Mothers of autistic children are speaking out after we reported on an investigation into an incident involving a student defending her autistic friend at Breaux Bridge High School last week.
Reagan Boudreaux was defending her friend Arron when she was allegedly punched in the face by a football player at Breaux Bridge High School. The St. Martin Parish School Board as well as the Sheriff’s Department is actively investigating the case, but have yet to release any official statement.
For parents with children who fall on the autism spectrum, hearing stories like what happened to Aaron and Regan hit close to home.
“School should be a haven for our kids, a school should be one place that I go where they feel safe and secure and where they have an environment that they can learn in,” says Annemarie Resweber.
Annemarie’s son Lane, who has autism, was severely bullied in school.
Lane is now enrolled in school online, which Annemarie says fits his needs very well. But seeing what happened in Breaux Bridge brings back sad memories for their family.
“Often they are made to feel different. They get called names like retarded and our kids are really smart and they understand what that means so it’s extremely hurtful,” says Resweber.
Lane and other students with autism find comfort in routines and schedules.
“For Aaron who was in the lunch line, he’s used to going first that’s normal for him that’s comforting for him. Thank goodness for Reagan, you know she was not only a hero but she’s one of our angels to those of us the parents who have children with autism,” says Resweber.
Reagan is considered a hero by many for what she did that day.
“These are the big concerns, the worries for us as parents of children with autism is that that could’ve been Lane, that could’ve been Aaron and Reagan took the hit for him,” says Resweber.
Annemarie says she hopes this is an opportunity for parents to talk to their kids of all ages about autism, what it means and how to interact with their peers.