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Message
Posted by Dr. Chung on February 19, 2000 at 18:39:27:

In Reply to: HELP PLEASE!! posted by Aerin on February 10, 2000 at 20:14:57:

: Hey guys! OKay, I need info and opinions quick! here's the deal:

: I am a female student at a middle school. A male student(Chad)in my homeroom has touched me and my best friend inappropietly. My friend (Adryien) and I have gone to two teachers and have discussed the situation. The teachers simply said that beause Chad has CP, he cannot control his hands. Afterwards, Chad has touched me once more and Adryien twice more. Each time, we have gone to the teachers, but still, they refuse to listen. They continue to say that it is because of Chad's disorder. Recently, I had a little chat with Chad's cousin, Brittany (who is my age), about his condition. She said that his case of CP only affects his legs, and has nothing to do with his hands.
: So, Adryien and I have written a letter to our teachers (we havn't sent it yet) about the situation. However, we feel that unless we have dire proof of Chad's specific case, they'll still not believe us. So, does anyone know where I can find info on a situation where one's legs are affected and not his hands? Yes, it's a pretty narropw search, but any info I can find is useful. Also, if anyone knows about this kind of thing from their minds, please share it with me! Otherwise, Chad *will* get away with sexual harassment. Please, either write your responses on this MB or e-mail it to be personally! PLEASE!!! THANK YOU!!! :)

: Aerin
: scrubbyduc@aol.com

Reply:

Dear Aerin,

Cerebral palsy in the simplest term is....like a baby who had a stroke before birth. What this means is that the person (before they were born) did not have enough oxygen going to their brain for a short period of time. It may be due to many reasons, however the effects on the person depends on the part of the brain that was affected. For that reason, people with cerebral palsy may have so little effect that nobody can tell unless special test are performed. Some people with cerebral palsy can attend school up into college, while others are severely affected so that they care like a baby for the rest of their lives. If this person (Chad) is in a normal class (math, etc..) that means his intelligence (logical thinking) is "normal". If that is the case, then Chad knows exactly what he's doing. However, if Chad is in only special education types of class to help him learn how to care for himself (brush his teeth, make friends, etc.) then he may not know what types of touching is considered "right" or "wrong". In this second case, Chad doesn't understand. He would be like a baby who pulls on your hair and earrings, but doesn't understand that they shouldn't because it hurts you, etc. My question is what is his intellectual abilities. Yes, it is also possible for Chad to have only motor problems. Meaning that he needs help with walking because his muscles don't work like yours or mine. Yes, he can have only his legs affected. It can be one leg, both legs, one leg and one arm, etc.

Regardless, I think you should ask some questions. If your teacher is not being helpful,...I agree with Gary. Go talk to your parents. Your parents can make sure that Chad's touching stops. One way or another. Your parents can also help you find out how severely affected Chad is by his cerebral palsy. Even if he is totally unable to think for himself, the school should protect you and your friends from feeling "violated". If Chad is indeed unable to know "right" from "wrong", he should have an Aid to help him at school. The Aid will make sure that he doesn't act inappropriate towards others. In addition, the Aid is suppose to make sure that other people don't act or touch Chad inappropriately if he is not capable of protecting himself.

By the way, Aerin, I applaud you for making the effort to research Chad's problem so that you may better understand the condition. Many people wouldn't bother taking the time. If you have any questions, you can e-mail me. I hope this was helpful. Good Luck!

Dr. Chung

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