Search This Blog

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Autism and Murder

Autism mom Jo Ashline writes in The Orange County Register:

It's not OK to kill your child - even if he has autism

Has the headline of my post gotten your attention?
Good. That's the whole point.

Now, for most of you, "It's not OK to kill your child" will illicit responses such as, "Of course it isn't!!" and, "Who in their right mind would think it's OK?!"
And yet, there's this strange phenomenon happening in our society whenever a news story breaks about another individual with autism dying at the hands of a parent. Rather than outrage, many people express feelings of sympathy for the perpetrator, which in many instances is the mother of the victim.
Yesterday a news story out of Grand Junction, Michigan, informed readers that Yodi Jackson, mother of 25-year-old Chad Jackson, who had autism, was arrested in connection with his 2011 death. It took investigators a full year but after gathering enough evidence, law enforcement charged Yodi yesterday with second-degree murder and second-degree felony abuse.
Now, let me remind you, a young man lost his life, and yet comments on the article all but justified Yodi's alleged actions.

My son, in all of his imperfect beauty, makes this imperfect mama feel blessed each and every day. He is my miracle and the world is a better place to live because of him, not in spite of him.
I am the rule, not the exception.
Which means that the moms and dads who end their autistic children's lives in a fit of anger, frustration, or as a "mercy killing" do not deserve our pity. These killings are just as wrong, just as deplorable, just as DISGUSTING as if it were any other child, and we need to knock it off with all of the earnest comments aimed at justifying the actions of these parents. Raising someone with autism, though challenging and difficult for many reasons, is an honor.