Mom says 5-year-old son with autism was punished for hugging

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WTVC) — A mother in Tennessee says her 5-year-old son with autism was punished at school for hugging.

“I was sick to my stomach because first of all, don’t you understand he’s a 5-year-old? He’s a child?” Summery Putnman said.

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Putnam says she received a call from her son’s teacher at East Ridge Elementary in Chattanooga about three weeks ago.

“The teacher called me and she said you need to have a talk with Nathan about boundaries,” Putnam said.

Putnam says her son Nathan has autism making it difficult for him to understand social cues.



“If you don’t understand how autism works you’ll think he’s acting out or being defiant. But that’s not the situation,” Putnam said.

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