Third Grader Handcuffed: Cop Sparks Outrage By Handcuffing Boy With ADHD

ADHD Handcuffs

A video of an 8-year-old Kentucky boy diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who was handcuffed by a sheriff’s deputy at his school has led to a national debate about the best way to discipline children with disabilities.

The sheriff’s deputy, Kevin Sumner, is facing a federal lawsuit for handcuffing the boy seen in the video and a 9-year-old girl, reports CNN.

Sumner’s attorney has stated Sumner was doing what the law requires and the Kenton County sheriff’s office has said the officer followed law enforcement standards when he handcuffed the children who were placing themselves and others in danger. However, experts who treat and work with children diagnosed with ADHD say that using handcuffs is not an appropriate way to discipline children with ADHD.

According to The Guardian, executive director of TASH, a nonprofit advocacy group for people with disabilities, Barb Trader said, “handcuffing a child can lead to re-traumatization and can result in PTSD.” These incidents are “far more common than we’d like to know,” she added.

Federal law protects secluding and restraining students. An investigation by NPR and ProPublica showed that such incidents happened more than 267,000 times in schools during 2012. Of these students, three-fourths had disabilities of some sort.

“My stomach is already in knots thinking about the next school year,” said author Penny Williams whose 12-year-old son has been diagnosed with ADHD.

My stomach is already in knots thinking about the next school year and thinking about what hurdles we will have going on this.

Recent research by King’s College London in the UK discovered that children with ADHD who have higher IQ’s are more likely to “grow out” of the condition in their teens than those with average, or lower, IQs, reports The Independent.

The researchers examined 110 young children with ADHD and 169 control cases over a period of six years. They tested IQ, attention span, levels of drowsiness and reaction time in the children and did follow up testing over the next 6.6 years.

The research concluded that in the cases where ADHD had “gone into remission” the individuals had a higher IQ than in those where the ADHD persisted.

In an unrelated study, researchers found that birth order for siblings has no real world impact on personality or IQ.

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