In the Wake of Tragedy
There isn’t much I can say right now. Another name– London McCabe– has been added to the grim list of autistic children– autistic PEOPLE– murdered by their parents. He was 6 years old.
To all the autism parents out there:
If you ever feel that you are at risk of hurting your child, please, please, PLEASE reach out. Call a friend. Call 911. Call child protective services. Call any church or other religious center. Call a random number you pick out of the phone book. And ask for help. In fact, do anything at all except killing your child, because believe me, no decision you could make is worse than that.
I wish I had the resources to make this promise right now, but I don’t, so I will work towards it:
I want there to be an autism parent hotline. A number you can call, any time of the day or night — if you are too scared, if you can’t take it any more, if you are in despair, if you have lost hope — and someone will come to your house, with no judgement and no requirements, and take your autistic child somewhere safe until you are ok again.
I wish with all my heart that someone had dragged me from my bed in the middle of the night and placed that beautiful little boy into my arms. Because, no matter what it cost me, I would have loved him and cherished him and protected him and cared for him until he had a safe home to return to.
Never Again. It isn’t a slogan, it’s a plea. Please, please, please, everyone out there who knows an autistic child, who knows a struggling family, who knows a depressed and frightened parent– reach out. Speak up. Offer your time, your love, a shoulder to cry on, an hour of babysitting, a bedside vigil, anything you can give, ANYTHING that will bring us closer to a world where this never happens again.
[Update: good lists of emergency resources here: http://tool-kit-autistic-alternative.blogspot.com/2013/09/emergency-information-autism-resources.html and here: http://www.childmind.org/en/press/brainstorm/resources-autism-parents-crisis%5D