regards to her sexual statements like “friends with benefits” and “hooking up,” along with more graphic content which he did not understand. When reading the back and forth texting, it’s clear to anyone reading these messages that they were going right over my son’s head.