I know, this post title sounds like a Miss Marple mystery, but it is an actual issue.
Parents of kids with autism murdering their children (and often committing suicide themselves), and saying that, "it would be better this way".....it makes me feel sick.
The sad and scary part in all of this is that our society tends to victimize the parent who committed (or attempted to commit) the heinous act, not the innocent child who is the actual victim.
I understand feeling stress caring for a person with special needs, I understand being so frustrated and hopeless. I understand that everyday brings a new challenge. But murder?!?
In a lot of the news stories, the bottom line is, "families who have kids with autism need better support!". So, what they are saying is that with better support, innocent children won't be murdered? "Give me support or the child dies!!!"-That's what they are saying. Sounds foolish when you say it plainly, doesn't it? Are more resources needed? They sure are! But are a lack of resources permission to take your own child's life? I shouldn't have to answer that for you.
People say foolish things to me like, "oh, it must be such a struggle raising a kid with autism..." (with a sigh and pity in their eyes). They do this because they hear news stories that make parents who decide to do unthinkable things seem rational, because it is sooooo hard raising a kid with autism.
It is hard! But so is raising "typical" kids! Are the issues different? Yes. But are the issues different between each of my kids anyway? Yes!
I'm stuck between explaining how my life is different, but not that different. I can't make light of the things parents go through when raising a child with special needs. But I also can't say that raising them is so much worse than usual, and that ending that persons' life is understandable.
The media supports the idea (hopefully not on purpose) that blaming an autistic child for his/her own murder is o.k.
If you read a news story about a dog owner who killed his dog because it was difficult to take care of, wouldn't 100 different organizations be after that dog owner!?! Wouldn't the media push for loving homes to adopt these "difficult" pets? Wouldn't your heart bleed for that poor innocent dog.....? We're messed up.
Autism is a spectrum, and that means there are highs, lows, and in-betweens. We need to feel the same about all the individuals in every spot on that spectrum, and at any age.
In the news right now is a woman, Kelli Stapleton, who tried to murder her own 14 year old daughter with autism, and commit suicide at the same time.
She locked herself and and her daughter in a van with 2 charcoal grills turned on, and waited for the carbon monoxide to kill them both. This woman was a blog writer (of The Status Woe), advocating for her daughter, and documenting the struggles they went through. Just hours before she attempted to kill herself and her daughter, she wrote a post that, to me, seemed a little psychotic. If lack of funding and resources is this Mom's excuse than this quote from her last blog post will seem baffling, "We obtained the single opening for the Michigan children’s waiver for the whole state! So Issy has funds for staff at home. Her very own human for nearly all of her waking hours! Can. You. Imagine?! I found a staffing agency that has been following Issy’s story, wants to help her, and is thrilled to take the training". This seems like a victory, like a reason to feel hopeful, and not to take your life and the life of your own daughter.
She goes on to tell of the problems they had with a school they were trying to send their daughter to, and how they struggle with their daughter and her violent outbursts. She talks about the "crazy" ideas her daughters' therapists give her like converting their garage so their daughter could live in it; independent, but watched over. Or perhaps to put her into foster care. These options were "crazy" to this mother! But murder/suicide? Oh, sure, that sounds good.
There are countless (seriously, too many) stories of caregivers of people with autism who decide to take the life of a person who, in many cases, has no voice to fight for themselves.
Anyway, I feel like I'm not making a point, and just rambling/venting more than anything....
All I want to say is that no-one deserves to have their life taken away from them-especially by their parent! Comments on the website for Autism Speaks, an advocacy agency, compared the mother to Hitler, who wanted to purge society of disability. Others said she should be tried on hate crimes charges for targeting someone with autism.
“If you had autism, how’d you like your mother to decide that you shouldn’t live anymore?” one commenter wrote.
It's a good point. If that Mother had a face to face conversation with her daughter, do you think her daughter would have agreed to her plan?
Again....I'm not sure what I'm getting at. My heart breaks thinking about the children who have been killed because they were "too difficult" to care for. I am broken at the way media portrays these children as the cause for their own murders, and for their care givers being shown as victims of their own children.
Don't buy the stories. If someone is being hurt, the person hurting them is NOT the victim, no matter what their story may be. If you meet someone who is raising/caring for someone with autism, don't go to, "ohhhh.....it must be so difficult", but don't do the "well, my kid does that too!" either. See each individual with autism as individuals! There are good and bad days, high and low functioning people, joys and sorrows. But, above all, each person with autism is a person, who has the right to live, just as you and I do.
Hi, I'm Amy-Lyn!
I am the lady behind this here blog! I live in the sticks with my animals, my super handsome husband, and my
3 amazing kids!
Here you'll find things from recipes (gluten-free, paleo, and strait up junk food!), DIY ideas, thoughts on raising a son with autism, and whatever else pops into my brain! : )
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