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Sun Jan 11, 2015, 08:51 AM

Autistic man banned from college for sexual assault after mistakenly hugging, kissing stranger

A Texas man with autism has been accused of sexual assault and banned from a college campus after mistakenly hugging a woman he didn’t know before kissing her on the top of her head, reports NBC-DFW.

Brian Ferguson, 20, was attending special-needs classes at Navarro College’s Waxahachie campus when he thought he saw a woman he knew in a school hallway. The six-foot five-inch Ferguson reportedly hugged the woman and then kissed her on top of her head as a greeting.

According to his mother, Staci Martin, that is how the young man, who has difficulty communicating, greets friends.

“He’s 6’5″, so when he gives hugs, he’ll give you a big hug and kiss you right here on the top of your scalp, ” she explained.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/01/autistic-man-banned-from-college-for-s-assault-after-mistakenly-hugging-kissing-stranger/

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Response to jakeXT (Original post)

Sun Jan 11, 2015, 09:12 AM

1. That's sad

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 11, 2015, 11:20 AM

4. I don't think anyone should walk up and start touching anyone

 

Go around to the front and ensure the person wants that type of greeting. I think the school is right in this case.

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Response to yeoman6987 (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 11, 2015, 02:33 PM

8. He thought he knew her

He can say he's sorry and someone could explain to her - this is why he did it. I'm huge on personal space and boundaries - and don't like men I don't know lunging at me or touching me -

But this one falls in the category of the guy with Aspergers when I was at college who woud touch my mixed chick hair. He was harmless.

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Response to yeoman6987 (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 11, 2015, 08:14 PM

10. Then why not arrest him and throw him in prison for five years?



Are we not capable of extending a little patience and grace towards those whose brains don't process information, including faces, well? Now he's a sex offender. This could affect where and how he lives.

Furthermore, he's been tossed out of a school where his disability was taken into consideration in completing appropriate coursework for a degree.

I don't appreciate being touched by strangers, either. But as a rape survivor, intent has everything to do with it.

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Response to jakeXT (Original post)

Sun Jan 11, 2015, 09:25 AM

2. are we to be outraged? so sad.

 


A six.five man who greets people like a toddler is just not cool in a public college. Sorry but no.

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Response to jakeXT (Original post)

Sun Jan 11, 2015, 09:29 AM

3. I think we should demonize people with mental impairments or disabilities.

 

I'm really pissed about this because there was a 19 year old Autistic female neighbor that used to do the same thing to me nearly every time I saw her. I didn't make a big deal of it (in my head) and just accepted it as one of life's little bumps.

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Response to BlueJazz (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 11, 2015, 11:21 AM

5. You knew her! HUGE difference!!!!

 

Strangers need to learn that is not acceptable. Hopefully this adult will get the message.

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Response to yeoman6987 (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 11, 2015, 11:50 AM

6. He thought that he knew her. He mistakenly took her for someone else.

 

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Response to jakeXT (Original post)

Sun Jan 11, 2015, 12:45 PM

7. I'm cynical, I know, but I always notice that the person swept up in a hug

and kiss is never. . .another adult man. Why is that, hmmm?

I may be completely off-base, but if this 6'5" 20-yr-old man also grabs and hugs his male friends, we can revisit his punishment.

We really don't know enough about his daily behavior to make many judgements, but we also know that school administrators can be totally unable to come up with nuanced solutions to anything.

I don't blame the girl who complained -- no one should be grabbed by a 6'5" complete stranger and be expected to think that's OK. Maybe now his parents will teach him to stop grabbing people, even if he thinks he knows them, and wait for an offered hug from his friends. His parents know how big he is and certainly should have thought ahead about the appropriateness of their large son grabbing others in any way.

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Response to Nay (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 11, 2015, 02:52 PM

9. This I 100% agree with!


They have to have a strongly worded discussion with him and he should be giving her a heart felt apology.

I don't blame the girl who complained -- no one should be grabbed by a 6'5" complete stranger and be expected to think that's OK. Maybe now his parents will teach him to stop grabbing people, even if he thinks he knows them, and wait for an offered hug from his friends. His parents know how big he is and certainly should have thought ahead about the appropriateness of their large son grabbing others in any way.

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Response to Nay (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 11, 2015, 08:17 PM

11. His parents Should Have taught him

to honor boundaries better. But maybe their plate was already full of other things to work on with him. Maybe they are the same way and that's why he didn't know better.

Personally, I think it's an overreaction by the school.

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Response to Ilsa (Reply #11)

Sun Jan 11, 2015, 11:14 PM

12. Of course they should have. The autistic man is not a toddler and should

have learned this; but, as I said in my original post, the school could have handled it much better, perhaps by talking to the young woman who was hugged and explaining why he did it. Maybe they have talked to her, I don't know -- the news story, like so many news stories not done by real journalists, lacks gobs of information that could allow us to make up our minds. As a cynical person, I wonder if that's not the object with most of these no-info, full-outrage stories.

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Response to Nay (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 05:29 PM

13. Just because he has a disability does NOT mean he has no sex drive

 

He may just like women. I happen to like women, but I know better than to grab them and kiss them without their permission. On the other hand I have always found it offensive when female relatives of mine grabbed and kiss me, I did not like it as a pre-teen or as a teenager and I like it even less today, but I accepted it as part of their upbring thus I never brought up charges on them (Please stand away from me and I may shake your hands).

Autism is a mental disorder and like most mental disorders it is more a guideline on how to treat someone as oppose to what is exactly wrong with him.


What is Autism?
Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disability that generally appears before the age of 3

Autism impacts the normal development of the brain in the areas of social interaction, communication skills, and cognitive function. Individuals with autism typically have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities

Individuals with autism often suffer from numerous co-morbid medical conditions which may include: allergies, asthma, epilepsy, digestive disorders, persistent viral infections, feeding disorders, sensory integration dysfunction, sleeping disorders, and more

Autism is diagnosed four times more often in boys than girls. Its prevalence is not affected by race, region, or socio-economic status. Since autism was first diagnosed in the U.S. the incidence has climbed to an alarming one in 68 children in the U.S.

Autism itself does not affect life expectancy, however research has shown that the mortality risk among individuals with autism is twice as high as the general population, in large part due to drowning and other accidents.

Currently there is no cure for autism, though with early intervention and treatment, the diverse symptoms related to autism can be greatly improved and in some cases completely overcome.

Autism Facts & Stats

Autism now affects 1 in 68 children

Boys are four times more likely to have autism than girls

About 40% of children with autism do not speak. About 25%–30% of children with autism have some words at 12 to 18 months of age and then lose them. Others might speak, but not until later in childhood

Autism greatly varies from person to person (no two people with autism are alike)

The rate of autism has steadily grown over the last twenty years

Comorbid conditions often associated with autism include Fragile X, allergies, asthma, epilepsy, bowel disease, gastrointestinal/digestive disorders, persistent viral infections, PANDAS, feeding disorders, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, ADHD, Tourette Syndrome, OCD, sensory integration dysfunction, sleeping disorders, immune disorders, autoimmune disorders, and neuroinflammation.

Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder, yet most underfunded

A 2008 Danish Study found that the mortality risk among those with autism was nearly twice that of the general population

Children with autism do progress – early intervention is key

Autism is treatable, not a hopeless condition

http://nationalautismassociation.org/resources/autism-fact-sheet/


Sorry, expulsion is NOT the answer, but coaching (in the sense someone both watch him to make sure he stops doing it AND warn women of his tendency) is the better approach.

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Response to happyslug (Reply #13)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 06:59 PM

14. Uh, I didn't say he didn't/shouldn't have a sex drive. I said his parents

didn't treat him like he was a large man with a sex drive when they didn't teach him to generally keep his hands to himself. The parents come off as pretty naive, really.

And no, I do not think he should have been expelled unless there is much more to this story than we know. I would feel better if the stranger he grabbed came forward and said she understood what happened and was OK with the explanation, but the story doesn't report on that.

Many children and adults don't like being hugged and kissed by relatives, so you, especially, should be able to imagine how that college girl felt when she was grabbed by a large, strong, strange man. She would be doubly alarmed and upset, don't you think?

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Response to jakeXT (Original post)

Fri May 8, 2015, 08:44 AM

15. The problem with this is the sexual overtones

our culture associates with physical contact. We are a sex obsessed species. And so we will apply a sexual motive to any kind of closeness even when it might not be there as in the case of this autistic man. If sex (and violence) wasn't such a preoccupation of our species, who's to say strangers couldn't greet each other this way without worrying about motives?

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Response to jakeXT (Original post)

Sat Jul 18, 2015, 06:53 PM

16. I have his same diagnosis.....

To me this is harsh beyond reason. There is this thing that some of us have called Face-Blindness. I had it myself as a kid. It was hard sometimes to distinguish between classmates when they had similar features like same hair color and same eye color.

I used to hug people all the time as kid, even in my late teens. It helped serve as a coping mechanism when it came to school as the medication I took amplified my sensory problems. Now I'm not saying that he shouldn't be more careful as to who he hugs. But did any you wonder why does it. Maybe as a way of expressing gratitude for a person's friendship ?


Lastly calling this sexual assault is fucking bullshit. Okay call it inappropriate or call it unintended harassment if you want and tell him to be more careful. But don't expel the kid for chrissakes.

Oh no wait I forgot, Asperger's=Tard= Eventual Criminal Deviant. Cause, ya'know, every single person with a Neurological, Developmental, Cognitive, or Intellectual Disability is just a Rape or homicide waiting to happen, right ?

I wonder what would have happened if this was a Neurotypical guy who accidentally mistook the girl for his girlfriend because of similar sense of style, hair, and perfume. Would he have gotten expelled ? A part of me doubts it.

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Response to De Leonist (Reply #16)

Tue Aug 18, 2015, 03:19 AM

17. Our society is transforming to a state where cell phone lanes are the new normal



I wonder if listening to somebody in person, instead of your ipod ear phones will be frowned upon in the future.

I once didn't recognize my cousin after I hadn't seen him for years.


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