I wrote this and published it on my old blog in November 2014. A year has passed, and I wish I could say that since then there has been no more news of violence against Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent and disabled children by their parents and carers. The fact is there has been story after story of parents who are convinced their imperfect child is the reason for all their woes, and so they act in unspeakably horrific ways toward them. The fact is, the media is still telling us all to feel sorry for this parents, rather than the victims- their children.
So, today, I am sharing this old piece of writing with you. Because nothing has changed.
Before you read this article, please be aware it contains a description of the murder of an Autistic child, discussion about murder of Autistic children and discussion about sympathising with the murderers. It also references the AS video “Autism Every Day”. Some readers will find this article distressing.
Three years ago a mother wrote a blog post in which she explained all the ways in which she could relate to a video called “Autism every day”. In this video, a group of mothers explained how hard their lives are, how they grieve, how they have had to give up their dreams. One of them, while her daughter listened, told the viewers that she had seriously considered killing her daughter by driving her off a bridge in a car.
And we are told to feel sorry for these mothers because their children are Autistic.
Today the mother who identified with this video went for a walk with her Autistic son, and threw him off a bridge to his death.
His name is London. He is 6. He has blonde hair and blue eyes. He reminded me of my son in the video I saw of him, with his serious smile and the tilt of his head.
And we are told to feel sorry for this mother because London is Autistic. Was Autistic.
Only I can’t feel sorry for her.
I can see him bewildered and screaming as he left his mothers arms and fell. I can feel his pain as he hit the water. I can see him floundering in the water, confused and dying.
I can imagine you sympathising with me if I did the same to one of my children.
But I cannot feel sorry for her.
So, tell me again how important it is to tell “the reality” about Autism far and wide so parents don’t feel alone, and I will show you a mother who murdered her son after finding she wasn’t alone in her desire to be free of her Autistic child.
So, tell me again how it is alright that she ended his life so he didn’t have to grow up disabled. And I will show you my son, who I saw in London at the same age but who 10 years on is doing so well…. becoming an insightful and confident young man despite the world refusing to accommodate him.
So, tell me again how raising “awareness” helps my children, and I will explain to you the ways I have to protect my children from the news so they don’t have to see you all sympathising with parents who murder kids just like them.
Go on. Tell me how hard her life is and how much she needed help because her blog said this and that and all the other excuses you can come up with to justify her horrendous actions against her son. Her precious son. Her little boy, so much like mine.
Please do tell me again how I should walk in her shoes before I criticise and I will ask you- how do you know that I don’t?
Tell me you understand how she feels. And I will tell you that you will never know for sure whether I know how she feels, because even when I do have a tough day or week or month I will not put that information out there for my kids to read when they are older. I will not add to the popular story that kids like mine are a tragedy, are worth less than others, make my life difficult and stressful and something to be endured.
Tell me that I must not understand because my child must not be as “severe”, and I will tell you to just shut up and listen to me when I say that with all this talk you carry on with every single time one of my children’s peers is murdered by their caregiver you put my children’s lives at risk.
Go on….. tell me. I dare you.