Tuesday, September 9, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge takes ugly twist

from Ken Amaro from First Coast News:
This summer the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge went viral and now the ugly side of an ice bucket challenge is spreading on social media.
"I can't even look at it," said Leslie Weed, the parent of an autistic child and founder of The HEAL Foundation, which stands for Healing Every Autistic Life.
"There is an explosion of bullying among disabled children," she said.
It happened in Bay Village, Ohio. A 15-year-old autistic boy who was lured into taking the ice bucket challenge got a bucket full of urine, feces and spit dumped on him.
" (It is) very disturbing," said Weed. "This young man didn't even tell his mother she discovered it on his cellphone."
Weed said what parents and advocates for the disabled have come to realize is, traumatic events like this have long-term effects.
"Their sleep patterns are disturbed, their anxiety levels really rise, their behavior tend to get worse and worse," she said.
The outrage on social media is loud and clear.
Drew Carey tweeted he's offering $10,000 to catch the culprits, a vow followed by pledges from Jenny McCarthy and husband Donnie Wahlberg.
Montel Williams said he too will support the effort. Donations have reached $30,000 and rising.
"I was so happy to see that," said Weed.
She said there's an increase in bullying complaints among disabled children ages 6-to-15 because of their vulnerability.
"This is not just autism, it is Down's syndrome, all of this population are vulnerable," she said.
For the family of the teenager it is not only humiliating, it is a crime.
Weed said anyone who sees a disabled child being mistreated should speak up.
"If you see this happening go to their defense, bring it to someone's attention," she said.
Advocates for the disabled are hoping that this cruel incident will send the message loud and clear that bullying is not tolerated at any level.

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