Asw. Huttle Examines Ways to Support Autistic Individuals
Steve Adubato goes on-location to the North Ward Center for the “Autism: A Different Way of Thinking” Forum to talk with Deputy Speaker, Asw. Valerie Vanieri Huttle (D) – NJ, about the areas lacking in support for those with autism; the importance of providing help beyond the school system; and the most critical issue: funding of services.
"Hi, I'm Steve Adubato. Coming to you from Newark, New Jersey, the North Ward center. We just finished a panel discussion dealing with autism, and you realize as you watch this program, we're talking about a different way of thinking about autism. We're honored to be joined by a member of the state legislature who's been dealing with, talking about, thinking about autism for a long time, Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle is Deputy Speaker of the General Assembly, a leader in this initiative. Biggest takeaway for you from the panel we just had on autism is? Was? A great discussion. I think we left out a couple of things, that if I may just talk about? Shoot. We talked about research, we talked about support services, but we left out the protection of those kids with autism from abuse and neglect. Several bills have been passed and signed into law to make sure... In the state legislature? Yes. To make sure that the caregivers... don't forget, many caregivers... low wages. We need to raise those wages, and have the professional people there that are trained properly in autism, or with students or children or post 21 adults with autism. We need to make sure that the parents know what's going on if they're in the group homes, if they're in centers, if they're in day programs. So I think it was a great discussion. We had great advocates. But we need to talk about a few of the bad actors as well. What do you mean by that? And we need to protect them. A few of the bad actors. Many times... and what I've heard, children have come home with bruises, and there's physical abuse. And by the way, I want to make it clear. Yeah. If you don't know this about the Assemblywoman when it comes to the issue of bullying, a leader in the legislature... That's true. Well... ...on this issue as well. Is it connected? It certainly is. How so? Especially when you have the high spectrum or the high... I hate to use the word "functioning." There should be a better word. But when you have people with abilities that are able to be included in the community, there's certainly, as we talked about a little bit, about a stigma. And those kids tend to be bullied obviously. And so I think we need to remove the stigma. I think education needs to not only go to the parents and the immediate people that are involved. The entire community. And that... also teacher training, counselor training..."