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Family Speaks Out About Being Sued for Behavior of Son With Autism

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After lots of media attention, a family being sued because of the behavior of their child with autism is finally speaking out.

Parul Agrawal and Vidyut Gopal are being sued by two families from their former Sunnyvale, California, neighborhood who claim the couple’s 11-year-old son with autism was a “public nuisance” and wreaked havoc, potentially causing property values to fall, NBC News reported. The neighbors are accusing Gopal and Agrawal of not doing enough to control their son, who reportedly assaulted children as well as other people in the neighborhood.

In July, a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge issued a preliminary injunction against the parents and, after seven years in their former home, the family moved to another Sunnyvale neighborhood. A judge has ordered court-supervised mediation, scheduled for December to settle the lawsuit, filed by Kumaran Santhanam and Bindu Pothen and Robert and Marci Flowers.

I find it offensive that people assume I have no compassion for an autistic family when I am simply trying to defend and protect my children from being assaulted,” Robert Flowers told Mercury News. “This is not about autism. This is about public safety.”

In an interview with Good Morning America on Nov. 3, Gopal said he and his family would move back to their old neighborhood if the issue could be resolved.

We never imagined that something like this could happen to our family,” Parul Agrawal told ABC News. “Every extra day we have to go through this lawsuit, it takes our focus away from helping our child.”

This is the first time in California history that someone has gone to court to try and get a child with a disability declared a public nuisance, according to ABC.

Get more on the story from the video below: 

Related: What You Miss When You Call a Child With Autism a ‘Public Nuisance’

Originally published: November 4, 2015
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