Are Doctors Classifying Children with Autism as Something other Than Human?
Young Man With Autism Dies, Forgotten in Hot Car

Autism is Not The New Normal: Bronx Mother (Allegedly) Murders Autistic Son

Pink-gun By Kim Stagliano

This morning Tanner's Dad (Tim Welsh) Tweeted a blog entry HERE from a pediatrician who talked about autism, and that it's "normalized" for him. Really doc? Autism is not the new normal. Asperger's or autism - the joys our kids bring are many. But so are the stresses. Normalized? Feel free to comment on how normal your life is at his blog HERE. Last week I was on HLN talking about the mother in Dallas who brutally murdered her two young children with autism. I told Jane Velez Mitchell's producer, "Hang onto your hat, there will be many more such tragedies as autism overwhelms families." I didn't expect one so soon.

NY Daily News: Bronx Mother Kills Son, Self Cops Say

Frustrated over the demands of raising an autistic child, police believe, a Bronx mother shot the boy to death before turning the gun on herself Wednesday night, cops said. Micaela Jackson, 37, and Kenneth Holmes, 12, both killed by a gunshot to the head, were found in bed in the single mother's apartment on Loring Place in Morris Heights, police said. The suspected murder-suicide - the second in as many weeks in the city - left Jackson's family and Kenneth's father shattered. Read more: HERE.


All I Can Handle Small Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism. Her book from Skyhorse Publishing, All I Can Handle I'm No Mother Teresa; A Life Raising Three Daughters with Autism is available now for preorder and debuts November 1st. Visit her website at www.kimstagliano.com.

Comments

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Antonia Stinson

Considering autism abnormal is just putting the people with this symptom in different category. This is absolutely unfair because autistic people are more creative and understand lot of stuff which so called normal human mind pretends to neglect.

Theodora Trudorn

THANK YOU Benedetta!! Just because I am not as severe does not mean I don't suffer. My issues may be different, but they can be things that drag me into a deep dark depression, where old suicide tendencies reer their ugly head.

I am competant enough just to realize how sick I really am. With the constant spasms throughout my body, the constant sensory issues, and low tolerance for being around a group of people for to long (unless prepared to do so for several days), believe me, it can be devistating.

Let us not play the 'who has it worse' game. I'm afraid (though it is rare for aspies in general) I would win that game. Nothing like PTSD and Asperger's together!! And most of us with AS do have other diagnoses as well.

Don't miniamize our suffering. We are indeed all in this together. And all of us deserve answers, and a REAL chance at life. Not many will be as lucky as I have been. But I still suffer things that no one should ever have to go through.

I do not think there is any excuse for what this mom has done. NONE!! I believe every life has a purpose and no one has the right to take away another's right to breathe! But I am in the service field. I know the absolute lack of any help that parents face!

They have no where to turn, especially those parents of aspies who are told that thier problems don't count because thier child is to high fuctioning. Meanwhile that kid is having suicidal tendencies and violent rages and is throwing chairs at thier parents.

I don't condone the action but I can sort of understand it.

SingleMom

"We are in this together
Because together --- WE are going to make them care!"

How are we going to make "THEM" care - if "some of us" don't even act like we care about one another?

No, we don't have to "divide" over who's brain injury is worse. Or, over who has more money and resources - which help to make life more manageable.

But - for those dealing with less severe brain injury and more financial stability - trying to empathize and understand the despair and overwhelming daily existence that some of us face - would help.

Remember - we don't need you to tell us to "man up" or "take personal responsibility" - the whole American culture is already sending those messages to us. We don't need "tough love" - we need support and understanding. If people can tangibly help another person, then offer to do so. But, don't sound all "high and mighty" and condemn those who take drastic measures.

No, many of us would not kill our children. But, we should be able to empathize with why some parents might. Empathy does not condone extreme action. Rather, it should motivate those who have "time" and/or "resources" (along with those who "condemn" other parents) - to secure adequate resources for those who lack them.

Benedetta

JessicaF

Your video hits this problem dead on, doctors are not doctoring and telling us to chill out!

However:
If you are angry at Aspies, bipolar, PDD-NOS or others on the "specturm"
You are angry at the wrong people.

There is only a divide in your mind.

A brain injury is what we are talking about for everybody.

How bad is the brain injury---that is what the specturm is all about.

We are together unless we wish to divide, and if we do; our numbers are segmented - we are less - we make less of an impact. If we divide over whose brain injury is worse; these people that are allowing this to happen, could care less, even causing these brain injuries to happen will get away with it, just like they have for the last forty years. Even together we have not been able to succeed now for many - many years.

For my duaghter - her brain injury was no more than a mood thing and her piturary thing. I pray it did not cause a stiffness of her heart that will eventually kill her. I have yet to have a docotor do more than an causual EEG - and that will not find life threatening heart disease. I know this, but the doctors don't know it, because the people in power once again could care less and did not teach it in medical school. See nothing is being taught in school about our group of kids!!!

A nonverbal child that is biting itself - Doctors and society think they bite just because that is the way they are (how stupid)- it never occurs to highly trained medical doctors that these kids are in so much pain that the biting is like the hero bitting on a piece of leather as they cut out a bullet.

But getting back to the spectrum:
My duaghter's injuries seem minor when compared to my son's injuries - so I should not complain and worry about her??? That is not how it works.

Can I compare my son's seizures to your diaper changes??? Can I compare my slow speaking son to your non-verbal son - well I cannot. BUT should I "NOT" worry about my son never the less?

Yes, you are worse off, and I am so very sorry.

You are saying that:

Your child's brain injury is worse off than my child's brain injury.
Well, that is true!

But should any brain injury had to have happened to any child when it could have been prevented: if only (people - evil people) do not just simply shrug their shoulders and said well-- it is genetic,you deserve it, and you want someone to blame because it was NOT the VACCINES. These evil people could care less, because it did not happen to their kids, or grandkids.

We are in this together
Because together --- WE are going to make them care!

barbaraj

Autism is not life threatening but in some circumstances can have an effect on longevity.
I read the above today. I don't see the difference, it would seem no one wants to admit our vaccines caused this, and no one wants to say shortened lives because of an illness suggests the illness is life threatening. I suggested once that the pharms know, and certainly the actuaries know, is this information available so we can better understand what affect being autistic has on accidents, suicides and homicides? Can a twenty one year old autistic man buy life insurance? I doubt it.

Maurine Meleck

I am a single grandmother raising a child on the autism spectrum and I am mad as hell. I am mad because my grandson has a sickness that he never should have and that could have been avoided. I am mad at government health officials, pediatricians, drug corporations and all those who could have stopped this epidemic before it happened. I am mad at doctors who are unwilling to look at another viewpoint and unwilling to help our children with the medical interventions they need. I am angry that my youngest grandson(recovered from the spectrum) can now read and understand what he's reading,
get all A's in school, play on a soccer team, ride his bicycle with his friends and the child that I am still trying to recover cannot do these things and may never be able to. What beauty is there in that? If anyone can find wonder and beauty and joy in all this then you have never lived with a child with full blown autism or you are fooling yourself into believing that a glass of water with a tteaspoon of lithium in it tastes better than a real dairy chocolate soda with rocky road ice cream. Yes, I am mad as hell and I doubt I'll be over it any time soon.
Maurine

Laura

Oh, and I never said, implied, or assumed that my experiences were the same as anyone else's.

Laura

Here's where assumptions are problematic. You assume that because we're Aspies and I said that our life wasn't devoid of joy, that I know nothing of self injurious behavior, out of control rages, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, or many of the other horrible truths of the spectrum. In fact, I do. Sorry, I didn't video tape my six year old banging his head against the wall, screaming that he wished he was dead, and pulling his hair out. In all the craziness, it just never occurred to me. You know what else has never occurred to me?

Killing him.

JessicaF

Hi Laura,

Here's where the great divide happens. Your child's Aspergers is most likely nothing like my child's severe autism. It's this big, big, big spectrum. Stop assuming your experiences and my experiences are the same experiences.

Tell me, does this look like what you deal with on a daily basis in your home full of Aspies?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPGhg1asyG8

Feeling "joyful" yet?

Laura

So being overwhelmed by stress raises your propensity for murder?...Interesting. If that is in fact the case, then it would seem to me that STRESS is the problem, not Autism. People have been raising severely disabled children for a VERY long time. To my knowledge there are no statistics that support a claim that the child murder rate among them is higher than that of the general population.

My contention is not that people won't continue to murder their children. My contention is that the rate won't increase or decrease as a result of Autism.

And you're right. "No excuses." Autism is not an excuse for murdering your children.

Yoo hoo Laura

No excuses... Mom said she killed her son becasue she was overwhelmed and couldn't handle the stress of raising an autistic child.

She left a suicide note and posted something online about it the neight before she did what she did.

******

Mom suspected in murder-suicide involving autistic son posted heart-wrenching blog item before death

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2010/07/30/2010-07-30_her_fateful_blog_post_before_tragic_slays.html#ixzz0vB4xKleS

Carry on in your aspie happy world and family well the rest of us realize that some people can't handle this thing called "autism". And enivitably this kind of thing will happen again, and again, and again.

Laura

I am an Aspie, married to an Aspie, with two Aspie children and I gotta say, this whole conversation totally confuses me. I think it's SICK to tell the world to "hold onto your hat" because more parents are going to murder their Autistic children due to the stress of the life we live. SICK.... You make it sound like the stress is an excuse. But people are mad at the DOCTOR? Huh?

No where in the original post does the doctor ever say that Autism is the new "normal". He says just exactly the opposite. He also doesn't say we shouldn't be helping folks on the spectrum and focusing on finding the why's and the how's. He says the OPPOSITE. Read the article. His point is we need to let go of the pity. Works for me. I don't want people standing around feeling sorry for me and my kids. I want people rolling up their sleeves and digging in to find ways to help us. AND I want people to see that we are more than the sum of our symptoms. Is it always a joyful experience to be socially inept, and sensory defensive? No. But that does NOT mean that there is NO joy in our lives.

I think instead of being mad at a doctor who thinks we should look past the condition and see the person, we should be directing our anger at the person who EXPECTS us to start murdering our children in greater numbers because of their disability. That's BS. That woman in TX murdered her children b/c she was a crazy psychopath, and likely would've killed them whether they were Autistic or not. She was PSYCHO.

Theodora Trudorn

As a person with AS there are a few things I can say on this.

It is not normal, nor is it a joy to me that a run screaming feeling like something is burining my brain after encountering a yellow room.

It is not normal, nor is it a joy to me that I can not enjoy something as nice as going out with my mom to shop because the white noise all around me turns me into a nervous wreck after a certain ammount of time is up.

It is not normal, nor is it a joy to me that sounds, textures, sights, etc can set me off in meltdown, causing me to go from 0-60 in seconds, causing embarrisment to myself and my family.

These are all the things that use to occur till I started my fixtation on old wives herbal medicine and started to take things into my own hands. Things have improoved drasticly since I stoped accepting and starting acting!

I am glad doctor you do not pity me. That is wonderful! Now, try treating me, and please stop telling me about the 'joys' of autism 'rolls eyes'. My joys have nothing to do with autism, and everything to do with who I AM. My diagnoses does not give me any joy.

My victories over said diagnoses and over many obstacles in my life have!

Thank you

nhokkanen

I flinched while reading the doctor's blog. Why did his revelations about the self-worthiness of children with autism come so late, take so many exposures, and come with conditions?

He's heavy on self-congratulation, assumptions and admonishments, but deficient in insights about causality and medical treatments. Aren't doctors are SUPPOSED to tell us what's wrong with us?

Consider that the good doctor is with the patient 20 minutes, then they're gone (and his staff sends the bill). It may take another couple decades of autism exposures before he starts catching on to patterns of vaccine injury, mitochondrial dysfunction, and neuroimmune damage. Sadly, these kids can't wait for his glacial learning curve.

JessicaF

"Who cares where it came from and why!"

My god, can you imagine if we said that about all of the other acceptable, non-controversial diseases that afflict children? Who cares about leukemia and why? Who cares about juvenile diabetes? Let's see - I care WHERE it came from to STOP it from ripping apart other families and destroying thousands of childrens lives in the future. And the WHY? Just follow the $$$. The WHY answers the HOW this is happening.

I'm sick to death of being told to "see the joys in the challenges" of autism. Screw that crap. Take away my child's SICKNESS and leave the "quirky" and then we will talk about seeing the joys in the "challenges" (as if autism was just this cute little speech issue that funky little savants exhibit in kindergarten before they tackle molecular chemistry).

My child may never drive a car, have a girlfriend, get married, graduate from school - hell, he may never have a conversation with me. He may never be out of diapers or stop smearing shit on the walls. He may have to live with an electronic anklet monitoring his every move so he doesn't get hit by a car or drown in the 10 inches of water in my backyard. That's why ASD is a SPECTRUM. My son's ASD may/may not be the same as yours or your child. It's so absurdly, obscenely offensive to tell me what to appreciate about my child, using YOUR child and YOUR experience as your reference point.

Autism is NOT the new normal!

Teresa Conrick

Hi Cori Law,

I think you're new here. Curious as to who belongs to this website-are you involved as I saw no names.
http://www.autismlisting.com/?

Also, your comment-

" Who cares where it came from and why!"...

- may be correct in your opinion but in reality, it is helpful for future treatments to know why certain therapies help (a mechanism to improvement ie hyperbaric oxygen.) It is also helpful in that we would like to stop it from happening, ie- end autism. Most people care about that here at AoA.

Tanners Dad

Follow up Comment to the Doctor...

Wow that is great news that your Medical school was forward thinking & gave you training in ways to care for those who have a condition that was barely known at the time. Enlighten us as to what exactly were the courses that you took for the care of those dealing with Autism? I am not an angry Refrigerator Father as some here would stoop to blame parents. I am a researcher advocate & Activist asking for real answers in a battle yes battle for real services for the children being Diagnosed at such a rate. I hope Doctor you will take the time in September to read the new book The Age of Autism Mercury Medicine and a manmade epidemic. You casual response about Oh the rates continued to climb after the removal of thimerosal underscores your lack of understanding of the pathology of Mercury Poisoning and the sources in the environment, when the mercury was removed & additional vaccines to the schedules. TannersDad Tim Welsh

Cori Law

It is a sad day when people have to fight over views of Autism instead of collaborating treatments and solutions. Let's work together to cure this! Who cares where it came from and why! All we know is that it is here, and our kids have it! Share your experience in a parent collaboration: www.autismlisting.com

We want to know what worked for you and your kids and share it with others!

bensmyson

I hear of all the sick people out there killing their children and it is endless. Google "baby in microwave"

#
Father puts baby in microwave, says he was drunk and high
Mar 17, 2010 ... Father puts baby in microwave, says he was drunk and high A Kentucky man put his five week old baby in a microwave and left him there for ...
www.examiner.com/x-12837-US-Headlines-Examiner~y2010m3d17-Father-puts-baby-in-microwave-says-he-was-drunk-and-high - Cached
#
Dad held in baby's microwave burning - U.S. news - Crime & courts ...
May 23, 2007 ... A baby girl was released from a hospital 11 days after police say she was burned in a motel microwave oven.
www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18807327/ - Cached - Similar

Or look at youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLZK9D6YPNE A mother who burned her baby daughter to death in a microwave oven was sentenced Monday to life in prison without the chance for parole.

Holy Mother of God, autism? Autism is way down on the list of reasons why a parent would kill their child, insanity perhaps might be at the top dont ya think?

My son's autism bothers me a whole lot less than the asshole calling me at 8:30 at night wanting to know when he can expect a $57 payment on my credit card, talk about wanting to kill someone and that guy's call is just one of many things that make autism at times seem like an annoying leaky faucet. (and I can say that after yesterday when I had to deal with a non-stop 2 hour meltdown that honestly gave me chest pain) But I tell ya, if there is ever a Wikileaks find regarding the cover-up of vaccine injuries and names are mentioned? Well, Yippy- Ki - Ay mother trucker...

Yes, my son's autism makes it extremely hard sometimes but it's not his fault, it's not God's fault either. But it *is* someone's fault, someone with a name, someone who signed off on some corporate policy, someone whose greed or political ideology harmed my son and I hope I live long enough to learn that person's name, in fact I hope we all are around when that justice can be served.

Hang tight Single Mom, there are a couple of things out there worse than autism, like the people who sponsor it.

Heidi N

Actually all this brings to mind the difference between today and 30 years ago. Thirty years ago, when one rarely heard the terms Bipolar and Schizophrenia, and never heard the terms autism, ADHD, and OCD, things were very different. Today, every friend and neighbor I talk to about "how things are going" tells me that she is on psych meds for anxiety, moods swings, etc. It's not just our children developing symptoms effecting their personality, it's the adults too. We know that treating for pathogens and toxins long-term is recovering our children, so that must be the problem. We have too many toxins and too many untreated chronic pathogens that need to be dealt with. It's a sad situation. Too many are ill, and more yet, too many are disabling ill, not able to work, and not able to live independently.

Teresa Conrick

Erin,

Your comments are offensive to me-

"people with autism are just as "normal" as the rest of us. They drive cars, they hold jobs, and they do wonderful things."

You are talking about a group who is quite the minority. Most of the children/people labeled autistic are quite affected. My daughter is one of them.

Coincidentally she was just at her doctor's. What would Dr. Rob do for Megan? She is nonverbal,overwhelmed by sensory overload, and has MANY medical issues. She has been having behaviors that have become worse: severe OCD- includes repeatedly playing a phrase over and over on a vcr tape/toy/etc, touching things repreatedly, putting things down the toilet (plumber unstopped 2 last week), having tics- both vocal and physical (looks like PANDAS and Parkinson's), she has been having increased urination accidents (has been using the toilet since age 9 after starting digestive enzymes), nosebleeds (had 3 on Monday), rubbing her eyes aggressively and her ears. Would Dr. Rob be ok with those behaviors and help a very sick child and worried mother or would he say it " makes me very uncomfortable." Would he then lecture me and say- "Disabled children are the center of our societal pity, with the torch-bearers for this being Jenny McCarthy and the other avid anti-vaccine folks." Would he then show me the door because Meg was harmed by her vaccines? Would he have figured out that Meg has a yeast infection in her ear, a Urinary tract Infection and Strep? Would Dr. Rob know to even look for these? Would he want to know WHY she has them and why she keeps getting bacterial and fungal infections?

This is not an issue of being proud of accomplishments or "Maturing over time." These are very SICK kids who deserve respect and appropriate treatments. They have been injured into disability. It is hard to have joy when there is so much wrong with this scenario. You should be ashamed in trying to guilt parents into some kind of "neurodiverse" love. We all love our children but having them feel pain and suffering is abominable and that is why we are here, fighting for our kids. That is what you need to accept.

Stagmom

I don't need a pediatrician to remind me my children are human. I gave birth to them. I am aware. Doctors are supposed to HEAL. Period.

webhill

OK first of all, re: normalization, or autism being "the new normal" or whatever... no one is saying that. I think people are rightly recognizing that the people who are on the autism spectrum are still people, not animals or mysterious beings of some type, but actual humans with whom you can try to interact to the best of the person's ability. No one is saying that people with autism are NEUROTYPICAL, here, least of all Dr. Rob. Dr. Rob IMO eloquently explained his personal experience and how it has opened his eyes to the more wonderful characteristics of his autistic patients, instead of leaving him to remain focused on only the negatives. I did not hear Dr. Rob say that he hoped more kids would become autistic, that he wished he could experience the joy of parenting an autistic child, or any other outrageous remark along those lines. I didn't even hear him say autism is becoming more normal or anything like that. I heard Dr. Rob express the opinion that the autistic kids he treats have brought joy into his life, have made him laugh, and that he is grateful to see these small miracles in his practice of pediatrics.

Moving on... normal, well-balanced parents do not murder their children. I don't care how "overwhelmed by autism" they are. You don't murder your child in this (American) culture (I recognize there are other cultures where certain types of child murder are accepted. This is not one of them). If you are that overwhelmed, you call 911 and you say "I'm overwhelmed and I fear I might harm my child." You don't pick up a gun or a knife or the bathroom cleaner or the garotte and commit murder. A child with autism is not a reason to commit murder. I know plenty of overwhelmed parents whose kids don't have autism, by the way. Yes, autism, especially the "severe, classical type" autism that affects one of my friend's sons (and that's how my friend describes it - I don't know if it has any special medical name), IS overwhelming. So is childhood cancer. I worked with an overwhelmed woman whose daughter died a long, drawn out, agonizing death from brain cancer. She didn't murder someone in response. She helped her dying daughter start a national foundation to help other kids like her. So just because autism can be terribly overwhelming and devastating to the personal lives of the family affected, that doesn't mean a pediatrician doesn't have the right to recognize and praise the spark of humanity he views in the person who has that autism.

Why you seem to hold such a negative attitude is beyond me. Who is that helping?

SingleMom

Perhaps, autism isn't "so bad" for families that are wealthy or well resourced. Perhaps, it's not so bad for those who have large, supportive families who live close and can help out in a pinch. Perhaps, it's not so bad, if you can take frequent "breaks" (movies, dining out, etc.) and "excursions" (family trips, Disney vacations, couples' get-aways, etc.). Perhaps, it's not so bad if you know that your child's basic needs will always be met.

Perhaps, my little girl's autism wouldn't be "so bad" - if I weren't a single mom. Perhaps, it wouldn't be so bad - if her brother didn't have a slew of health issues too. Perhaps, it wouldn't be so bad - if we had ANY relatives that lived closer than 8 hours away. Perhaps, it wouldn't be so bad - if my children's father were able to "do more" to help out (we live far away from my extended family to be close to their dad). Perhaps, it wouldn't be so bad if we were wealthy...or...even...financially stable. Perhaps, it wouldn't be so bad if we weren't tens of thousands of dollars in debt (medical expenses, student loans, etc.). Perhaps, it wouldn't be so bad - if we didn't have to worry about how long our old car is going to last...or whether we'll have a safe place to live in the coming months.

I'm writing to enlighten those who are "ok" with autism as to why some of us are "devastated" by it.

Perhaps,it wouldn't be so bad - if those of you, whose families are facing fewer "challenges" and "obstacles", would open your eyes to those of us who are struggling with MULTIPLE adversitites.

Yes - we all face challenges in life! But, imagine facing autism as a low-income single mom with multiple children dealing with developmental/health issues. WE would love to see more EMPATHY within the autism community - especially from the camp who "accepts" autism!!!

Mary

I didn't find anything offensive in Doc Rob's post. He spoke about no
longer being afraid of trying to treat children with autism. I wish more
docs treating children with autism were as open to admitting that they
don't know everything, and struggle to engage with, their patients who have autism.

Lisa @ TACA

So incredibly tragic

michelle

In addition to my comments on Dr. Rob's post, I wanted to comment on the recent tragedies of parents who have killed their own children, supposedly because the child/children had autism. I have felt great sadness in reading each story, to the point of tears. However, I'm not sure tragedies like this occur more often inside of families that have autism. I'm wondering if we simply concentrate on them more. We have had several local stories that are similar but did not involve autism: murder/suicide of former mayor and her daughter; grandmother who left her severely disable grandchild to die; mother who cut off her child's arms; etc.... Every time I read of one of these horrible tragedies occurring to a child with autism, I find myself saddened and enraged, and I forget that this likely is happening to many other families.

Mark Blaxill

And one final point Erin. You have cerebral palsy. It sounds like you're handling it well. Unlike you,
1) our children don't often have a healthy social life,
2) they are going to be treated differently (because most of them will not be able to live independently) for the rest of their lives,
3) are trapped in perseverative thoughts, which prevent them from the kind of thought most of us consider "independent."

While I applaud your positive mindset and independence, please don't equate your situation with those facing autism families. You take pride in your disability, but you don't have a clue what difficulties haunt families affected by autism. So please don't presume to tell us how to think.

purplesque

I think you may have misunderstood the blog post by the pediatrician that you link to. He does not say that Autism and other ASDs are 'normal', what he says is that over time, his comfort zones have widened and he is no longer rattled by the 'abnormal'. He has learned to see the joy in the children with ASD just like their parents and other caregivers do, learned to enjoy their lack of guile, their directness and their individual qualities.

I do not find anything offensive and demeaning in that post. Thank you.

michelle

I think a lot of people missed the point of Dr. Rob's post. I'm the PARENT of two children on the autism spectrum, and loved his perspective. I don't believe he was stating that these children or families don't need help. I believe he was simply stating that we don't need to be pitied. I thought he summed up my own experience and life quite well:
despite the enormous struggles and stresses, parents of children with autism celebrate their accomplishments and love and enjoy them. We're not constantly feeling like we wish our live were different. I believe my children have a purpose. I do all I can for them to become the best that they can be, but also want them to know that they are extraordinary just they way they are. They should feel loved and accepted - not like they should have been born different.

And again, what I took from Dr. Rob was that all people are unique and different, everyone has challenges and obstacles to overcome, and everyone has something of value to offer society. What is so wrong with that message?

Mark Blaxill

Erin,
As a PARENT of a child diagnosed with autism, I would count myself thrilled if she was interested and self-aware enough to read this thread and have the capacity to become upset by it. Even more, if she had the ability to get angry at me and insult me based on a misguided ideology, whatever that might be. After turning cartwheels, if I felt any residual shame at that point, I wouldn't be too torn up about it. Right now, I worry about helping her recover from her INJURIES and we need the world to be outraged by what happened to her and others. Rob isn't helping.

Erin

As A PERSON with a disability myself, it is important for me to note that Dr. Rob was doing just exactly what we like to see. He was telling us that though we have a little something extra, we still are able to integrate our lives with those without our diagnosis and lead happy, healthy lives.

Autism is not the new normal, but people with autism are just as "normal" as the rest of us. They drive cars, they hold jobs, and they do wonderful things. Why would you critize a pediatrician for loving the kids he treats and seeing the joys in their challenges? This baffles me. If I knew my parents were getting upset at a doctor who was finding joy in the struggles I face, I would question why with every fiber of my being.

There is no doubt that any disability or diagnosis is a hard pill to swallow, but your kids are simply that. They're kids. Find the joy in the fact that you are able to have them, help them lead healthy, productive lives, and transform into lovely people. Quit focusing on the things we can't do, and just as Dr. Rob did, focus on the abilities that we do have. You really should be ashamed. If your kid could read (or has the opportunity to read) what you're saying, he would be highly offended. Think about that.

Kym

I agree that prevalence of a disease or condition does not equal normal. Murder is prevalent in certain cities but that does not make it normal.

Unless you are the parent of a child with autism, there is no way to understand the stress and devastation it can have on a family. Sure, some of us reach a level of acceptance in order to keep going. But that does not mean we completely give up on trying to help our children in the hopes that they can someday live independently. Nor does it make our children's autism "typical".

No parent wants to get the diagnosis of autism, and I wish certain doctors would stop propagating the myth that parents use the diagnosis to get more services and there is just better diagnosing that is causing the increase in diagnoses. What is more likely is that parents do not want a child diagnosed. I know for a fact that there are parents who are in total denial of the diagnosis to the point they won't even say the word "autism".

Not a day goes by when I don't think about what would happen to my son if something happened to me. What happens when he becomes an adult? Will he ever be able to live without me advocating for him? Will he ever be independent? Who will take care of him? Too many questions...not enough answers.

People who don't have children with autism will never know what it is like...no matter how many degrees they have. Just like "prevalence" does not equal "normal", having a medical degree does not necessarily equal understanding autism or what it is truly like for families who are affected by autism.

The stress is real. The pain is real. And families need help. So sad to read yet another story like this. Not normal.

Liz

This is the medical community's fault. They do not make known and implement effective treatment. Their choice.

It's not a "feel good" thing to say, but many of us moms have problems too: depression, bipolar, etc., our own toxicities that contribute to so-called "psychiatric disorders".

If we weren't so vigilant (the Autism Warriors), they might be doing a study right now of cost of treating autism vs. the cost of abandoning them till they are "wards of the state" (and downplaying the occasional murder-suicide incident.)

Hmmm, let's evaluate:

Treating Autism -

Health insurance has to pay
MDs/Peds have to actually do their jobs
Initial rise in job creation, followed by less jobs avail. and more competition for jobs (because of healing/recovery)

Not Treating Autism -

Consumer spending increase (on not-covered-by-insurance expenses)
Expanded job creation in alternative medicine fields
Rise in job creation, sustained by sick people without knowledge/access to treatment

Maria Buchta

DebinIL - So true! Every word of it.

patrons99

It is thoroughly disgusting that many in the mainstream medical establishment are now referring to ASD as being "normal", a variation of "normal", or saying that we are just better now at diagnosing ASD, and that it's always been this way.

In order to find our way out of this darkness, we first must identify the problem.

Here it is, in a nutshell:

"Vaccines are the foundation pediatric medicine".

http://www.sailhome.org/Concerns/Vaccines.html

ObjectiveAutismDad

Kim, I can't read these stories... It's just way too sad. But I know they need to be written -- and read. Thanks for taking care of that for the rest of us.

bensmyson

"We've traded slow-cooked meals without preservatives for chemical-filled Happy Meals; traded mumps for diabetes and autism."

You have got to love AoA's contributors and their wisdom and insight.

debbie voss

My comment to Dr. Rob:

"JM has no credibility to medical folks and, in many of our eyes, spread harmful information."

Why I wonder?? If my child were diagnosed as autistic and then I found a way to help him, why wouldn't I want to share that, and why wouldn't you medical folks give me some credibility? What are you afraid of, exactly?? You are wanting us to accept vaccine injury as normal? What kind of person does that? You are telling parents that if their child is 5, 10, 18(?) that it is normal to still be wearing a diaper? That it is normal for a child to flap their hands, walk on their toes, to wear diapers, to scream all night long??? It is NOT normal to be sick and that is what a lot of these autistic kids are, Dr. Rob, sick and as a ped, I would think you would be one of the first to give Jenny a ring and find out just what she did to help her son get well again.

Stagmom

V- if women who've had mastectomies walked around with their chests exposed it would not make breast cancer increases normal. Or acceptable. We'd still demand treatment and cure. Why should autism become "normal" even as kids are suffering, families collapsing and the tidal wave hasn't even aged out yet? KIM

V

Autism is only to become the new normal in some people's minds - if the incident rate continues to rise as it has been. Perhaps that is what some people think of when they allude to it as being the new normal. A new normal per statistical average. Perhaps autism is perceived as less unique to some professionals...and at times ho hum. Doesn't make the parent's job any easier.

bensmyson

"...found in bed in the single mother's apartment"

It seems every single time a child with autism is killed by a parent they are a single parent, mostly mothers or grandmothers who have the responsibility of caring for the child.

If you are caring for a child with autism by yourself, we all know how tough it can be, please speak up, find someone to talk to. Even with my wonderfully supportive and extremely selfless wife who will do anything and everything to help with Ben, things are tough. And when things get tough I reach out, many times to strangers who have been there and done that (and will ship you a tshirt, just ask Kim)

It's not a normal life, not a normal anything, but what is normal is that our kids are being affected in epidemic proportions, what is normal is that right now all we have are ourselves, it's normal to deal with this alone. And unfortunately many times alone just won't cut it. Get connected, stay connected.

DebinIL

What if Jenny McCartney is right? What if children with autism are really sick because of undiagnosed celiac/food allergies/reaction to vaccinations? Our society is so convinced that we eat well because we're fat, and we're healthy because we don't catch measles. We've traded slow-cooked meals without preservatives for chemical-filled Happy Meals; traded mumps for diabetes and autism.
My son is on an organic, gluten-free, milk-free diet and he's thriving. He's the healthiest kid in his class. He had one sick day in the past year, and that was for pink-eye.
He was on the road to autism. Because he eats healthy, he no longer is. He isn't "growing out of it", because he regresses every time he eats something he shouldn't. It leaves his system, and he returns to the happy, social, smart, funny 5 year old that I have wished him to be.

Why is this being demonized? Why is eating really healthy (organic fruits, organic vegetables, whole grass-fed meat, approved grains and starches) being looked at like we don't love our children? I'd say look again at the mother of a diabetic who allows cookies and cake and then just gives more insulin.

Rethink health. It starts with how we build our bodies, and we build them with what we put into them. Eat healthy. Drink clean water. Stop injecting heavy metals into our kids - their overburdened immune system can't handle it.

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