(CNN) – A 5-year-old Tennessee boy with autism is punished for hugging.

School officials at East Ridge Elementary say he was over stepping boundaries.

His family says…he didn’t know any better.

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

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

Putnam’s son Nathan is 5-years-old.

She says he has autism making it difficult for him 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 says the teacher said Nathan was overstepping boundaries.

She says the teacher accused her son of sexual activities after she was told he hugged a child and kissed another child on the cheek.

“He shouldn’t be treated like this.”

Nathan’s grandmother, Debi Amick, took to Facebook asking: “What do you do when a 5-year child is being labeled a sexual predator and accused of sexual harassment by the school system?”

“The kid doesn’t even understand what sex is.”

Hamilton County Schools did confirm the teacher submitted a report to the department of child services.

Spokesperson, Tim Hensley says, according to schools policy: “school personnel are required to report concerns regarding children to DCS.”

It’s up to DCS to determine if those reports are acted on by DCS and what form those actions may take.

“I talked to him, I said ‘you can’t hug children’ he said ‘why?’ I said because Nathan it’s not allowed.”

The family thinks the school is in the wrong.

“To bring something like this against a child, a special needs child, really he doesn’t understand what he’s done wrong.”

The school system would not comment on whether the teacher filed a report with DCS. A spokesperson said the sources of those complaints are confidential.