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Autistic driver

Published April 25, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Paul Rolly's "When police meet someone with an invisible disability" (Tribune, April 22) affected me with some agitation. He writes about an 18-year-old young man with autism having to spend a night in jail for a Class A misdemeanor, because when he was pulled over for speeding the police "mistook his agitation — due to his autism — for criminally aggressive behavior."

Rolly states that "the incident highlights a growing problem as society assimilates people with autism and other mental disabilities." It is right to train police officers about mental disorders.

However, children not learning responsibility when driving a car is at issue here, too. Is Rolly saying that the boy should not have been punished the way he was for disobeying and shoving the officer?

Should the parents have been notified that their son was in jail? The kid is 18 years old; a night in jail was a good wake-up call for him.

If I were his parent, he'd be riding the bus right now.

Mary C. Barnes

Salt Lake City