The support system is broken


Wednesday night, a Bronx woman buckled under the pressure of taking care of her autistic son, and shot her son and herself to death.

Earlier this week, a Dallas woman killed both her young children because they were autistic and she wanted “normal kids.”

There’s something broken in our support system. 

All parents, whether their children are typical or atypical, need help.  Parents without partners need even more support.  I am fortunate: my husband is present and involved, my parents live nearby and love to spend time with their grandson, I only have one child to care for, and we are not struggling to figure out how to afford food or rent.  I am educated enough to know we are more fortunate than many in this country, and I still feel overwhelmed sometimes by the demands of raising my son.

What could have helped these moms and saved their lives and the lives of their children?  Therapy for themselves?  Access to parent training services?  A network of friends who understand the unique pressures of raising a child with an ASD?  I certainly don’t know their individual situations, but I think it’s safe to say there were some big holes in their safety nets.

Let’s all look out for each other.  Listen to your friends.  Let them vent their frustrations without judging them.  Tell your mommy-friend she’s doing a good job.  If you know a single parent, ask if you can watch her kids for an hour or two so she can recharge and take care of herself.  If you have a friend who is raising a child with special needs, do a little research on the child’s condition so you can deepen your empathy. 

Ask your friend what she needs.

Be open to actually providing what she needs.

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Meredith Zolty
My kid is great! And he has PDD-NOS and ADHD (e-i-e-i-o). The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Watch us navigate the world of neurodiversity at http://notanaffliction.blogspot.com/
Meredith Zolty

TheRyanFiles

My kid is great! And he has PDD-NOS and ADHD (e-i-e-i-o). The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Watch us navigate the world of neurodiversity at http://notanaffliction.blogspot.com/

0 thoughts on “The support system is broken

  • August 7, 2010 at 11:02 am
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    I don’t have autistic children but can’t imagine not having my husband for support with our two children. 

    Reply
  • August 3, 2010 at 2:11 pm
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    “She didn’t do it for fun.”

    Seems more like she did it for arrogance and egomania than for fun or frustration.  She said she killed her kids because she wanted “normal” kids.

    That sure makes it seem like she thought she was too good for her son who had autism and too good for her daughter who didn’t have autism but maybe some other quirk, so she thought she deserved to stop raising them and have other kids instead.

    “She’d hit breaking point. No, it wasn’t excuse. But it is still saddening to know she had reached that point and didn’t have the psychological support system, or the psychological health to cope with it.”

    She’d reached the point of not having kids she thought were good enough for her and her ego, and not having any support system replace her kids with someone else whom she would think was good enough for her.

    Reply
  • August 2, 2010 at 7:24 pm
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    @Linda – Yes, it’s appalling. But let’s face it, she wasn’t psychologically healthy. She didn’t do it for fun. She’d hit breaking point. No, it wasn’t excuse. But it is still saddening to know she had reached that point and didn’t have the psychological support system, or the psychological health to cope with it.

    Reply
  • August 2, 2010 at 6:26 pm
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    “Earlier this week, a Dallas woman killed both her young children because they were autistic and she wanted “normal kids.””

    Only one of her two children had autism, the other didn’t have autism (see http://cbs11tv.com/local/rashid.akhter.saiqa.2.1822437.html ) and just wasn’t normal enough for her mom to want to keep her alive.

    Also see http://fa8.029.myftpupload.com/730612664/my-heart-breaks-for-this-murderer/?page=1&jump=1515213883#1515213883

    “Uh..lets review:

    “I don’t want my children to be like that. … I want normal kids.”Later, the dispatcher asked the woman what she was feeling. “Nothing,” she responded.

    And your heart BREAKS for her? She is a cold blooded killer. She didnt kill because she was frustrated with the stresses that come with raising a child with a disability. She killed them because she wanted “normal” kids. Don’t believe me (even though she sid it herself)? Then why did she feel NOTHING afterwards. Not guilt, not regret, not sorrow. NOTHING. Sounds like a sociopath to me.

    Further..she CHOKED them with a wire. Thats not a fast process. If you are stressed with your child and (God forbid) begin to hurt them…you have plenty of time to stop before they die if you are choking them.

    This woman deserves NO sympathy.

    “Ask your friend what she needs.

    Be open to actually providing what she needs.

    Even if what she (or he! fathers can have all these problems too!)  says s/he needs is better kids because s/he thinks the kids s/he already has aren’t good enough for him/her?

    Reply

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