A reader brought an article to my attention. The article was written by a former NY state attorney general, Dennis Vacco, and it’s called “The Socialite Autism Murder.”
The bare bones of the story are this: a woman murdered her eight-year-old autistic son, apparently also intending to kill herself. Prescription drugs were the weapon. As it happens, the woman, Gigi Jordan, was a wealthy pharmaceutical executive, and her wealth has clouded the issues in the media. Ms. Jordan appears to suffer from psychosis, for example saying at the time that she feared a looming divorce and custody battle, but she had been divorced for two years, and there had been no such battle.
We shouldn’t let the wealth and the psychosis side issues in this story derail us from the main issue here: that parents of autistic kids need special support. Those who can provide “respite” care to give such parents a break may just be life-savers, in these situations where coping can be so difficult.
The dead boy’s father had this to say: “And to see him suffering… he was a good boy, but sometimes he would bang his head on the floor and scream and scream. He was in pain. His immune system was attacking his brain. She must have felt helpless.”