In the life of any non-profit organization, there’s always a period in which everything is about getting started. So too with Reform It Now, as we’re just beginning our program developments and implementation of our plans.
Though we only incorporated in late July 2014, we’ve already helped 15 persons in need with referrals or advocacy, including Tyler Loftus, who suffered more than any autistic person should have to, mostly at the hands of bureaucrats and politics.
The cases we’ve assisted primarily focused on helping people find attorneys. In one case, we submitted an amicus brief providing the judge with some guidance about autism behavior to help her know what to expect from the autistic young man before her court, and guiding her management of the case.
The way an autistic person reacts to the normal activity of a court can vary dramatically. An autistic person may react in ways that judges and others may find unacceptable or improper, only because they don’t understand the condition. Under pressure, an autistic person may react by having a meltdown or by repetitive movement or worse, by trying to commit harm to him- or her-self.
There’s another factor people don’t realize about autism – that the autistic like to please others, and so will go out of their way to answer questions posed to them in such a way as to please those they believe to be in charge. They’ll turn to the judge, and finally, realize they have to answer the attorney conducting the examination or cross-examination, will reply in a way they hope is satisfactory. This may be misinterpreted as perjury or lies, but is it?
Reform It Now believes that awareness and education are sufficient to provide safety and the protection of civil rights and liberties to the autistic in our courts. By teaching about autism, we hold that the professionals in our legal system will work to protect the rights of the autistic.
Join us in our efforts to help the autistic. Donate today or help us get started and spread the word.