A teen with Asperger’s Syndrome who was viciously beaten because of his condition is not pressing charges against his attackers, asking instead that they watch a video he made to educate them about his condition.
Gavin Joseph, who recently graduated from high school in New Baden, Illinois, was beaten up at the end of June by teens who taunted him for spending most of his time by himself.
The attack left the teen with a concussion, a bruised esophagus, a huge black eye and a fracture on his nose, but he decided not to take legal action. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Gavin Joseph, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, was attacked by bullies in his home town of New Baden, Illinois (photo: Facebook).
Instead of suing his attackers, Gavin made a 20-minute video to explain what it feels like to live with Asperger’s, a form of autism, and asked that the bullies watch it with their families present.
Gavin’s mother, Courtnie Stone, wrote about her son’s response to the attack on Facebook and shared pictures of his injuries.
The mother wrote that Gavin “makes everyday interactions with people very difficult” and has trouble making and keeping friends.
The condition forces him to spend a lot of time out on his own and some of his peers think this is “weird” and “creepy”, the mother explained.
2. Gavin, pictured here eating soup after being hit repeatedly in the face (photo: Facebook).
3. Gavin is pictured above with a friend graduating from Wescin Senior High School not long ago.
On Friday, a teen called Gavin to meet somebody, but when he arrived the person who contacted him and his friends attacked him and left him bleeding on the pavement.
Stone wrote on Facebook that the attackers “didn’t ask questions, didn’t get to know Gavin, never met him, and didn’t give him a chance to leave”. She added:
He was called to meet someone, surrounded by people he didn’t know, choked, punched, and left laying on the pavement so he would “learn his lesson”.
If you are reading this, I hope you talk to your teens, tell them about disabilities you can’t see, teach them to be tolerant of people that are different, teach them that if they continuously see someone alone that maybe it is not their choice to be alone, remind them to ask questions first and get to know one another.
4. Gavin, pictured above with a friend, asked that his attackers make an effort to hear more about his condition.
The mother wrote:
Gavin is fine. He has a mild concussion, a bruised esophagus, the tip of his nose fractured, and hematoma in his eye, but nothing permanent.
He did not press charges, but requested their community service be disability-related, that they write a paper on Asperger’s, and that they watch a 20 min video statement he taped while their families were present so they could see the damage they did and hear the event from his perspective.
I am so proud of him, and I hope a lesson will come of this to all that hear about it.
5. See the world through the eyes of someone with Asperger’s Syndrome.
Read more: Facebook.
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