Thousands outraged over video showing autistic boy left out in the cold in Summit County

Video taken by woman who wanted to be kept anonymous goes viral.
Video taken by woman who wanted to be kept anonymous goes viral.(N/A)
Updated: Jan. 29, 2020 at 4:43 AM EST
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SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WOIO) - A video captured outside an Akron-area Walmart has infuriated thousands of people. It shows a little boy standing outside a car in a parking lot wearing shorts and no coat.

The woman who took the video did not want to be identified, but she did want to share this story.

She told 19 News, “He was, like, holding onto the door handle and kicking his feet, and I saw the mother in the car, so, I asked the person with me, I’m like, ‘Is that little boy just outside?’ And he said, ‘Maybe he’s waiting for his mom to get out,’ so, I waited in my car for like five minutes.”

The woman says when she first saw the boy, she asked the mother why he was outside and was told he was in timeout. She went into Walmart and when she came out the boy was still standing there. You can hear her boyfriend confront the woman.

“You had this baby outside for five minutes with no coat on, look at his legs!” the boyfriend yells at the mother.

“When you have an autistic son, you’ll understand!” the boy’s mother screams back.

“You don’t stick a kid outside, man,” the boyfriend replied.

“It was snowing, and it was raining,” the woman who took the video said. “His nose was red, his body was red and that was her only explanation--he was in timeout, and if I had an autistic child I would understand.”

The video has now been shared thousands of times.

“I didn’t expect it to go that far, but it did,” the woman said.

What has a lot of people really upset is the mother in the video works for the Autism Society of Greater Akron.

“I know when autistic children act out or they’re not behaving there’s another way to go about disciplining your child than leaving him out,” the woman said. “The flu is going around, children are dying from the flu. It’s not the time of year or the way to discipline a child.”

The Autism Society of Greater Akron sent us the following statement:

“The Autism Society of Greater Akron is aware of a video that’s circulating on social media of a man alleging child abuse by a mom who serves as an instructor in our swim program. We’re taking appropriate steps to gather details about the situation and as the facts are gathered we encourage the public not to jump to conclusions about the video. The safety and compassion for kids with autism are of the highest priority of ASGA.”

“I don’t have children, but I know that mothers get frustrated and if you’re that frustrated then maybe you should ask for help,” the woman said. “There’s other ways of disciplining your children and sticking them in the freezing cold is not one of them.”

Springfield Township Police are also investigating.

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