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US Autism & Asperger Association

June 5, 2014

Welcome to USAAA Conference News updates for the USAAA 2014 World Conference, September 4-7, Kansas City, Missouri.

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15-year-old autistic boy allegedly TASERed by Roanoke Rapids police

Related story to tasered 15-year-old- three racially-segregated school districts

Editor's note: After Rev. Nehemiah Smith, Jr., who informed us of the story of a child being tasered in Eastern North Carolina, we search tasered autism in Google and here are some of the headlines:
Teacher to autistic boy stuck in chair: You want to get tasered?
Oregon State Police Taser Autistic Child Found Wandering
Parents of autistic boy who was Tasered question police
Georgia Man Says Autistic Son Tasered
Hawthorne to vote on $300k settlement for Tasered autistic teenager
Oregon State Police use taser on 11-year-old autistic girl
Police State: Autistic teen beaten, tasered and arrested
Police Taser autistic boy after fight
12 Year Old Autistic Boy Tasered At School
and the list continues...

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15-year-old autistic boy allegedly TASERed by Roanoke Rapids police
Family and community seeking justice for teen

By Rev. Nehemiah Smith, Jr.
May 2014

ROANOKE RAPIDS, NC - On or about April 5th, 2014, it was a quiet night at the Gorham house and everything seemed to be going as usual, that is until there came a knock at the door.

According to Nancy Gorham, between 11:30 p.m. and midnight Roanoke Rapids Police officers Oakley and Baggett came to the door of her home at 1012 Cedar Street in Roanoke Rapids, NC, looking for Jamonte' Gorham, a young black man with long locks.

"He does not reside at that residence," said his mother, Nancy Gorham.


As a result of this attack, the child is afraid to go to sleep; he screams most of the night saying, "hurt me momma", having no clue what has happened to him.

Javonte Gorham's back after allegedly being tased by Roanoke Rapid police officers.
Javonte Gorham's knee after allegedly being tased by Roanoke Rapid police officers.

After the alleged attack they put this child in handcuffs, took the child to the police station and after trying to question him, realizing that he could not speak, then they released him to his mother saying they would be issuing a warrant on him for resisting arrest, and he would be given a court date. There has been no mention of this in the Roanoke Rapids newspaper.


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Three racially-segregated school districts

Editor's note: After Rev. Nehemiah Smith, Jr. alerted the USAAA WeeklyNews of the allegedly tasered Javonte Gorham in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, Rev. Smith said that not only was he "outraged", but added "I want the full force of all those who care about the safety and well being of those with autism to come to bear on this police department and these brutal cops". He later explained, " Not only is it difficult enough to hear about the horrific events of a young non-verbal child with autism being tased, but I want everyone to know that he lives in a county (Halifax, NC) that is segregated and he is bused many miles to an all black public school".

"Can you believe that is has been 60 years since the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education and here we are in Halifax County with segregation in the public school system," said Rev. Smith.

Sarah Ovaska, explains in her article (1/26/2012), Shattered dreams, economic disparity in rural NC, "The county has had three separate school districts since the 1910s, two of the school districts (Halifax County School District and the tiny Weldon City School District) are nearly 100 percent non-white, while the remaining school district, the Roanoke Rapids Graded School District, has a student population that’s 70 percent white, according to the UNC report. The Halifax County school system performs at such low levels that it's under a court order to improve, though both of the other school districts are also struggling to provide quality educations."


"You’ve got this clear racial and socio-economic isolation in these three school districts," Dorosin said. "Roanoke Rapids is this white island or enclave in the middle of this predominantly non-white county." The report declared that the segregation was unconstitutional, and called for the school districts to merge.

"The civil rights movement must have jumped over us and went to right to Virginia because it never did come here," Grant said. "We’ve had complete white flight from the county school system."


Access to USAAA Newsletter Archive 2005 - 2014
To leave comments, go to our Blog.

conference news update



Over 30 of the world’s most respected researchers, practitioners, and education specialists in the Autism Spectrum Disorders community come to Kansas City, Missouri to share valuable resources for your child, family member, patient, friend, student, or yourself. Join us at the award winning Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza hotel September 4-7, 2014.

they are coming to kansas city

dr. demio
tim page
dr. herbert
Dr. Shore
Internationally recognized expert physician
Pulitzer Prize winner
and USC professor
Harvard professor - cutting edge of autism research
World renowned professor of special education

dr. shaw
raun kaufman
Dr. Hu
Dr. Kaplan
Researcher of the biochemical basis of autism
Subject of an award-winning NBC television movie
GWU Professor identifying new biological pathways
Chief investigator for first study on early diagnosis

Introducing for the first time:
Self-Advocates in a TEDx-style, short-form presentation with five presenters in combined one hour plenary session.

Special plenary sessions:
The Doctors and Researchers Q&A Panel Discussion
Ten Tips to Reduce Brain Overload by Martha Herbert, MD, PhD
Self-Advocacy - Challenges Throughout the Lifespan Panel with Tim Page, DFA, Pulitzer Prize winner and USC professor of music, communication and journalism; Stephen M. Shore, EdD, world renowned professor of special education at Adelphi University; Jennifer O'Toole, Founder of Asperkids and teacher; Raun Kaufman, subject of an award-winning NBC television movie; Christopher Gauthier, MFA, Assistant Professor of Art, Photography at Utah State University
Bringing It All Together. Plus more.

Medical/Biomedical track:
Biomedical Interventions: Treating the Underlying Causes of the Symptoms by Dr. Phillip C. Demio
The Detection and Treatment of the Most Common Biochemical Abnormalities in Autism by William Shaw, PhD
A Compelling Story of Recovery by Lori Knowles-Jimenez and Daniel Knowles
New Discoveries in the Underlying Pathobiology of Autism by Valerie Hu, PhD
Diagnosis of and Treatment for Disorders that are Comorbid with Autism by Ted Henderson, MD, PhD
Functional Imaging of the Brain - New Discoveries by J. Michael Uszler, MD
Nutrition and Cooking: Guidance for Beginners and Beyond by Julie Matthews, CNC. Plus much more.

School track:
Music, the Carrier Signal for Verbal Communication by world renowned professor of special education, Stephen M. Shore, EdD
New and Effective Interventions in Schools
Assessing and Teaching Functional Living Skills to Individuals of All Ages Using The AFLS™ by Jim Partington, PhD, BCBA
The Continuums of Autism: Cognition, Sensory Processing and Behavior by Marlo Payne Thurman, MS. Plus much more.

Other sessions:
10 Key Steps to Finding a Job and Keeping It

Parents Facing a Lifetime of Daunting Challenges Panel
Nutrition Workshop: Supplements, Kids, and Fun with your Blender

Support Services Panel (for support in Kansas and Missouri)
Improvements in Overall Behavior
Autism Breakthrough: Tantrums and Other Challenging Behaviors
Special exclusive interview with Tim Page. Plus more.

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