Autistic girl dies at hands of her mother

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LittleManzParents
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Postby LittleManzParents » Wed May 24, 2006 3:26 pm

Winnie - you're quite welcome. So easy to give you pleasure. :) I edited it later as I realized that I hadn't made that clear the first time around (as to Kevin's take/spin). Thanks for the suggestion, btw, but I don't do sh*t movies, particularly murder flicks. Not my bag of marbles.

dgdavis64
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Postby dgdavis64 » Wed May 24, 2006 3:40 pm

BTDT wrote:
What in this statement above can be misconstrued as "judgemental?"


Let's see, you "dread" seeing her, I bet that would make her parents and the little girl feel good if they knew that. And this little girl is just so awful that you want to burst into tears every time you see her.

But if they would only listen to you and try biomed, that poor little girl would be saved.

It makes me sick, and mad, to think that someone might be thinking that while looking at my precious and beautiful child.





First BTDT, This post was not directed for YOU to answer.

Secondly, These are YOUR WORDS, NOT MINE:

And this little girl is just so awful that you want to burst into tears every time you see her.

I NEVER SAID THIS, YOU DID! STOP MISCONSTRUING EVERYTHING I SAY!

Same goes for this:

YOUR WORDS, NOT MINE:

Let's see, you "dread" seeing her,

MY WORDS:

I dread going to any function.


Did you forget to put on your eyeglasses or what?

Beware of the pharma trollbot shills posting from anonymous proxy servers

Mary
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Postby Mary » Wed May 24, 2006 4:34 pm

Winnie wrote:
I find it very sad that bloggers and others who do not know this woman are posting their opinions at length as though they have actual insight or intimate knowledge about this tragedy.


Anytime a crime like this occurs people speculate, especially the media, ad nauseum. Would the speculation make you sad if a stranger had snatched Katie and murdered her?


Yes, it would, because it too would be nothing but idle speculation. If people are interested in a case, they can wait for facts to come out at trial. Until then, the speculation seems like a diversion for some.

srinath
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I think it everytime

Postby srinath » Wed May 24, 2006 5:50 pm

BTDT wrote:
What in this statement above can be misconstrued as "judgemental?"


Let's see, you "dread" seeing her, I bet that would make her parents and the little girl feel good if they knew that. And this little girl is just so awful that you want to burst into tears every time you see her.

But if they would only listen to you and try biomed, that poor little girl would be saved.

It makes me sick, and mad, to think that someone might be thinking that while looking at my precious and beautiful child.


I think it everytime I hear a story forget even seeing a child ... it has worked so far in our case ... like I have said before we look at the world through our eyes not others ...
Being a biker I see the traffic congestion and the parking lots clogged with cars and people paying $100 for a tank of gas ever 3 days and I go ... huh ... wont it be the coolest thing to have these people on my idea of an affordable economy bike ... I'd make a 400 cc bike that will give you 60 mpg and can be sold new for 2500 or less ... Heck i'd rip off kawasaki or suzuki's built like a tank small cruisers and sell it to every one ... and then many many hours pass by before I realise ... yea kawasaki and suzuki are doing it and they still sell 1/100'th of what ford does ... anyway no judgement here, I just want people to get under the blanket umbrella fed by their pediatrician ... autism is unknown and no cure or treatment ...
Cool.
Srinath.

LittleManzParents
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Postby LittleManzParents » Wed May 24, 2006 6:09 pm

LM wrote:This is not about mercury and it's not about biomed.

I don't know what was going through this woman's head when she decided to kill her child, but I doubt she was thinking about the mercury autism theory when she did it.

Despite the diagnosis of autism, parents still have lots of hope when their kids are diagnosed at 18mos and 2yrs old. You read the Catherine Maurice or Karen Seriousi book and think a year of intensive biomed and behavioral therapy and my child will be recovered. But then a year passes and you see you're not much closer to recovery than you were a year ago. The gaps seem wider, and it's like getting an autism diagnosis all over again. You grieve all over again. You wonder why your child's story is not turning out like the children you've been reading about. You start to realize that you're in this for the long haul. Some parents can rally and do what they need to do to prepare for the years ahead. Some can't get past the grieving. Some parents try treatments they would have scoffed at the year before. Some find themselves cringing at famous last words uttered a year ago: "well thank god my child doesn't do_______" only to find that's all their child does. I'm not defending this woman, I think what she did was awful. But this is not a simple black and white issue.

Every parent needs to get to a place where they can feel that autism isn't the end of the world. It doesn't happen overnight. There are comments being posted elsewhere by young parents of asd kids who are new to the diagnosis - some of the comments are very foolish and are intended by some bloggers to make the rest of us parents with autistic children look like monsters. I said a lot of stupid things a year ago, and I still put my foot in my mouth more times than not. But we are not a static group, we're constantly changing our minds and our perception of autism and all it entails based on our own experiences and the experiences of others.

I for one know that Katie's death has changed me.


Not sure how I missed this the first time around. . . Very, very good points. I always appreciate your insight.

Gabesmom
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Postby Gabesmom » Thu May 25, 2006 1:25 am

Sometimes I wonder if people would be happier if their child had a condition that was clearly defined but definitively "uncurable". Maybe they'd stop beating their heads against the wall and come to some place of acceptance. Maybe they wouldn't- I don't know. Autism is such a mystery- so many unknown variables, so many guesses and so few real answers. No one knows what the future holds for our children- not one single person. Perhaps, if we dialed back the clock about forty years, we could listen to our well-meaning and all knowing doctor's advice and just put our kids into an institution. I guess we know less about autism now than we did in the sixties. Then, everyone knew what to expect from our kids. Now, we're not so sure. Call me crazy, but I like the uncertainty- it means my son is just like my daughter- I have no clue how either of them will turn out.

As for Dr. McCarron, do you know how long it takes for a person to smother to death? How hard a person struggles for life? Maybe the fact that she wasn't living with her daughter for the past twenty months gave her some strange sense of detachment? I don't know, and like GMAC, I don't give a d**n. All I know is if this woman is treated any differently by the court system than if she had murdered her "normal" two year old daughter, this country is worse off than I ever imagined. :x :x :x :x
Jennifer, Mother to Anna, 5 (NT), Gabriel, 4, Autistic

r's mom
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Postby r's mom » Thu May 25, 2006 6:32 am

LM

You were spot on when you said it wasn't about mercury or biomed.
This is about a woman who murdered her 3 year old daughter.

GMAC

Personally, I don't give a rat's a** what Dr. McCarron was feeling as she took the life of her child. She felt enough guilt/remorse to attempt suicide with an overdose of pills, though she was compelled to dial 911 in time to save her own life. Not so for the life her child.
Now her other daughter and Katie's father will be alone, with terrible memories.
No matter how severe her daughter's autism, there is no excuse for Dr. McCarron's actions that day. We have all had really bad days with our children, NT, autistic or otherwise. There's a spot reserved for Dr. McCarron and all other murderers, and it isn't heaven. Dr. McCarron will never see her daughter's sweet face again, in this world or any other. Yes, I feel this strongly about this story. She had options. She could have divorced her husband and allowed him custody if she felt this way about her daughter. She could have checked herself into a psychiatric unit. She could have done many things rather than murder her child. She didn't. She killed Katie to end her own suffering. Selfish.

May dear, sweet Katie rest in peace.


Well said!!

I don't think this is specifically about autism - I think it is about a mother who didn't accept her child and couldn't cope. She hadn't lived with her daughter for 20 months. She didn't know her and maybe didn't have that bond with her daughter. Whatever the case is the majority of mothers wouldn't do it because this is their child who they brought into the world and will protect.

An aside - biomed is not about not accepting your child for who they are. My personal take on this is that I will do what I can for my son. I absolutely know that his immune system was depleted (hence the eczema, asthma, allergies etc) I originally was only looking for help for the eczema, allergies, asthma etc but have found that it has helped the irrational, obsessive, inattentive, hyper aspects of my son. I accept my son for who he is, but I also accept that he was damaged by the toxic world that he has been brought into, him and all the other asthmatic, ADHD/ADD/austistic spectrum/diabetic ............

Srinath - Y ou are so right that everyone sees things from their own perspective.

LM
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Postby LM » Thu May 25, 2006 8:35 am

I think what this woman did was awful. Taking the life of a child, any child, is deplorable.

I think some are using the death of this child to grandstand on issues that have nothing to do with Katie. And some have taken this as an opportunity to show the many beautiful things about autism and our children - which is what we need right now. There are parents out there with "difficult" children who say they understand how Dr. McCarron must have been feeling. Personally, I don't. But do you alienate those parents even further by calling them monsters or do you offer support, help, and advice? Are you working to improve the challenges that parents of asd face or just fanning the flames?

give a mouse a cookie
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Postby give a mouse a cookie » Thu May 25, 2006 10:50 am

LM-
You're right, of course. (as usual, don't you get sick of being right all the time?) :wink:
It's a knee-jerk reaction of mine to a terrible crime, but it is a normal reaction. If anything, yes, Katie's untimely death could serve as a reminder that we all have options.
It's not about bio-med or mercury, no. And it's also not about lack of services available to the McCarrons specifically. They were well off, financially, and Katie had not even lived in the state of Illinois for 20 months. So I don't think that the lack of resources or services would apply. Dr. McCarron is a very intelligent, resourceful woman that was simply unable to face the challenges of raising an autistic child. Interviews with a friend of hers stated that she was "always crying" when they spoke on the phone recently. Obviously, the woman needed help of some sort, but did not seek it out. That was her first crime. I constantly tell others to take care of themselves as well as their children. How can you care for any child if you are not well? One of the first articles I read about the crime said that Dr. McCarron was frustrated about the school system scheduling an evaluation for the summer--she wanted it done sooner. This is the kind of thing all of us face on a regular basis. Perhaps she was ashamed of herself, for not being able to cope, or she was ashamed of Katie, for being autistic.
Personally, I try to offer support to those on the board who are asking advice, though I stay mum if I'm as clueless as they are. I try to make parents feel that a diagnosis of autism is not the end of the world, and that our children have much to teach us, if we'll only listen.
Those of us who have had a diagnosis for a bit longer, over two years in our case, should be able to guide the newer ones. We should be the ones telling the Dr. McCarrons out there to take a step back, slow down and love their children for who and what they are. To not fear so much, to be strong for their kids and themselves, even when it seems that all the cards are against them. And ultimately, to get some help for themselves if they feel they need it. This didn't have to happen.
This story hits us so hard because Katie was autistic. If Katie had been NT, there would be virtually NO pity or sympathy for her mother's terrible crime. She would be branded a monster immediately by the media.
We've all had some really dark days and nights where we felt we could not cope with one more setback, regression or tantrum. What is it that makes us different from Dr. McCarron? We didn't give up.
At this point, all I can do for Katie's memory is to try and change people's perception of autism. I can't offer tons of sage advice to other parents, because I don't consider myself wiser or more knowledgable than they. I can only offer hope and support, so that we may not have to hear of another Katie down the road.

littlebopeep
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Postby littlebopeep » Thu May 25, 2006 10:59 am

Gabesmom wrote: I guess we know less about autism now than we did in the sixties. Then, everyone knew what to expect from our kids. Now, we're not so sure.


Just an aside:
I think that a lot of parents were very surprised by what happened to their children in the sixties.
Fred, 7, NT
Barney, 5, autism

Gabesmom
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Postby Gabesmom » Thu May 25, 2006 12:01 pm

There are parents out there with "difficult" children who say they understand how Dr. McCarron must have been feeling. Personally, I don't. But do you alienate those parents even further by calling them monsters or do you offer support, help, and advice? Are you working to improve the challenges that parents of asd face or just fanning the flames?



LM,

I think I would be more inclined to agree with you if Dr. McCaron had been in the trenches with her daughter day in and day out with little or no support. As it was, she was not even living with her for 20 months, and as far as I know, she was still a working doctor so wouldn't have been with her 24/7 (this is not a slam against working mothers) even if she had shared the same household. I think the parents who say they know how she must have felt are doing themselves a disservice. Yes, it's okay to empathize with parents who have not killed their children and say, you know we all have those days where we feel overwhelmed and sometimes despair rears it's ugly head. Everyone understands despair and hopelessness and anger and exhaustion, but anyone who actually feels or has ever felt the compulsion to kill their own child should be directed to psychiatric services immediately. I don't consider this to be alienating parents but protecting their children.

LittleBoPeep,

When I said everyone knew what to expect from our kids in the sixties I was being sarcastic. (sarcasm is very hard to convey in writing). Anyway, my grandmother was told to place her Down Syndrome baby in an institution during the same era. My, those doctors sure were surprised by the progress my aunt made in a loving home with utterly devoted parents. They thought they "knew" what kind of a life she would have and wanted to "spare" her parents the obvious torment of raising such a child. My point was that some people have a really hard time when their doctors tell them that they don't know how their autistic child will ultimately develop. I wonder if they would be happier with a diagnosis that was certain (even if it was not promising) because they just don't know how to handle the uncertainty of autism.
Jennifer, Mother to Anna, 5 (NT), Gabriel, 4, Autistic

BTDT
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Postby BTDT » Thu May 25, 2006 3:54 pm

Every parent needs to get to a place where they can feel that autism isn't the end of the world. It doesn't happen overnight. There are comments being posted elsewhere by young parents of asd kids who are new to the diagnosis - some of the comments are very foolish and are intended by some bloggers to make the rest of us parents with autistic children look like monsters. I said a lot of stupid things a year ago, and I still put my foot in my mouth more times than not. But we are not a static group, we're constantly changing our minds and our perception of autism and all it entails based on our own experiences and the experiences of others.


I agree with you LM, grief is a process, and the things I thought when my son was first diagnosed, almost 5 years ago now, are not things I think now. Yesterday morning, I watched Kevin Leitch's video of his daughter jumping on a trampoline and I felt ashamed for the times I cried while watching my son run back and forth, sad because he wasn't the child I thought he should be. When I read Jim Sinclair's article "Don't Mourn for Us" the first time it made me very angry, it took a several reads at various points along the grief process before I could realize the truth of it.

I think it's important that we speculate now about what might have caused Karen McCarron to kill her daughter, so that we can perhaps prevent this from happening again. What can we do as a community to save other children?

I have some thoughts, and would be interested in hearing what others think. First, I think we as parents need to recognize grief and depression, and get help from others. I don't think we should feel ashamed about reaching out for help for this. And if we see signs of it in other parents we should encourage them to get treatment.

Secondly, I think we need to change the mindset that autism is a death sentence in and of itself. Let's find ways to improve the lives of all people affected by autism, so that when a diagnosis of autism is given it doesn't seem so devastating.

We also need to work to increase acceptance of children and adults with autism. They are people of worth, even if they act differently, or have difficulty communicating. I've heard many parents say that they find it more difficult to accept their children when out in public because other people don't have any understanding of their child's behavior. Bullying is also a huge problem that needs to be worked on.

Changing our perception of what it is like to raise a child with autism is important too. Yes it can be difficult, but many things in life are difficult, many people have much bigger challenges than we do. I think often parents put too much pressure on themselves by trying to do everything possible to "save" their children. This can lead to tremendous guilt, a feeling of never having done enough. Many of the current therapies and treatments unfortunately contribute to this feeling. Intervention must be "intensive" and there must be a lot of it. If this treatment/diet/therapy/supplement didn't work it's because: you didn't do it perfectly, you didn't do it enough, you need to add (fill in the blank), you didn't go to the right doctor/therapist, you didn't read the right book, you don't understand, .... basically because you are not a good enough parent.

We all need to give our kids and ourselves a break, and give ourselves permission to enjoy our kids. They are our children first, and children with autism second. Of course they need to grow and learn, but they also need love and nurturing and acceptance. [/url]

LM
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Postby LM » Thu May 25, 2006 4:37 pm

BTDT - I really appreciated your post. You summarized a lot of how I feel at times. Intelectually I know how I should feel, but I'll admit, I'm just not there yet. I appreciate when moms like yourself who've had time with the diagnosis can offer suggestions and advice.

Gabesmom, I see your point. I do not defend what Dr. McCarron did or think that we should embrace those who have murderous thoughts about their children. What I'm saying is that for moms who feel overwhelmed and at their breaking point, they need support. They need somewhere to turn where they are not viewed as monsters who brought this misery on themselves by thinking they could "cure" their kids. I spent a year doing various biomedical treatments and while it wasn't for us, I don't regret it. It was part of the process for me. But there are extreme messages coming from both camps and I don't think I'm a bad parent for NOT continuing to pursue biomed, nor do I think I'm a bad parent because I pursued it in the first place. I just don't feel like there's a place in this autism community for people like me.

give a mouse a cookie
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Postby give a mouse a cookie » Thu May 25, 2006 5:03 pm

What I'm saying is that for moms who feel overwhelmed and at their breaking point, they need support. They need somewhere to turn where they are not viewed as monsters who brought this misery on themselves by thinking they could "cure" their kids. I spent a year doing various biomedical treatments and while it wasn't for us, I don't regret it. It was part of the process for me. But there are extreme messages coming from both camps and I don't think I'm a bad parent for NOT continuing to pursue biomed, nor do I think I'm a bad parent because I pursued it in the first place. I just don't feel like there's a place in this autism community for people like me.


oh yes there is! It's right here. You see, you have been on both sides of the fence now. We didn't pursue biomed for my son because he had no medical issues. Just autism. I really don't think anyone on this board would think you don't belong here.
None of the so-called "anti-biomed" (srinath's term, not mine) parents would condemn you for giving it a shot. It's where you were, but not where you are now. And now you are shooting for that "serene acceptance state" and you are closer than you think. Granted, I'm not serene all the time, but the pressure to cure my son is gone. Acceptance took its place.
Truthfully, I think that most of the pro-acceptance crowd don't think worse of someone for trying biomed. Come on, we're accepting enough for an autistic child, there's room for you, too.

Mary
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Postby Mary » Thu May 25, 2006 5:20 pm

I think it's important that we speculate now about what might have caused Karen McCarron to kill her daughter, so that we can perhaps prevent this from happening again. What can we do as a community to save other children?


I understand completely the need to grieve tragedies that befall other families in similar situations. However, I think that speculating about what might have caused a particular person to do something, when that person has not been tried yet, does not accomplish anything.

There could be a hundreds of "reasons" why someone would murder a child -- many of them having nothing to do with autism -- and until you know what happened and why, then speculating doesn't get anyone anywhere. The speculation is likely to be wrong. So the solutions that come from it likely will be wrong, too. A few media stories does not equal the "full story" or even an accurate one.

Maybe what people really want is a separate thread about dealing with parental grief or depression following an autism diagnosis? I completely support that.

This girl's relatives have been through enough, and this is a public board that they might see. Why not just shift the focus of this discussion away from their particular tragedy to the larger issues that people are grappling with?

LittleManzParents
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Postby LittleManzParents » Thu May 25, 2006 5:55 pm

Hi Ladies,

I told myself I wasn't going to return to this thread, but here I am again...

I had an experience yesterday morning that had me think of this thread again. My son goes to a sensory playgroup on Wednesday mornings through EI. This week there were two new kids and their parents in attendance. One of the children, a little girl probably around age 3, is on the spectrum. Actually, I should say that I believe she is on the spectrum, as her diagnosis was not discussed, but her behavior was quite "familiar". Anyway, we stared out on the playground yesterday since it was nice out, and I watched the little girl. She was enjoying herself, running all around in her own little world, up and down the ramp, swinging on swings, etc. But what struck me most was the mother. She had that look of sadness and bewilderment on her face. That look that I have come to recognize (just as I recognized her daughter's behavior). She was (to me at least) obviously distraught by the fact that her daughter didn't want to be touched when she tried to direct her or play with her. She sighed and said something to the effect of "see, she doesn't want to be touched". No one else said anything. In fact, I'm not even sure they heard her or noticed, but to me her pain was as obvious as if she were wearing a sign that said, "Help me, I'm lost and it hurts!" She is beside herself. She doesn't know what to do or how to reach her child... and until she does, she will likely struggle with enjoying her child. And I do believe that acceptance and enjoyment, for many, go hand-in-hand.

So what is my point? Whether or not we think others should wholeheartedly accept and embrace their child's disabilities (autism or any other), we have to be realistic - and the truth is that we are not all created equal in terms of intellect, resources, support and emotional stability. Some people have better support systems in place before all this happens to them. Some do not. Some people are naturally patient nurturing and intuitive. Some are not. Some people are ashamed to admit that they feel hurt or lost or that they don't know how to reach or connect with their child. I know that there have been times that I have felt this way. And I also know how friggin lonely it can be to have all of these thoughts and feelings, but to know no one that you can share them with for fear that a) they won't understand or b) they will judge you or think that your hurt and sadness = you don't love your child.

I hope that no-one here views this as me defending Karen's actions. I do not, will not. What she did is something I cannot even comprehend.

I believe it was Winnie that asked if we would feel (or even care) about the feelings of the killer if it had been someone other than the mother. Honestly, probably not. But that is not the case here. She was a mother of an autistic child like the rest of us here. And perhaps because most of us have felt that deep sadness at some point, if even briefly, we can't help but wonder if it contributed in some way to her cracking, which resulted in the needless, horrible death of a child and the lifelong pain of those that loved her. Does it make it OK or justify it? Of course not!! But it does give us something to think about. It does or should give us hope or motivation to reach out to others - to give them some place to belong where it is OK for them to feel sad and lost and to express themselves honestly and openly without judgement. Will it make a difference? Will it stop this from happening again? I don't know for sure, but I suspect that it might. It could.

r's mom
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Postby r's mom » Thu May 25, 2006 8:04 pm

There are a lot of good points in this thread.


Mary said
There could be a hundreds of "reasons" why someone would murder a child -- many of them having nothing to do with autism


Maybe what people really want is a separate thread about dealing with parental grief or depression following an autism diagnosis? I completely support that.

LM said
What I'm saying is that for moms who feel overwhelmed and at their breaking point, they need support. They need somewhere to turn where they are not viewed as monsters who brought this misery on themselves by thinking they could "cure" their kids



Also the moms who are overwhelmed and not trying the "cure" the kids need support too. Everyone has different coping/breaking points.

I think that acceptance of your child/situation and pursuing any treatment ABA/biomed are 2 separate issues. Some people who are not doing ABA/biomed can still not accept their child for who they are and/or suffer depression. I don't think it is about absolutes at all. It just happens that when you are going through the grieving process a lot of moms/dads have the feeling that because of the clock ticking they need to pursue treatment as well and they don't get support from many places. And maybe because there is such a push against biomed from a lot of areas people who do try it feel defensive about it and that can add pressure.

Mary

I can see what you are saying however in life very rarely do you get all the information to base opinions/decision/views on and even if you do have a lot of information some of it will be conflicting. Part of life is to take the information at hand, evaluate it and make the best decision you can. Even with the trial all the information may not come out or it may not be the truth. It is human nature I think to wonder why did something happen, how can it be prevented and to have reactions to it based on your individual perspectives and I believe it is ok to think about and discuss issues like this.

It is sounding like Karen McCarron needed help for depression.
In my view for whatever reason Karen McCarron did murder her daughter and should be held accountable.











[/quote]

r's mom
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Postby r's mom » Thu May 25, 2006 8:17 pm

LittleManzParents

Excellent post - very thoughtful and well put.

Gabesmom
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Postby Gabesmom » Thu May 25, 2006 10:04 pm

I just want to clarify the fact that I truly believe that every parent has a right to express their feelings without being attacked. People do come to places like this to find a sounding board for their emotions- to discuss things with people who are in similar circumstances, things that might not even be able or willing to discuss with their own family members. I would never villify a parent for having feelings of helplessness, despair or anger. I guess I just don't think that this particular case is really relevant to the things that most of us go through on a day to day basis. We are talking about an entirely different situation than your average mother raising an autistic child. We're also talking about a woman who must have had some serious psychological issues long before her child was ever diagnosed. In respect to Mary (and the family) I will not speculate about motives in this case. It's unfortunate that it takes a case like this to raise the awareness of the general public to autism when there are so many more valuable things that could be spotlighted. I guess that's just the nature of the media.

I do agree that everyone must come to terms with their child's autism in their own way and time. People like me, who really never could give a rat's a** about what other people think of me or my kids might have an easier time than someone who has a much greater need to fit into a societal mold. People are very different, and the things that are important to one parent may be inconsequential to another. That doesn't mean we still can't learn from each other despite the fact that we may have different priorities in our lives.
Jennifer, Mother to Anna, 5 (NT), Gabriel, 4, Autistic


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