Autism is Not The New Normal: Bronx Mother (Allegedly) Murders Autistic Son
Order Ready, Set, Potty! By Brenda Batts for Autism and Developmental Disorders

Young Man With Autism Dies, Forgotten in Hot Car

Bryan nevins 20 year old Bryan Nevins died after being left in a hot car by his "caregivers" who didn't notice he was missing until his meds were due.

Didn't notice he was missing until his meds were due.

Didn't notice he was missing until his MEDS WERE DUE.

This story is a stark reminder of what little boys and girls might face as they become adults. Our sincere condolences to Bryan Nevin's family.

Read more at NBC Philadelphia and Gothamist. A follow up to the story is HERE.

Autistic Man Left in Hot Car by Caregiver Dies

Investigators want to know how a man with autism could be left inside a van for hours in the intense heat just steps from the facility where he lived.

The unidentified 20-year-old man died after spending more than five hours inside a van operated by Woods Services in Middletown Township, Pa. last Saturday, police say.

The man, whose autism left him unable to speak, was in the backseat of the van for a return trip from Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pa. with three other residents and two caregivers.


accident attorney

I am quite certain that Bryan Nevins did not contribute in any way to his own death. To suggest that Bryan Nevins might have been able to save himself by merely opening the van door, is both ignorant and cruel. Shame on you, Robert Schultz.


My cousin was autistic and went to the same school. Last november during the night he some how go out of the school, he ran to the high and jumped off the overpass and was hit by 3 cars. My cousin was killed because of the lack of attention that is paid to these children, this is sick and cruel and I pray for the family that has just lost this child. This school needs to be shut down immediately!


that is my cousin r.i.p brian <3 love you


dcbmom I do not have God complex I have a father who has a daughter with autism who happens to be a serious physician and surgeon complex. I am actually quite a humble person however I am staunch in my beliefs and I am preservant in my attitude toward autism and it's etiology and I will not change that view until the proper studies hve been done by the proper unbiased and credible people.

With that being said you are correct and we all are in total agreement(believe it or not) that the people who did this to that young man should be fired AND(I would go a step further) they should go to jail for manslaughter! However that wil not happen as we simply do not have that type of society anymore. Further dcbmom we are all deathly afraid some incident like that could happen to our child too!!

Hey dcbmom we are on the same side I spend my entire day talking to people about orthopaedics and spine surgery and autism and many people and especially physicians, are just like I was before I researched the literature, they believe the propaganda and tales of cures and disease prophylaxis by vaccines from drug companies and because they are not up on the actual literature they are not actually competent to indulge anyone on the merits of vaccination, however they still go around telling people what they have been taught and could never confirm. Talk about a successful multilevel marketing ploy, if it was not for autism the pharmaceutical companies would get away with murder!!
Finally dcbmom this is your web site and blog too and do not be put off because I or anybody else wears there heart on their sleeve about their child. We will not always agree but you should still come and check it out because there is a tremendous amount of information by non medical people who have done their homework quite well( believe me I check it ALL THE WAY OUT )and it is extremely useful for treatment of your child as well as information etc.

My comments are not made with any malicious intent at all, and I am certainly not here to blow my own horn with tales of greatness. I just want what is best for ALL OF OUR CHILDREN and in my view the people that have imposed this vaccine scam are culpable at all levels.

Please feel free to count me as a person you can ask about anything orthopaedically or about spine surgery or vaccines or autism and I will give you my best answer or opinion or tell you simply that I do not now know but will research it for you. We are on the same team.



DR...Offit may be an idiot, but the place the young man was at that died needs to be SHUT DOWN!!! PEOPLE NEED TO BE FIRED!!! another child/adult with a disability will be hurt by there negligence and I do not see how you can possibly argue with that. WIth that being sai, I do not think I have ever encountered a more rude or arrogant individual with such a GOd complex on any message board or comment site.


Dcbmom said
“First of all,as a lowoly law person who can not possibly understand the medical field and all of your big fancy mumbo jumbo (rolls eyes) I would like to see proff that 100% of Autism cases are regressive autism!!!! A lot”

dbcmom Before shooting your pen off. Try actually READING my second post I made where I introduced myself to you and clearly posted that Prader Willi Syndrome and Fragile X are inherited and the inheritance pattern is known. You were so consumed with my appropriate criticism of your comments you missed the entire point of the post. It is quoted below

"Vaccines are a medical fraud and a hoax and yes unless this child has fragile X or Prader Willie he has vaccine initiated autism."

Clearly you do not understand the point I am making I realize that this is junior high school biology, Mendelian genetics and all, but pray tell what exactly is the inheritance pattern for classic regressive autism? There is none!!

Please read the very thorough analysis of the literature, what you might call “big fancy mumbo jumbo (rolls eyes)” concerning genetics and autism by Mark Blaxill, an attorney and editor of AOA, where he clearly delineates through a complete review of the current articles that there is no scientific evidence that regressive autism is genetic. The information, and it is ALL there, reveals a conflicting set of results from multiple studies all of which support different suggestions of possible genetic links however proves none something you would would refer to as “big fancy mumbo jumbo (rolls eyes)”.

They have spent a considerable amount of economic resources trying to cover up the link of vaccines to autism and putting it on your genetic makeup and this is simply not possible. Again dbcmom Autism other than Prader-Willi syndrome- which is due to the loss of expression of maternally imprinted (paternally expressed) genes on the chromosome 15 of paternal origin. In approximately seventy per cent of cases this is due to a deletion, 15q11-q13, and in most other cases both copies of chromosome 15 are maternal in origin (maternal disomy) with no paternal copy. Rarely, it will arise as a result of a chromosomal translocation or a mutation in the imprinting centre, which may be transmitted through unaffected carriers.

The other well documented and clearly proven inherited cause of autism is Fragile X- Fragile X, as its name implies, has an inheritance pattern of X-linked recessive. The gene causing Fragile X is called FMR-1 and is found on the X chromosome. This gene contains repeats of the trinucleotide CGG. Individuals with more than 200 repeats have Fragile X Syndrome and some degree of mental impairment. (There can be as many as 1,000 repeats of this sequence).

As there is no real scientific study that shows a reliable inheritance profile and pattern how can you say that autism is genetic if you cannot tell me which genes are responsible? How the genes are transmitted? If they are autosomal or sex linked, dominant or recessive?. If you or anyone else for that matter are going to insist on a genetic origin of regressive autism you really must have those answers otherwise your opinion and information is just “big fancy mumbo jumbo (rolls eyes)” actually in your case it would be small fancy mumbo jumbo (roll at least 1 eye):).



Dr./Surgon: WOW!!! Where to begin!!! First of all,as a lowoly law person who can not possibly understand the medical field and all of your big fancy mumbo jumbo (rolls eyes) I would like to see proff that 100% of Autism cases are regressive autism!!!! Alot of kids have Regressive autism- BUT NOT ALL! Where are you getting your info?/ I mean, you do say you are smarter than most.
Also...Condescendin, smug, arrogant, says he is always right...yep, sounds like Sean Hannity to me!


The facts are the facts. Until a unvaccinated child comes down with regressive autism it is an iatrogenic vaccine mediated neuroimunnological disease with gastrointestinal complication until proven otherwise.

I know that you are lay person and have no clue as to the how's and why's do's and don'ts of medicine. However I come from a family of 7 physician and surgeons and I am readily familiar with all of those ethical and moral boundaries and the people that have imposed this fraud, VACCINES, on the public have used the government to supplant all of the traditional ethical norms that we all swore to adhere to.

As far as parents being liars, YES THERE ARE PARENTS THAT ARE LIARS!! Go and blog neurodiveristy and you will find a entire room of liars a veritable nest of rats. They insist that your child is neurodiverse and that this is normal and that this is the manifestation of your genetic material and that IS A LIE AND THEY ARE LYING(even if you seem a little whack on this post- just kidding)

I listen to all of my patients, your problem was not that your doctor did not listen to you, he lied to you and your child and your family and my peditrician lied to me as well. Your peditatrician like most of them did not do their homework and are still not doing it, partly because they are incentivised by being paid well to vaccinate but mostly because they are stupid and lazy and please tell him I said that further if he wants to know who I am I will explain to him and you can be there too contact Kim Stagliano and you have my permission by this email. I can assure you there is no fear in my heart and I stand up on the truth.

I treat autistic children for free and I know far more about this than you will ever know and it is not just from my practice but from hours of reasearch for years at an entirely different level you call that arrogance I call it truth. Further I do have an open mind,I ALWAYS ADMIT WHEN I AM WRONG AND I EMBRACE IT SO I CAN GROW AND BE MORE WELL EDUCATED.

Do I know more than you and most others? YES Do I think I know it all? NO. Am I trying to learn it all DEFINITELY So I can help my kids and your kids too, no matter how hard headed you are.

As far as Sean Hannity goes he is a loose cannon no question and that analogy is totally improper. Sean can say whatever he wants as a talking head. What I do and say must be consistent with mainstream medicine and the standard of care because unlike the the peditricians and drug comapany pimps they work for I can be sued in a court of law for malpractice if while I am surgically extirpating 1/2 of your spine there is a complication, even a well documented one, and you wake up blind, paralyzed, unable to control your bowel or bladder. unable to achieve orgasm or have sex , sleep, or breath on your own you will have a claim against me.

I have never had to pay any malpractice suits or claims in 17 years as a spine surgeon IN SOUTHERN CALIFRONIA.

No Sean and I we are totally different. I make my living being right a whole more than being wrong.



Dear Dr and Surgeon- You are not willing to believe evryones autism is not caused form the same thing?? Wow,ok and you are a Dr. A very judgmental one, given that you would call parents liars...dont we as autism parents look for docs who will LISTEN to US and BELIEVE USabout whats going on with our kids??? I quit vaccinating my ds, and my extremly pro vaccine doc AGREED with me after reading a letter I wrote him. I think my auto immune issues mixed with his vaccines triggered his autism. HOWEVER-he is not"in pain" and not all autistic kids are. I think FOR MY SON it is a NEUROLOGICAL issue. BUT NOT FOR ALL KIDS!!! It is sad to me thatyo are SO one sided and judgemental when as a dr you have the power to help so many!SOme times when I am on this website I feel like I am tuning into FOX news or listing to Sean Hanninty..its all onesided and no middle ground or willing to think in more than one way.



The CDC and ANYBODY ELSE that is complicit with the vaccine fraud that has been foist upon this country and the world is responsible, the fact that you do not understand this simple concept is completely irrelevant. Had this young man never been afflicted with this devastating disease from vaccines that are not necessary and not safe from the United States Centers for Disease Control he would not be dead from dying in an overheated car because he could not talk or understand that he needed to open the door to get out. I do not really care how hysterical you get about this but you should understand that these actions have consequences and this is just one example.

He died as a direct result of his life limitations which are result of his autism which is a result of the unnecessary vaccines


As far as these idiots go driving this 20 year around what do you expect? You have put your treasure in the hands of fools.


Ok, I just wan t to clear this up. The Police should go to the houses of Paul Offit and Julie G and place them under arrest for homocide?? That sounds logical. The people who were responsibel for the young man the day he died and also the higher ups in charge of THEM should ALL be FIRED!!! None of these people should be working with peopkle with disabilities-ANY disabilities, be it autism, cerebal palsey, any disability. They are NEGLIGENT and RESPONSIBLE for his DEATH. THEY should pay for what has happened.


Dear Vaccines cause Autism"..I think SOME people have autism from vaccines and some do not. I think that is why BIOMED helps some and does not help others. I think BIOMED helps those more often that have autism froma a vaccines reaction. BIg Oharma and the CDC have done good and bad-but they were not there that day the young man died, and it was not there job to care for him. We can not let these people off the hook who run the estaablishment he was staying at!!!



Deb sorry I wrote "Dennie" previously, I meant Debbie.

Your previous comments were so eloquent and thoughtful that Dr. Schultz had to respond and the only trap door left for him to go through was the old standby "my comments were taken out of context". In a case as tragic as this you really want your comments to be accurate and precise, him blaming the victim is nothing less than cowardice. He is a clinical psychologist and is convinced that autism and it's manifestations can be discerned through neuroimaging and that is his field of study he images childrens brains with autism and makes up theorys to explain what he thinks is a pathological finding and tries to confabulate a pathogenesis for the disease we call autism.

You can read about him here

Really he is wasting a lot of time and money distracting from the real problem and cause of autism VACCINES. He has no proffesional capacity as he really does not treat these autistic patients he only tries to interpert there brain MRI images. As he is not a radiologist not a neurosurgeon or neurologist and has limited physiology and neurobiology AND ONLY WORKS WITH THE PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECT OF AUTISM, it is quite dubious to say the least, that this lab rat PhD serves ANY useful purpose with his research at ALL. Since many autistic children are mute the entire psychological issue is arduous at best. His comments reflect a deep level of ignorance on his part about the entire pathological culture create from autism. The man has no compassion none, even less tact and has the bed side manner of Dr. Frankenstein

dbcmom said
"To blame Paul Offit and the CDC and Julie Greenberg for this boys tragic death is riduculous"

Yes dbcmom we do blame anybody who has perpetuated this fraud, vaccines, on the public no matter how small or large they are. Paul Offit is a fraud plain and simple and he is a doctor and he does know better and he did take an oath of ethics and he has violated that oath for money so yes he is culpable and so is Julie Gerberding and the CDC.

Vaccines are a medical fraud and a hoax and yes unless this child has fragile X or Prader Willie he has vaccine initiated autism.



To blame Paul Offit and the CDC and Julie Greenberg for this boys
tragic death is riduculous.The people IN CHARGE OF HIM THAT DAY-the CARE GIVERS are responsible!!! I am not aure if vaccines made this bouy have autism or not-maybe they did,maybe they did not. Some of these posts just sound irration al and unintelligent when you start saying "I blame Paul Offit!!"


From "across the pond":- Several years ago I was interviewed by a reporter from our local newspaper on a non-autism-related matter. In particular, she took a careful note of my explanation of a complicated procedure. On reading the published story I was generally pleased with her report except for one paragraph - that's right, the complicated procedure had been reduced to five lines of incorrect rubbish. I now realise that the sub-editor(editor?) had savaged her report to make it fit the available space - a reality of newspaper life. That experience has made me deeply wary of believing anything I read in newspapers until I can get corroboration from one or preferably two additional sources.


Dr. Schultz replied to my e-mail, and explained that the statement was taken out of context and is imprecise. He said that he had spent over 15 minutes talking with the reporter, and that he explained to her differences in levels of functioning across the spectrum. He says that he did carefully explain that some individual on the spectrum would not be able to open the car door, and others would. He also says he repeated to the reporter several times how dangerous it would be to speculate without facts. He says that he is monitoring the reaction of the community and is prepared to follow up as necessary.

I was glad to see that he responded to me so quickly and am heartened by his response.


@Dennie Ramos

I was just about to comment when I read your comment and that's what I am talking about.

Tony V

The vehicle was LOCKED. The "caregiver" is culpable.

Tony V

My deepest condolences to Bryan's family. Caregivers dropped the ball, badly, leading to a tragedy and should be held responsible. I have a son on the spectrum and this would tear my heart out. BTW, vaccine hysteria promulgated by those who must engage in "finger pointing" doesn't help.


This is the e-mail I sent to Dr. Schultz after thinking about this all day:

Dr. Schultz,

As you may have realized at this point, many families of children with autism have been surprised and disappointed by the statement attributed to you in The Philadelphia Inquirer's story "Autistic man dies at Langhorne center after five hours in parked van", written by J. Terruso, A. Worden, and T. Wilson.

The quote, "But if they had been in the vehicle many times, and it wasn't locked, it is hard to imagine" in reference to Mr. Nevins' inability to open the vehicle door and move himself to safety, suggests an assumption of basic functioning ability which a young man profoundly affected by his autism may not have possessed. That assumption in and of itself is not so shocking, but for the fact that it came from a person whose professional life is largely dedicated to the study of autism and those affected by it.

Your professional capacity implies to the general public a level of credibility to the assumption of a minimal level of functioning for all adults with autism; an assumption that is fundamentally incorrect. The only way to find it hard to imagine that Mr. Nevins would not have been able to open the vehicle door and escape the deadly heat, is if he had been taught that skill during his lifetime, and was able to generalize that skill. Without proof or statement that such is the case, all those who work in the field of autism should know that this young man's death from hyperthermia in a presumed unlocked vehicle is very very easy to imagine.

Moreover, in this circumstance, where criminal charges are being considered, the implication that the young man could have reasonably been expected to exit the vehicle independently is a crucial one. Many members of the community have been outraged by this tragedy. If the vehicle was unlocked, your statement could be exploited in an attempt to evade accountability.

I ask that you consider what I have said, and decide if an explanatory statement would be prudent in this case.

Debbie Ramos

Chantal sicile-kira

How can you just "forget" someone? I can't even comment. There but for the grace of God goes my son. My brother lives in Langhorne and we will be there next week .... We used to go to Sesame Place.

Jeremy is 21. Yes, he is smart, but he is now showing impulsive behaviors teens normally exhibit. The rest of the time, he would be like this young man- easy to forget. my heart goes out to the family.

Jenny Webster

I want to vomit.
My last thoughts as I fell asleep last night were how I don't even feel comfortable sending my son to school this year. I don't feel comfortable with letting him out of my sight. ever.

This highlights the reasoning for my thoughts.

Autism Grandma

I'm in total agreement with these following comments, except here I would say that these officials listed below are DIRECTLY responsible:

"People like Paul Offit, Julie Gerberding and agencies like CDC, FDA, IOM, NIH are indirectly reponsible for these deaths and murder-suicides of Autism persons, children and parents. Shame on them ignoring the cause for Autism (Vaccines and other environmental factors) to continue their business with Vaccine makers and Pharmaceutical companies." Posted by: R Prasad

"I'm tempted to carry around an ever-growing file of tragic news stories like this to shove in the face of the next "therapist" or developmental shrink who rolls their eyes about special diets and toxic cause. &^%$ them and the corpse-strewn gravy train they rolled in on. This boy never had to live the way he did or die the way he did and everyone's responsible for it." Posted by: Adriana

I FEEL SICK everytime I read another one of these tragic stories. And I feel REALLY sick every time I think of all of these "officials" up the ladder that know exactly what the cause of autism is, primarily VACCINES, and yet they will take the financial payoff to keep their mouths shut and keep promoting vaccines.


I would like to know what kind of meds this boy--and all the other autistic residents of this center--was on.

Tranquilizers, perhaps? IBS meds for the celiac disease they keep insisting doesn't affect autistic kids? Anti-psychotics? Anti-seizure meds?

All of which make a nice little profit for the industry that ruined his health in the first place.

And you can bet that these facilities make sure that each autistic resident gets every last vaccine recommended, even at age 20. Now that they're giving Gardasil to boys, do you think they gave this poor fellow Gardasil as well?

Heidi N

How devastating. I hope the world learns from this travesty that many with autism are not capable of taking care of themselves, and that the autism epidemic needs to go to the front of the line for research.


Do you suppose NBC will have the family of this young man on the Today show...

and ask what happened, and how their son became Autistic ???

not a chance...


There are bad people at good places, and good people at bad places...

Woods has serious systemic problems: direct care staff are almost all people of the non-caucasian persuasion. Management, professionals are not. AND they believe that "those" people are incapable of learning anything. Think this may lead to staff attitudes? For sure.

Then there's PA's seeming unwillingness to vigorously investigate charges against PA institutions: there is a very cozy relationship between the institutions and the investigators.

These remarks are based on direct experience with Woods.

Dad worrier

This one sticks in my brain. Its so sad.

Sesame Place has a few rides and a number of water park features – tube slides, a lazy river ride, and lots of spraying and splashing. A short morning trip across town when crowds were light must have been a good time. Sesame Place and Variety have been running wonderful free autism family days years. I hope they review receipts and video from the park to make sure the morning story holds up and that nothing happened earlier in the day.

Thanks for highlighting the meds line. At least the nurse raised the alarm. What about lunch though? If they got back around noon, who was supposed to serve him lunch?


Today's paper has an interview with boy's mother ...


I blame the neurodiverse crowd for this one. They give the perception through the media and others like Paul Offit that individuals with autism are capable individuals and should have independence.


Just part of the de-population of the world.

I was wondering how all the governments of the world were planning on getting out of paying for the care of these kids after they leave their parent's care.

Po Pot's, and Stalin's plans fail - to aggressive and obvious. This way is much more acceptable.


Let us not forget the depending upon the make of the van and the boy's skills - opening a latch is not something that comes easy to our kids - a typical kid - yes - but some are very tricky. I've been in rental cars where I had issues! Not to mention as some have alluded to it may have had child locks on (my van has these and I have the push button automatic kind). However even with power, once it sits for a while the power becomes deactivated (discovered that at a drive in).

Makes me all the more mad as I'm from Pennsylvania - shows how far we still have to go! Absolutely terrifies me for the future of my child! You can't teach or train for compassion - that just has to be there!

RIP Bryan.

John Stone

How will we ever make our children matter?

The wittering incomprension of Dr Schultz's comments illustrates the hopelessness of the situation - someone answering to a no doubt massive professional salary who hasn't got faintest clue. Just take the money and run. A severely disabled young man doesn't know how to get out of a locked car, and Dr Schultz, expert in autism, doesn't understand - it doesn't occur to him that Bryan's carers, at times when they were more mindful of his safety, would have discouraged him from playing with vehicle door handles. What would Dr Schultz know about that!

We know there are going to be many more tragedies - there will soon be several a day coming up with young autistic adults and they won't even be worth reporting. Some will fry and some will drown, or fall off briges under passing vehicles. Our children are socially dispensible - they always were, let's face it, for the greater good. Dr Schultz and his ilk will shrug and say "Just one of those things".

R Prasad

People like Paul Offit, Julie Gerberding and agencies like CDC, FDA, IOM, NIH are indirectly reponsible for these deaths and murder-suicides of Autism persons, children and parents. Shame on them ignoring the cause for Autism (Vaccines and other environmental factors) to continue their business with Vaccine makers and Pharmaceutical companies.

Seen it and it makes me sad

"It's hard to imagine..." that Robert Schultz could possibly see the tragedy of an autistic adult not knowing what to do as hard to imagine. My high functioning nephew had to be taught to get off the bus and it didn't come easy. After the last bus stop on several occasions the driver woke up and said, hey what are you still doing here? Even the high functioning kids will surprise you with what does not come naturally. Perhaps Mr. Schultz should stop reading about autism and spend more time in the field - you know hands on work - but that would mean interacting with the parents and too many of them blame vaccines so its much safer to read the text books to avoid these uncomfortable moments.

This is sickening from the "autism experts" perspective and so sad for the family and this young man.

The scratchin'their heads perplexed pediatricians, autism experts and ill-prepared care facilitators need to wake up to this epidemic and it's inconvenient and unpredictable nuances.

Amy in Idaho

"Robert Schultz, director of the Center for Autism Research at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said it was possible that Nevins' disabilities prevented him from being able to open the van, "but if they had been in the vehicle many times, and it wasn't locked, it's hard to imagine."

Robert Schultz must be an idiot. Our kids (and adults) are taught nothing but COMPLIANCE once they are identified as having a disability. Want to think for yourself? - that's not part of your plan - time for a functional behavior assessment and update that plan so we can work more on COMPLIANCE.

It's probably not a stretch to assume that residents are taught not to open the doors of cars until told to do otherwise by staff (Kim's story above illustrates why this might be so). If Schultz doesn't understand that people with ASD lack an ability to GENERALIZE information from one situation to another, even a life threatening situation, then I repeat - he must be an idiot.


This so beyond distrubing. My son is taking special ed transportation for the first time this summer to his camp. I look into the eyes of his driver after reading this story and wonder, would he ever forget my child in the van? I can see how a person with autism couldn't open the door, would panic and not know what to do. My son is verbal, cognitively high functioning and socially, emotionally and behaviorally low functioning. He can barely open the door himself at 10 let alone remember to shut it.

This is a horrific story of just plain negligence on every level ... every basic level.

Theodora Trudorn

I'm apalled!! It sounds like that state's DMH needs to have an advocacy Specialist and a Quality Assurance Team to investigate such places, and keep these people from working at places like this where they can harm others!! To say this is an accident is redicoulous!!

I work with more severe individuals doctor!! Alot of them have more than just autism, many have issues with thier fine motor skills, and have to have thier staff with them almost 24/7 to do such simple things as open doors.

The boy was in a group home for Christ's sake!! I am willing to bet, that all the other times, someone else was opening and closing the van when he got in and out.

Logic folks. Learn it, Live it, LOVE IT!!! Or find someone like me at your doorstep prepared to take action so that something like this doesn't happen again!!

*conclusion of venting*


I have NO patience, NONE, for anyone working in the autism field who does not devote at least part of their consciousness and efforts to stopping the epidemic. Anyone else is either an idiot or a disaster capitalist. I'm tempted to carry around an ever-growing file of tragic news stories like this to shove in the face of the next "therapist" or developmental shrink who rolls their eyes about special diets and toxic cause. &^%$ them and the corpse-strewn gravy train they rolled in on. This boy never had to live the way he did or die the way he did and everyone's responsible for it.


I don't care about the physical details of the van. It's irrelevant. This was criminal behavior and, unfortunately, not all that rare.

Only harsh criminal charges (manslaughter/reckless indifference?) will wake people up. I don't give a rat if this caregiver is or was a good person. We need to make examples to get focus. That is the cold hard reality. They screwed up but the judicial system doesn't get it and they are likely to get off. This organization (and their insurance carrier) needs to pay...big bucks and hard time for the caregiver. Not a wrist slap. The ED appears to be an idiot and will hopefully be driven out of the business and rendered uninsurable. However, only we can do that via a bright spotlight on the all too common cases like this and strong oppositon to those who excoriate personal injury attorneys and lawsuits. Those legal avenues are most people's only recourse to injury and death like this one.

News outlets are quick to pick up on panda bear deaths, 9 year olds left unattended at airports, and Lindsay Lohan's latest transgression, but when it comes to disabled adults getting killed because their cargivers don't give a damn it's "yawn, who cares...they're disabled anyway". That has got to change and only aggressive prosecution of cases like this will make that happen.

In the meantime, know that we (who ought to know better) grossly underestimate risk to those in our care or ourselves (if on the spectrum). It's way past time to wake up. Every bus in the country for disabled kids needs to have a camera installed. Every aide and caregiver needs to have technology checks in place so those in their care who are unable to communicate or navigate their environment safely can get transferred to the care of others in an unbroken chain.

It ain't hard. A smart card or scanner can do it. GPS and other technology exists to minimize these risks. We'd better get at it or we're going to read many more stories like this disgusting one.

Maurine Meleck

This is a bad as it gets. The adults need to be held totally responsible and prosecuted Course nothing will bring the boy back. Unimaginable. What suffering.


When my ASD son was taking swim lessons, he was taught my high school volunteers who had no training only instincts. They had no preconceived notions (training) but figured out very quickly how to work with my son. I've found that the more "training" the more incompetent.

It seems that anybody "trained" can't reconcile their "training" with the reality of autism.

Roberts Shultz probably had lots of training and therefore knows nothing about autism.

My guess is that Bryan could work the locks but the part of his brain that controls the survival instinct is damaged AKA autism.

I'm so sorry for this family.

Hard to imagine, indeed.

Not an MD noted:
A quote from the second article is also disturbing: "Robert Schultz, director of the Center for Autism Research at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said it was possible that Nevins' disabilities prevented him from being able to open the van, "but if they had been in the vehicle many times, and it wasn't locked, it's hard to imagine."

Yes, it is hard for most people to imagine the kinds of difficulties faced by people on spectrum. I once walked into my house carrying my toddler dd and the groceries thinking my 7 yr old HF dd, who was wide awake, would get out of the car by herself and follow us inside. (She was a clinger, never a flight risk kid--that was the younger one.) When she didn't appear inside after a couple of minutes, I went back out to see what she was doing. She was stuck inside the car, scared, because she couldn't figure out how to open the door and get out. She had been in and out of that car thousands of times, but I guess we had always opened the door for her before. Her inability to open the door on her own surprised me at the time.

Her baby sister learned to open the car door from the inside before age 2. Similarly that child could brush her own hair at age 3, but my older dd couldn't manage to coordinate her hands to do that task until she was 13! She still has trouble with mechanical things and sometimes needs help manipulating things one would never imagine someone as old as she wouldn't be able to figure out. My very sharp 85 year old mom sometimes has trouble opening car doors from the inside because the locking systems in many vehicles are not the old pull up knobs that she is most familiar with, but instead may be small levers or buttons which can be placed somewhere on the car door separate from the door handle, or semi-concealed within the door handle.

So it isn't difficult at all for me to think that a 20 yr old man with autism would not have known how to get out of a van. This was a tragic situation and underscores the need for people who work with those with autism, and everyone, to much better understand the often invisible, but severely problematic, disabilities these kids and adults may have. Some are Houdini's with no sense of danger, while others simply can't open a car door, (or any door-sometimes just due to poor muscle strength, nevermind the latches). Some are math whizzes, but can't read. I have read of some who can sing, but can't talk. Most folks here know the saying here...if you know one person with autism....

What is hard to imagine is how someone can be a director of autism research and not know this. The fact that it was ""Robert Schultz, director of the Center for Autism Research at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia," who had difficulty imagining that the young man couldn't have opened the door indicates just how much some *directors!* of autism research actually know about people with autism. Obviously, not much. He clearly hasn't been doing much real research or even spent much time with many kids or people with autism. Here was a tragic chance to effectively educate people about the range of invisible disabilities that people with autism may have and he can't "imagine." Sad.


This makes me sick.


What a handsome boy. His eyes look like my daughter's.

Yes, it's always the kid with autism's fault that they couldn't save themselves.

Go to hell, Robert Schultz, and the criminally negligent staffer who couldn't pull this simple task off. My NT son has had more responsibility taking care of his ASD sister for years, and would never screw up this badly. He's 12.

Sue Cranmer

Pure and simple, this just breaks my heart and scares me to death for my son. At any good facility, there will be those employed at least for a time who don't measure up. I just pray something like this does not happen to my son.


What are the chances the van had some sort of safety locks on the doors to prevent them from being opened from the inside? Whether that's legal or not in a transportation vehicle.

I don't know for certain that 2 of my 3 girls would know to extricate themselves. Or how. There but for the grace of God.

I had a loaner car once - a small station wagon instead of our minivan. Mia opened the door on the highway at 65 miles per hour. I almost vomited into the windshield as I slowed down, praying she wouldn't lean out and get killed by our wheels. We used ther child locks from there.


Not an MD

First, I feel so sad for that young man and his family. Bryan Nevins deserved better than to be forgotten in a steaming hot van for hours roasting to death. With all the publicity again and again about babies dying when left in cars and vans while a parent who wishes not to be inconvenienced goes shopping on a hot day, you would think that people would know not to do this.

I think the driver should be brought up on charges. This person needs to accept responsibility for the safety of the people she is responsible for transporting. The driver was only responsible for the transport of two people (not twenty, not thirty)! How could she forget one of only two? This mistake resulted not in mere injury, but death. If the driver is not penalized by the legal system, what is to stop her from going to a nursing home down the street from the facility where she worked and finding employment there, with a record as clean as a whistle? The driver cannot be trusted with disabled individuals, period.

A quote from the second article is also disturbing: "Robert Schultz, director of the Center for Autism Research at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said it was possible that Nevins' disabilities prevented him from being able to open the van, "but if they had been in the vehicle many times, and it wasn't locked, it's hard to imagine.""

A disabled individual who likely has fine motor/gross motor difficulties should not be held to the standard of a typical person, especially locked in a van in estimated heat of 130 to 150 degrees. I am quite certain that Bryan Nevins did not contribute in any way to his own death. To suggest that Bryan Nevins might have been able to save himself by merely opening the van door, is both ignorant and cruel. Shame on you, Robert Schultz. A closed vehicle heats up in mere minutes by a good 30 degrees. My atypical kids have trouble opening the regular round doorknob to an air conditioned room despite years of OT.


The woman had two in her charge, got one out of the minivan, left the other. Claimed she didnt see him laying down in the backseat. Did he disappear? It was a flippin minivan not a Greyhound bus. "This was an accident" No an accident is spilling milk, involuntary manslaughter is leaving a human being in a locked van on the hottest day of the year.

And guess what, the death is the second in the facility's recent history. In November, a 17-year-old resident died when he was struck by at least two cars after he fell or jumped from a highway overpass. The state Welfare Department concluded that staff had done what it could and was not at fault, said spokesman Mike Race.

According to the agency's findings, the "disorderly teen" ran from an exit door at 1 a.m., setting off alarms and leading to a pursuit by staff members.

"disorderly teen"

"Invisible 20 year old"

Anything but criminal negligence.

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