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Was I being oversensitive? (Attack from student) Watch

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    I'm 26 and work with autistic adults, whom are in their 20s.

    I work mainly with one who is very high on the spectrum and highly vulnerable. He cannot communicate verbally and easily gets stressed, but is never aggressive.

    Occasionally he will grab your hand when stressed, but this rare.

    Today, he was particularly stressed and twice grabbed me in a fairly aggressive manner (in the bus) which hurt.

    Then suddenly out of the blue, we were walking and he attacked me. He put me in a headlock and was pulling my ears and hair. I had to force him off of me/another teacher had to pull him off. It hurt a lot and my ear was hot and bright red, and I had several scratches on my hand.

    I was quite shaken up and close to tears, but nothing was done. I was afraid to go near him as he again tried to lunge at me at one point, so I kept a distance of a few metres.

    I am not angry at him, as I know he is autistic and that he cannot always control his actions. However, I am angry that nobody really checked I was ok. I'm a bit afraid of working with him/sitting close to him now but the school have not checked about this.

    Something that annoyed me was that a group of my colleagues saw that I was walking a couple of metres away from him and were pointing and laughing; aware of what had happened.

    The incident upset me even though I do not blame the student; it is the way that my colleagues handled it and I have had no training in how to deal with this kind of incident. Am I overreacting or should I mention to the school?
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    You're in the vicinity of someone with autism... what did you expect?
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    Not all autistic people are automatically violent. My question was also not about whether the attack was likely to happen or not, but rather how the school/colleagues dealt with it.
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    Kinda **** on their part for laughing to be honest. They should have been professional and helped you out. However, don't worry about it too much because it isn't much serious but if you want to, you can go and talk at your school and inform them of what happened.
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    (Original post by lionheart27)
    You're in the vicinity of an autist... what did you expect?
    Not all autistic people are the same. This is a serious overgeneralisation.
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    You should definitely speak to your manager about the way your colleagues treated you. That sounds awfully callous of them. You're perfectly entitled to feel shaken up by someone roughing you up.
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    That is what comes with working with mentally disabled people and that's probably why your colleagues didn't really ask if you were okay. I work with a disabled woman who will bite you hard (she bites herself extremely hard) if you go near her, she hits your back and can pull at your hair. Another hit a carer and pushed her near train tracks, so he was never allowed to be taken out on his own and was not allowed to be taken on trains by us. You just have to be careful. If you have to be with him alone, then you need to request that you have a colleague with you. Your colleagues sound very immature though and could be a little more sympathetic towards you. Being attacked is shocking and you don't know what they can do to you!

    If you haven't reported the attack, then you need to do so. You must report all incidents, so the person can be assessed and your safety can be assessed. I would also request that you do not continue working with him and give it to someone else if that's possible. It's perfectly reasonable to ask and you should let them know that it shook you up a little bit and the unprofessionalism of your colleagues. I refused to go to a call when a woman shouted abuse at me - you don't have to stick around an abusive situation.

    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I'm 26 and work with autistic adults, whom are in their 20s.

    I work mainly with one who is very high on the spectrum and highly vulnerable. He cannot communicate verbally and easily gets stressed, but is never aggressive.

    Occasionally he will grab your hand when stressed, but this rare.

    Today, he was particularly stressed and twice grabbed me in a fairly aggressive manner (in the bus) which hurt.

    Then suddenly out of the blue, we were walking and he attacked me. He put me in a headlock and was pulling my ears and hair. I had to force him off of me/another teacher had to pull him off. It hurt a lot and my ear was hot and bright red, and I had several scratches on my hand.

    I was quite shaken up and close to tears, but nothing was done. I was afraid to go near him as he again tried to lunge at me at one point, so I kept a distance of a few metres.

    I am not angry at him, as I know he is autistic and that he cannot always control his actions. However, I am angry that nobody really checked I was ok. I'm a bit afraid of working with him/sitting close to him now but the school have not checked about this.

    Something that annoyed me was that a group of my colleagues saw that I was walking a couple of metres away from him and were pointing and laughing; aware of what had happened.

    The incident upset me even though I do not blame the student; it is the way that my colleagues handled it and I have had no training in how to deal with this kind of incident. Am I overreacting or should I mention to the school?
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    That's not a very respectful and considerate thing to say.

    (Original post by lionheart27)
    You're in the vicinity of an autist... what did you expect?
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    Your colleagues should'nt have been laughing though, they should have been there to comfort you.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Not all autistic people are automatically violent. My question was also not about whether the attack was likely to happen or not, but rather how the school/colleagues dealt with it.
    I didn't imply that - but you must've known the dangers or variables associated with someone who is by nature a 'malfunctioned' Human being, only capable of their base instincts.

    To answer your question he/she doesn't know what he/she is doing so its silly to question it... its like asking why a dog chews up a settee when you're not at home - because that's what it wanted to do
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    (Original post by hannxm)
    That's not a very respectful and considerate thing to say.
    I don't see why I'm getting so much flak - I didn't mean that comment in a derogatory way at all. It's like going into a tiger enclosure and wondering why it rips you to shreds - saying 'because its a tiger' wouldn't elicit the same response as you have given me so why say it?
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    You are not getting it. I am not looking for answers as to why he attacked me. I know that. I am only looking for answers regarding my colleagues.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    You are not getting it. I am not looking for answers as to why he attacked me. I know that. I am only looking for answers regarding my colleagues.
    Why they thought it was funny? ... Because it was funny to them... what are not understanding exactly?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I'm 26 and work with autistic adults, whom are in their 20s.

    I work mainly with one who is very high on the spectrum and highly vulnerable. He cannot communicate verbally and easily gets stressed, but is never aggressive.

    Occasionally he will grab your hand when stressed, but this rare.

    Today, he was particularly stressed and twice grabbed me in a fairly aggressive manner (in the bus) which hurt.

    Then suddenly out of the blue, we were walking and he attacked me. He put me in a headlock and was pulling my ears and hair. I had to force him off of me/another teacher had to pull him off. It hurt a lot and my ear was hot and bright red, and I had several scratches on my hand.

    I was quite shaken up and close to tears, but nothing was done. I was afraid to go near him as he again tried to lunge at me at one point, so I kept a distance of a few metres.

    I am not angry at him, as I know he is autistic and that he cannot always control his actions. However, I am angry that nobody really checked I was ok. I'm a bit afraid of working with him/sitting close to him now but the school have not checked about this.

    Something that annoyed me was that a group of my colleagues saw that I was walking a couple of metres away from him and were pointing and laughing; aware of what had happened.

    The incident upset me even though I do not blame the student; it is the way that my colleagues handled it and I have had no training in how to deal with this kind of incident. Am I overreacting or should I mention to the school?
    I think your response was perfectly reasonable. You were physically attacked and that's going to hurt and be scary.
    Wasn't his fault (and you clearly don't see it that way), but that doesn't mean it isn't scary for you.

    Your colleagues should have really asked if you were okay at least, but I guess the situation was probably quite distracting. And I guess working with SEN people you get a bit desensitised to that sort of thing.
    You could mention it if you like, but I don't think it's all that worth it tbh. It'll probably just make you look whiny.
    You're totally in the right though and laughing about it is not nice.

    Hope that helps and that you're okay now.


    edit: do make sure the incident itself was reported though. Work injuries etc ned to be recorded.
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    (Original post by lionheart27)
    I don't see why I'm getting so much flak - I didn't mean that comment in a derogatory way at all. It's like going into a tiger enclosure and wondering why it rips you to shreds - saying 'because its a tiger' wouldn't elicit the same response as you have given me so why say it?
    You're OP was irrelevant. If you'd read what they had put, you'd know they weren't looking for an explanation of why it happened. They're asking for advice concerning their colleagues.
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    A tiger is very likely to attack you and is a wild, unpredictable animal, aka. not a human.

    The vast majority of people with autism do not have it to such a degree that they have a severe learning disability that causes them to physically assault another person. I don't even know why I'm bothering explaining this, you already know what you were doing.

    (Original post by lionheart27)
    I don't see why I'm getting so much flak - I didn't mean that comment in a derogatory way at all. It's like going into a tiger enclosure and wondering why it rips you to shreds - saying 'because its a tiger' wouldn't elicit the same response as you have given me so why say it?
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    (Original post by Racsoix)
    You're OP was irrelevant. If you'd read what they had put, you'd know they weren't looking for an explanation of why it happened. They're asking for advice concerning their colleagues.
    As I said in a comment earlier they laughed because they thought it was funny... **** happens and they probably didn't think it would affect her that badly
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    (Original post by hannxm)
    A tiger is very likely to attack you and is a wild, unpredictable animal, aka. not a human.

    The vast majority of people with autism do not have it to such a degree that they have a severe learning disability that causes them to physically assault another person. I don't even know why I'm bothering explaining this, you already know what you were doing.
    Have you ever met a truly low-spectrum autistic person in real life? They would just as easily play with you as soon as they'd crush you to death... I presumed that as a person of experience in the field of working with such people she'd have the insight to expect such a thing.
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    (Original post by lionheart27)
    As I said in a comment earlier they laughed because they thought it was funny... **** happens and they probably didn't think it would affect her that badly
    Then I apologise. I got a bit sidetracked typing my comment and didn't see you post until after I had submitted my own reply.
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    I've not met a low functioning autistic person, but I work with people with low functioning downs syndrome and other severe learning disabilities, to the point they're like over grown toddlers, who can be very difficult, aggressive and hit out/attack. I pointed out to OP that it's to be expected in such a role though. I've had my hands and nose crushed by one guy; he's also slapped me.

    The issue is that your language suggested that you viewed all autistic people as low functioning who all attack people on a whim, when I believe it's the minority that are severely disabled by autism.

    (Original post by lionheart27)
    Have you ever met a truly low-spectrum autistic person in real life? They would just as easily play with you as soon as they'd crush you to death... I presumed that as a person of experience in the field of working with such people she'd have the insight to expect such a thing.
 
 
 
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