Autistic Mom Jail Tardy

January 6, 2012 by staff 

Autistic Mom Jail Tardy, Sixteen days off so far this school year – made up of some 10 minute tardy’s, and sick days have added up to possible jail time for the mother of an autistic 9-year-old boy.

“If they need to reprimand me or he needs to make it up in summer school or something that’s fine, but jail time is not the answer,” says 27-year-old single mother Andria Black. Andria claims her son’s affliction affects the time she is able to get him to school in the morning.

“Some days he will just shut down on me and not want to go,” Andria says.

After 3 years of trying to work something out, Fitzgerald school district has turned Andria’s case over to the Macomb Country Intermediate School District, where the truancy officer is prosecuting her on charges that could lead to 90 days in jail and lead her son to foster care.

“There has been an ongoing situation with this mother and at some point when things don’t change it has to go to court, our number one priority is educating kids,” said M.I.S.D Deputy Superintendent Don Bollinger.

Thursday morning, Andria and her attorney Deano Ware asked for a jury trial. Ware also wants the case to focus on the number of absences for this school year and not on the absences from the past three years. He says it’s too difficult for Andria to recall why her son was absent or late on a particular day a few years ago.

Both sides are expected back in court on February 16th. So far, no trial date has been set.

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2 Responses to “Autistic Mom Jail Tardy”

  1. Fern on January 6th, 2012 3:17 pm

    It is mind bogling how they are all pointing the finger at a put upon mom. Unless you have walked in our shoes you have no idea how hard it is to care for a child with autism. They tantrum and it can be hard just to get them to put on shoes, never mind honor any time or schedule. She is overwhelmed and needs parent training and respite care for that child. Of course it is ridiculous how they ask her why the child was late or absent. I laugh, having been there. The school will ultimately be happy when the child drops out of school and disappears from their system, as out kids tend to do. That is the true crime and injustice that no one is talking about.

  2. Jennifer Moser on January 6th, 2012 5:06 pm

    The difficulties of having a child with a spectrum/autistic disorder are very great. I would encourage this mother to work with the school on this. My son is Language Expressive Disorder. Sometimes when he is getting ready for school he shuts down as well. We cannot move him without screaming, kicking, and hitting. He is very upset because he knows that he will have to participate in therapy in school and the teachers will not allow him to run away. My son locked himself in the school bathroom while in Special Education at age 3. The janitor had to come in the background and my son was just sitting on the toilet not saying anything and seemed unaware that there was concern for him. Parents of these kids are very misunderstood. In states like California they will give her assistance with an in home assistant to help her with her son. That might help. Therapy early is the answer and I know that my son is 5 years old and its hell getting him to go to school I can just imagine its the same for this big huge kids. And lastly, my husband is with me and does all the physical labor cause I couldn’t do that. He is a stay at home dad because he can pick up our son and carry him the 5 blocks to school if necessary. I know it will get harder when he is older and we are considering putting him in homeschooling.