Local parents of child with autism react to Ohio Ice Bucket Challenge prank

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SPARTA, Mich. -- Outrage continues after a video was posted online showing an autistic Ohio teen doing what he thought was the Ice Bucket Challenge. Instead, urine, feces and spit were dumped onto the 15-year-old instead, law enforcement said.

Rhonda and Chris Carlisle of Sparta said that when they first saw the video, they were heartbroken.

The Carlisles said that their autistic sonTom was also bullied in school.

The Carlisles said that often times children with autism don't realize when they are being picked on, which they said makes them an easy target.

"One of his buddies came up to him and, 'Hey Tom, show me how you are going to dance.'" said Rhonda Carlisle. "And I knew exactly as a parent how that was going to be translated."

The family said that the bullying peaked in high school as students physically assaulted Tom almost daily. "Do you know that every day at lunch time Tom is getting the actual snot beat out of him?" Rhonda said. "These kids are physical with him. They are leaving bruises on him. They are shoving him into the locker."

But the family then reached out to members of the football team, who tookTom under their wing.

The Carlisle's said that the outpour of concern for the Ohio teen in the video is a sign of how the perception of autism has changed over the past decade.

"(Autistic kids) want to be part of the group with everyone else around," said Chris. "They don't want to be singled out. In fact they don't even know they are singled out."

The Carlisles also said that for them, it was extremely important they kept their son Tom involved with other children while in school to help increase acceptance.

The three teens who pulled the prank on the Ohio teen have now been identified by investigators after several celebrities offered rewards for information.

 

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