Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Murder-Suicide with Autistic Kid

Kevin Leitch posted a blog entry about a woman who killed her disabled son, who is described as autistic by some and Fragile X by some. I wrote a response, but he'd closed the commenting, so I'm posting it here.

"To echo what Amanda has said, there have been reports (mercifully few) of mothers murdering their children – with and without the subsequent suicide of the mother – and the majority of them involve “typical” children."

"Yes, this was murder. Murder of a child, followed by the mother immediately imposing capital punishment on herself.
As a person on the autistic spectrum, a longtime sufferer from severe depression, and the mother of an autistic child, I have compassion for both mother and child here. Yes, she murdered her son. Yes, it was wrong to murder him because he was autistic.
But rather than pointing the finger at the mother, I see far more fault in a society that would leave her unsupported until she reached the breaking point which resulted in this terrible tragedy. I have been close to that point before, and I can tell you that- as a person with few financial and social resources- the support offered to me and my children has been woefully inadequate."


At one point in Half Breed, Maria Cambell (I think that's her name) described thinking about killing herself and her children. She changed her mind at the last minute. She felt like her life was intolerable, and since her children would only suffer the same sort of stuff she had, it would be better to spare them that.
I think most people reading that part view it as Maria Cambell being the target of discrimination to the point where she was very depressed, and her planning to kill her children as well as a twisted form of caring, considering her mental state.
But with disabled kids, it may be seen as perfectly reasonable, the discrimination aspect is usually ignored, and most people devalue the child(ren) killed.

"The nurse said, “you are getting better you are walking more each day” and the depressed person said, “No I’m not” The nurse said, “look, you walked all the way around the circuit…” the man replied, “Yeah, well you someone created (built) a shortcut through the middle of the center section we were walking around so that I was only walking half as much”"

When I get told I'm making progress, and given examples, I tend to say "that doesn't matter. It's this that matters." and point to something unchanged. For example, Mom says I've made progress because I have less meltdowns and the meltdowns are less severe. I respond that I haven't made progress because I feel just as trapped during meltdowns.

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12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ettina. I was wondering if you are the same Ettina who was on the AS listserv a while back. I dont know if you remember me but my name is Jaquie, and I wanted to ask you a question. My email is jaquie@iinet.net.au - it would be terrific if you could drop me a line with your current address.

3:45 AM  
Blogger Kev said...

Hi Ettina,

Sorry about the closed comments - it does it automatically after 60 days otehrwise I get deluged with spam.

3:52 AM  
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2:21 PM  
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11:13 PM  
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1:28 AM  
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10:45 AM  
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8:35 AM  
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4:26 PM  
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