There is a story I keep hearing. It is about a parent/caregiver murdering or attempting to murder her child. The parent’s name changes. The child’s name changes.
But the rest of the details of the story pretty much remain the same. Tired mother/father/caregiver. Not enough support. Not enough services. Unmanageable/aggressive/violent child.
The caregiver is left with no other option but to kill the child. We should all feel sorry that this caregiver was driven to such ends–who wouldn’t be? Dealing with an Autistic child is misery–a prison sentence and no one helps.
That’s what I keep reading.
And I’m OUTRAGED. And if you’re not outraged by this appallingly predictable script, then you’re part of the problem. You’re PART of the story.
First it was Alex. Actually there have been countless before Alex. I’m talking about the stories I’ve read in the past week.
Poor Alex’s mother. Alex was awful. Alex was Autistic. All of the quackery in the world couldn’t cure Alex. So his mother tried to kill him with sleeping pills. That didn’t work so she stabbed him 4 times. In the chest. Then she slit her child’s wrists. Did I mention that this mother turned down several different offers of help? The practical ones that came in the form of not curing her child–but caring for him. Some label this a mercy killing.
Then today, there is Issy. Her mother tried to kill her after sharing the most intimate details of her child’s life with the world–on her blog, in the media, where ever. Branding her violent–for life. Posted her picture. No privacy for that child. And then she tried to kill her. And failed. Issy will likely have permanent brain damage as a result of her mother’s vicious attack on her person.
Let’s be very clear. Lack of services did not kill/attempt to kill either of these children. They were both attacked by their mothers.
There is ALWAYS an alternative to killing. Always. They CHOSE to kill their children. Would these children not be better off as wards of the state than dead?
Spinning this story to even imply that the child’s nature is to blame is unimaginably horrific. Suggestion that these caregivers deserve the slightest bit of empathy for brutally attacking their children is infuriating.
Mothers that kill their children are as cold-blooded as murderers come. To desecrate, the mother/child relationship, the most sacred of relationships is to sink to the lowest depths of evil.
And I don’t hold people that justify murder or empathize with depraved child killers in much higher esteem. Because that tells me that you could conceive of it, yourself.
Mothers that love their children don’t kill them. It is that simple. And people that have the smallest iota of humanity, they don’t make allowances for the mothers that do.
Decent people do not partake in any form of child murder victim blaming. They don’t.
I saw on her Facebook page a posting at the end of august that she had gotten in an argument with the child’s teacher and the ISD pulled or changed services. She said she felt like she failed her daughter. I understand where you are coming from, I live this life everyday too.
well if she hadn’t already failed her–which I think she had, she sure as shit has now.
At the risk of sounding insensitive and perhaps bashed by others, it seems you are the only one in the world of Internet who I agree with on this issue. And in the immortal words of Forrest Gump “that’s all I have to say about that.”
THANK YOU!!! I was feeling so alone today, having this exact same opinion. Even those who have come out to condemn Alex’s murder couldn’t bear bashing this woman, bc, you know, she had a blog and twitter and they “knew” her. AND? If my best friend killed her kid, I’d feel the same way. There is NO excuse. No one failed this child but her mother. I am disgusted how many are defending her, or won’t come out and say what she did was wrong. I really can’t convey my anger. I can’t. Thank you…
Word! And word to Razorbladebrain, who is obviously very sharp! Did everyone suddenly forget that murder is wrong? When I was a kid, it was considered really super evil to murder your own children. Now everyone flips out if you quote unquote “vilify” child murderers or people who try and fail to kill their own babies in cold blood. In other words, nowadays it’s those of us who remember that murder is wrong who are considered evil, bullying the poor unfortunate child-killers, being “judgmental” or something. And I’m like, huh? Yeah? At least someone can remember the truth. Thanks Beth who is completely awesome!!! xxoo
And Jen Troester 🙂 too. You posted when I was 🙂 Rock on. Truth is truth.
I can’t help but think…gee…this is how *I* sound when I’m railing against Abortion and telling people that babies growing up “in the system” are always better than dead babies. But you see…when I told people you cannot devalue human life at any level without devaluing it at every level, I was told I was being hyperbolic or crazy. Then there was that mother that killed her healthy (and as far as we know, neurotypical) newborn in Candada…and the mother that drowned her kids in America…and so on and so forth.
This problem is pervasive, not at all unique to the Autistic community, and the number of cases is rising…rapidly. There was a space a couple years ago where I couldn’t get a two week span in the news without a mention of some mother or father taking out his/her progeny for some wackadoo reason or no reason. Cross this with all the *adults* (and elderly) who are being abused/neglected/murdered. Those cases will be harder to get accurate numbers on, btw. When you’re 92 and you “wake up dead,” few doctors ask if you died of your own accord or if you had “help.”
The thing that *does* make these cases different is the “Oh well that explains it” discrimination the Autistic victim faces.
“If she was permanently broken, maybe we could have given up at some point,” Kelli told the Record-Eagle. “But she’s really not.” ~DETROIT (AP)
What does this even mean? Given up on what? I have been doing this for 20 years. I sat in the psychiatrist’s office just months ago crying and close to divorce because of behaviors. And yet I’ve never thought of my daughter as “permanently broken,” and just because I accept who she is doesn’t mean I ever gave up on her. I decided at some point long ago that my daughter is better than most of society (and that no matter how violent she became she could never hurt anyone on purpose like most in our world do), and that I was done trying to make her “fit in” to a society that would only teach her negative things she would never think of on her own. I did not give up! That would mean I gave up trying to make her something she is not, and I love her too much to think she is not “complete” being exactly who she is! All this sympathy for someone who couldn’t accept not being able to make her child her vision of perfect.
I wasn’t going to write about this story (my blog mostly concerns sexual violence), but then I began to realize that this is a heartbreaking example of victim blaming. Most people in our society now know that it is incredulous to say “she was asking for it. What was the guy supposed to do?” in cases of sexual assault, but I feel like that’s happening here and people are rallying to support the mother (aka: the rapist in this analogy). What was she supposed to do? I can list about 5 things off the top of my head that would’ve been better. I’ve followed her blog her and there and pardon me if I believe that by “documenting” how hard things were for her, it seems awfully premeditated that she killed her daughter and can now use the blog as “seeee? My life was real hard.” I do have sympathy for those who are TRULY SERIOUSLY mentally ill committing various crimes. My professional opinion (and I am a Mental Health Professional), is that depression is only included in that when there are episodes or delusions or hallucinations (which would be a differential diagnosis anyway). By her last blog post, she was disheartened, pissed, depressed, but CLEARLY still articulate and of sound mind from a legal standpoint. And I’m sorry, but the way that she talked to some providers (proudly stating she told one to “munch her c***) I think maybe SHE herself was a roadblock in getting services. I know it is VERY frustrating but you have to set an example for yourself/children/the world at large that you will fight to the ends of the earth for your kid, but with dignity, respect, and decorum.
Ignore all my typos please. Stupid phone. *here and there…, *attempted to kill… Etc
These stories revolt me. Over and over they happen and it’s always the same. Autistic people are not valued and nowhere is this clearer than when the people (usually a parent) who murder them or try to, elicit more sympathy than those who had their loves viciously cut short. On Kelli Stapelton’s FB page there’s a host of people expressing not so much their disgust at what she did, but their sadness that she might have to face the legal consequences. One person wrote, “i am so so sorry for this horrible turn of events.”
“This turn of events”?! No, the choice a woman made to try to kill her daughter.
My heart is breaking for that child. She ought to have been only loved and supported.
A word about the suspicious timing of this attack and the events leading up to it.
Could people please stop doing this? Thank you. Autistic children deserve to live too.
I wrote a blog about how i felt compassion for her. I don’t care what other people think about it either. Having an understanding and compassion for a mother who was pushed to the brink does not minimize what she did. It was a brutal, ugly, awful act. I’m still going to have compassion for her though. And her daughter. And her husband.
I’ve been in the scenario where my child beat us every single day. I’m allowed compassion for the woman. I have a son with autism and I agree that he is 1000000% human and valuable and worthy of life, just like I see everyone else in the world.
i had also come across her blog in the past. it made me feel uncomfortable for the child. i could not see the ‘strong fighter’ the ‘autism warrior mom’ full of ‘genuine love’ for her daughter how she is now described by so many of the ‘autism community’ of which thank you, i will not be part.
i could not believe the details she put on the blog, the videos, the ‘i have to document this, because i might be killed’. i have come across people with narcissistic personality disorder in the past and all my flags went up. the aggression was firstly and mostly turned against the mother ? i am sorry but I believe honestly that the mother’s behavior was key to the ongoing aggression. autistic children are ‘reactive’ and the mother herself said, when her argument made her lose the place in the school Isabelle’s father works for (!) that she was told she was being ‘intense’ (“i get that a lot”) . how is an intense parent EVER good for an autistic child. blame psychosis, if you will, I will not say she took a conscious decision (because i just can’t, as a parent, even imagine you can) but this woman was toxic for her child and THAT is where the system failed, her environment, her family and all those loyal supporters who are now praying for them because they can (!!?) imagine just how she must have felt. i can’t.
There is a way that we can condemn this act and still ask why. We have to, if we want to keep it from happening again. We cannot just say that mothers who love their children don’t kill them. Because they do, just as caregiver of adults with dementia, or mothers struggling with post partum depression harm their babies. It happens. I do not excuse a horrible act. I do, however, leave room for the fact that people can be pushed to a breaking point. It doesn’t make it right, but it must be understood, or it will keep happening.
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As to ‘why’, that is simple. Madame ‘K’ finally ***woke up*** to the unpleasant fact that Isabelle was ‘autistic through and through’ – namely, K could not make Isabelle satisfactorily ***Normal*** (as defined by K’s notion of ‘Normal’, I.e. a suitably *codependent* narcissistic extension…)
The sole *appropriate* solution to such a conundrum (if one is operating by those instincts which define Normalism) is destruction; and, K decided to do precisely that. More, she has consistently *gamed* matters so as to increase her own standing, first with her accursed collection of propaganda-cum-web-pages; then with the pity-ploy of attempted suicide (so as to cover her, uh, tracks and gain added dominance by getting away with murder) and finally, grandstanding from her current repository.
Her repentance is just another *game* – just like nearly everything done by a ‘cluster b’.
The more-horrible matter, however, is that the reason her tripe falls upon such itching ears is that she speaks loudly what many, perhaps most Norms believe about *all* autists – irrespective of outward appearance, irrespective of (seeming, current) function:
We are ***all*** defective; we are all useless (in totality) – and in truth, the sole appropriate response to our existence is Genocide in the present and in perpetuity.