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Helping Native American Children with Autism Poses Challenges for Schools

“He had these meltdowns, and we couldn’t control him,” said Deanna Bear Heels, a member of the Sicangu Lakota tribe living on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. Two years ago, she took custody of her grandson, Nick (not his real name), a 10-year-old boy with a history of behavioral issues. “My sons would have to hold him down until he calmed down,” she said. “At school, he couldn’t function whenever it got too loud in the classroom. And when he’d have one of his episodes, they’d call me to come get him.”


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