NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The lawyer for the family of an autistic teenager who died after disappearing from his New York City school will also work with the family of an autistic student who died after choking.
Lawyer David Perecman says was meeting Friday with the family of Dyasha Smith.
Smith died Tuesday after choking on a muffin at her school.
The 21-year-old woman was a special needs student at the School for International Studies, at 284 Baltic St. in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.
Smith’s mother, Catherine Smith, has said she told school officials her daughter’s food had to be cut up or she would swallow it whole.
Dyasha’s mother, Catherine Smith, is questioning how her daughter, who has autism, could choke when she’s supposed to have an aide with her at all times.
Smith says the school’s vice principal told her about the choking incident but still wants an investigation.
“Why someone wasn’t someone there to assist her? Why was she in this situation? It seemed like she died by herself,” Smith told CBS 2.
The young woman’s death comes one year after 14-year-old Avonte Oquendo slipped out of his school in Queens, leading to an intensive search.
Avonte’s remains were found in January in the East River.
In June, Avonte’s mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city in Queens Supreme Court. It accuses the city, the Department of Education, NYPD and numerous individuals of negligence for allowing the 14-year-old boy to leave the school.
Avonte was described as severely autistic and unable to speak. Parent activists pushed for the bill requiring audible alarms after Avonte’s disappearance prompted a massive search.
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