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Special Needs Group Sees Rise In Crisis Calls After Death Of Boy With Autism

screenshot from video by David Ovalle
Miami Herald
Aldo Ripley, father of Alejandro Ripley, speaks to the press.

One Miami-Dade nonprofit says it is experiencing an uptick in calls from parents of children with special needs who are in crisis after the death this week of a 9-year-old boy who had autism.

The death of Alejandro Ripley — who police say was murdered when his mother , Patricia Ripley, pushed the boy into a canal — has rippled throughout the special needs community in Miami, according to Rabbi Yossi Harlig, co-director of Friendship Circle Miami. The organization’s main program pairs children with developmental disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorder or Down syndrome, with children who do not have disabilities.

“One of the concerns is that when someone acts like that, it could trigger other people. You never know,” Harlig said. “Typical families are feeling overwhelmed. Imagine if you’re raising a child with special needs.”

Read more from our news partner the Miami Herald

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