The Dark Side of Autism

Dark Side of Autism

I mentioned in a blog regarding vaccines that autism can’t kill like the diseases vaccines are designed to prevent. I haven’t been proven wrong, but a Texas mother of two autistic kids strangled both of them to death, according to charges filed by the Irving Police Department. One charge has been filed, the other is still pending, but a 911 recording was released where Saiqa Akhter, a Pakistani emigrant, tells the operator she killed her two children because they were autistic. If convicted (which is really a sure thing given the evidence presented at this point), Akhter could have the same fate of her kids since Texas allows the death penalty.

Reading this story brought back memories of watching a series of stories on YouTube where a couple in a small Ohio town killed their adopted autistic son and made up a story that he was missing. Akhtar didn’t go that far, not that it relieves her of any wrongdoing. Ideally, a news outlet or two could pick up this story to highlight the frustrations of raising autistic children, then present a number of options to safely deal with those obstacles. I’ve absorbed a few stories where parents give up hope for their autistic child to pursue dreams their peers will have no trouble with, but killings are very rare.

This story is sure to get some office chatter going, but it won’t likely be substantial. What happens to Akhtar is irrelevant, although I’m sure an update will be published on the national feeds. Very often, when parents cut their children’s lives short, mental issues are present. Signs will often present themselves, and those with keen eyes can potentially intervene before a scenario like Ahktar’s develops. This story highlights the dark side of autism. No one expects it, and no one can expect how parents will respond to the situation, but murdering children when they’ve done no wrong is bound to get you on the news without any brownie points. This also may not help the stereotype of Middle Eastern natives as violent, but that’s best answered on another blog.

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Mike Peden
Mike Peden brings a rarely discussed perspective on autism news: he was diagnosed with the disability in 1991. His explorations on autism led to an Alliance for Community Media Hometown Video Award in 2008 in the Documentary - Public Awareness category, and he currently deciphers evolving trends in autism coverage.
Mike Peden

Mike Peden

Mike Peden brings a rarely discussed perspective on autism news: he was diagnosed with the disability in 1991. His explorations on autism led to an Alliance for Community Media Hometown Video Award in 2008 in the Documentary - Public Awareness category, and he currently deciphers evolving trends in autism coverage.

0 thoughts on “The Dark Side of Autism

  • March 14, 2011 at 4:33 pm
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    @kittyluve

    Its that defeatist mentality that works against this population. If you are so well informed, what are you doing to remedy the situation? Do you work with this population besides your brother? If not, what are you doing for your brother? Everyone has an opinion, but as far as making change, i dont see what complaining or giving up does for the individual with ASD.  This statement, “But for the rest, you can only wish the best for them and try really hard to just be happy with what they are able to accomplish.” shows that maybe you arent as informed as you think.  Some savants have a harder time than “the rest” you speak of. Some have difficulty expressing their intelligence to anyone. The general comments you make about “the rest” of the population are unfair and unless you work with them in the field, is based on opinion, and not fact.  All your familial experience cannot outweigh the amount of education and educational experience it takes to work with this population day in and day out.

  • July 23, 2010 at 7:58 pm
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    @Murazrai@xanga – Well for high functioning individuals with autism, there certainly is hope to live a close to normal life.  But for the rest, you can only wish the best for them and try really hard to just be happy with what they are able to accomplish. 

  • July 23, 2010 at 7:17 pm
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    @Kittyluve@xanga – I know, but my actual point is as long as you don’t give up, there’s always hope. At first my family has almost given up their hopes when I injured my head with 6 stitches, but they have their hopes up after I started attending university.

  • July 23, 2010 at 11:32 am
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    This isn’t really even about autism, it’s about the parent’s being mentally ill. Even if the children were perfectly normal, I doubt they would still be safe with parents like those.  Parents love their children no matter what the condition is, these parent’s are mentally ill (obviously).

  • July 23, 2010 at 7:44 am
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    @Kittyluve@xanga – By educated I mean teach properly how to fit in society. Being an ADHD (albeit non-professionally diagnosed by my parents) doesn’t stop me from having a normal social life. It takes time, but with patience and love it will work.

  • July 23, 2010 at 4:25 am
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    @Murazrai@xanga – Ya I know high functioning autistic individuals can be quite intelligent, more than “normal” people.  But only 10% are savants.  But what about in terms of relationships and connections with others?  Anyways I made my comment because I was thinking about low and medium functioning autistic individuals.  Those individuals are the majority of the autistic population.  People on this site only talk about the high functioning autistic people when in reality they’re the minority.   I don’t see the bright side of my brother’s autism with mental retardation.

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