March, 24 is Autism Epidemic Day in New York State
IACC: Ethical Disaster Zone

The Sky is Falling. Autistic Boy Arraigned in Mother's Death.

Skywalker(Photo used with permission from They are covering the Sky Walker case.)

By Kim Stagliano

Sky Walker is being arraigned today for his mother's death earlier this year (HERE). There's a chance he'll spend the rest of his life in an institution for mental illness. Does that make you as sick as it makes me?

Wake up, parents of kids with autism.

You have got to find a way to ameliorate your child's behavior. And chances are, that means looking past traditional, pharmaceutical solutions and ABA.  It doesn't mean you don't use drugs at all. It doesn't mean ABA isn't useful - but for God's sake, here is a boy whose mother taught at a college with a post-graduate program in autism. And she couldn't get relief, respite, real help for him?  I lved in NE Ohio for many years. It's not progressive, but it's not a backwater either.

From today, Family friend Molly Merryman said she never saw aggressive behavior from Walker during visits he and his mother made to her farm. The adults would make dinner, and Walker would pace a 120-foot circle for hours outdoors, she said.

But as Walker grew older, his behavior appeared to change. Steuernagel hinted at this in a campus newspaper article she wrote a year ago belittling complaints by colleagues on how busy they are.

"Busy? Try spending an evening sitting in a closet with your back to the door trying to hold it shut while your child kicks it in," she wrote.

I can not imagine how Dr. Steuernagel must have felt as her son beat her. Or if she was conscious enough to worry about his future as she lay dying in a hospital bed.   I feel great compassion for her and what she went through trying her best to care for her son.

I have a thousand questions about what was done for a boy who would "pace a 120 foot circle for hours outdoors" as a child.  This isn't the time or place. No matter how I try to write it, I sound like I'm blaming the mother. I've no intention of doing that. I do tend to think the professionals around her failed her.

This story is fraught with caveats and is a glimpse into the future.  Wake up, America. The Sky is falling.

Keep this boy in your prayers, won't you?

Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism.





I have a 17 year old son who is larger than me now and beats me upon occasion. I've been thinking of this story for a while now and wanted to see what happened to Sky. I haven't yet found any info, but I hope he is in good care.
I never heard others talking about older spectrum kids who regressed and became violent until I joined the CD Autism FB page. Chlorine Doxide is bringing my son back to me and his rages have lessened substantially. If you are in this situation I strongly urge to purchase chlorine dioxide and begin the protocol. Your lives will improve in 90% of all cases. The website is, and no, its not bleach and it is not harmful.

Ross Coe

Its just several days after Adam Lanza went on a shooting spree In Conneticut. Just a few weeks after Christopher Krumm killed his father, father's girlfriend and himself in Vernon Conn. Both are in their 20's, and like my son are part of the 90's vaccine catastrophe that saw the beginning of the regressive autism epidemic that has spread world wide. The chickens are coming home to roost. Damaged children are acting like futuristic robots turning on their makers.

David Hunter

I am a single father or a big, 30-year-old autistic man, and I know the feeling this professor must have had. My weekends are often pure hell when I'm watching my son, but fortunately (unlike the Kent State professor) I am a big guy myself so he can never kill me. I call autism the "little red devil" and that it sits with my son and me in the room for hours on end until the weekend ends. I love my son greatly, but he is killing my soul. Truly.


Ligon -
I hope you know that if anyone asks questions such as, "I wonder whether he was on the GFCF diet?" or "I wonder whether his mom had tried any biomedical interventions?" it is not to reproach or blame Sky's mother. He grew up at a time before there was an internet, and before there was much awareness of biomedical treatments. Even now, these treatments are dismissed as hogwash by so many professionals, and parents are often discouraged from even trying the GFCF diet.

If anything, these questions are a reproach to the many professionals (scientists, doctors, researchers...) who continue to ignore the potential benefits of biomedical treatments. And we're just wondering about whether things could have been better, how much difference could such things as dietary intervention and nutritional supplements made, or maybe she had tried some of these treatments without effect -- we don't know.

But this mother appears to have been extremely devoted. And all of us are making our way amidst so many uncertainties. I don't think anyone posting here is judging her. We empathise with her and feel her death to be a profound tragedy, for her and for Sky as well.

With very best wishes to you and your family,



Terri, thank you very much for the kind words, I know I was just emotional about all of this. I appreciate you taking the time to care. I am just not sure what to do right now and may take you up on your suggestion, I know we are all in this together to help our kids who are struggling. I pray that this young man will recieve every support he deserves and am so sorry about the pain the family is going thru with the death and everything else.

Terri Lewis


Welcome. Not everyone here has a child who is doing well. Many here have children who are not well at all, despite every effort--every biomedical treatment, every therapy known, often every available minute spent with their affected child.

I hope you will stick around. If you look, you can find a lot of compassion here for parents who are simply trying to do their best to heal their child's autism--whether they've been able to see a lot of success or none at all (yet)!

I would also encourage you to find a Rescue Angel at Generation Rescue (, even if only for emotional support.



what about those who have tried alternative methods and they have not helped? I think everyone hear needs to have compassion for this suffering family and this man that makes me cry everytime I see this picture, please do not become judgemental and blame this poor mama, just because things are working so well for you all.(I am happy for all of those whos kids were helped with any method) my son is almost 12 and we have tried so many things,And we will continue and I will never stop. my heart is really breaking, there are so many of us moms who love our struggling kids with autism so much, my son has down syndrome too. God is really our only answer, He never leaves us, God Bless.



The Amanda Baggs comment was the 2nd one posted and no one even commented further.

You don't want Amanda Baggs brought into this? Fine. Put any any other Neuro Diverse advocates name in there and the statement is still true.

"Some very educated people believe NDs like Amanda Baggs when she paints autistic behaviors as simply an alternate way to live and somehow enriching. The official position of government health authorities supports this...until it gets out of control, then the person with autism is a criminal."

This is an important statement. This is what is happening to some of our loved ones.


I agree with skw - let's leave this thread about Sky - and not bring Ms. Baggs into it. Thanks.


for the person wo posted a comment about Amanda Baggs i to feel that comment is of not appropriate as she is of to have a right to her own thinking and is of an adult impacted by her autism greatly and she has of a right to feel as she does in regards to her own autism.

As for self do not fully support the ND theory and concepts for self and that is of my own right to hve my own thinking in regards to my own autism too. Amanda in no way is of HFA or even aspergers she is of clearly with what would be of dx as classical LF autism.

but regarless of her thinking or outcome her name really is of not relevant here, but will defend of my friend from on line places.

the focus here is of Sky and so lets of focus of how to help of him survive of this mess.

Maureen O

I think until you see how your sweet spectrum kid is on testerone and a lot bigger then you I don't think we can judge anyone. I have worked in hospitals as an RN and many times had to have help restraining a patient who was combative due to a variety of reasons.
I would hate someone to judge me in these situations as not having done enough to prevent this from happening.
It is a lot easier to control what a child eats and does then it is a teenager.
Bottom line these kids were poisoned by their pediatricians and the government, both of which have abandoned them to have their parents fend for themselves to care for them. The autism community shouldn't abandon them too now their child isn't as cute as he used to be. They need are help and support and unfortunately some of these kids will need to be institutionalized for the sake of their parents and them selves.
I have learned never to take parenting advice from anyone who hasn't raised an autistic or NT teenager! You will be eating your "I would never!" words


All these treatment options are over whelming. We need truly independant studies non-biased. I have a 8 year old boy that is very verbal, but somewhat reciprocal mainly echolalic. Just glad his verbal. Had 3 years ABA, I'm a firm beliver in it. Lovaas, Koegel, Schreibman, Sundberg and others contributed a lot. Look up their writings. Good luck.


Sign Lady - his father is a doctor? I missed that tidbit. Funny, I just heard a story of a well to do family who had put their 9 year old daughter with autism into institutional care. One parent was a psych nurse and the other a ped, I believe. Nine years old. The docs really do believe the worst of and for our kids. It's sinful.

sign lady

Very poignant. Excellent points. Thank you for this article.

Regarding the biomed suggestion, I wonder if Sky's father - a mainstream doctor - would allow it.

Dream On

Most talk of children and continue to dream of miracles. The fact is Sky Walker is nobody's child. He is an 18 year old man. There is a total lack of assistance for adults on the autistic spectrum and their relatives. Sky's mother wasn't the first person who died at the hands of an as adult and won't be the last. No matter how well an as adult does most of the time, as adults will at times melt down. It is dangerous. That is a fact. Mental institutions are not the answer for as adults suffering from neurodevelopmental disorders. Nor is prison the answer. Society at present has no answer so those adults who try to act responsibly continue to pay the price. That is the ugly truth. Parents of as small children, stop dreaming and face reality.


Michelle, I see your point. But I still say no. There are recovery stories everywhere. People write day in and day out about significant improvement in their kids based on treatment. We're still mostly ignored by the larger press. Put on your own oxygen mask first, right?

KIM :)


Kim, as much as I totally agree with you about not letting Sky Walker jump the line in front of other kids -- wouldn't this be a great and very public opportunity to show how well biomed & diet truly works? It certainly would make for some pretty eye-grabbing headlines.

I'm sure something like this would never happen unfortunately, but think of how many other kids could possibly be saved because their parents thought biomed was quackery - until they saw a kid, who once was so effected that he killed his own mother, recover or just get better than he was.


It's a nice idea = the assessment. But I'd say no. There are families in line to see both docs - who've been working their asses off and doing everything they can for their kids. I don't think they deserve to have the line cut even for Sky Walker. There are docs in Akron who are well aware of biomed. SKy's own doc, Nevada Reed, knows perfectly well how diet and biomed can change a child's life - I used to live in her town and I know people who see her. She's open minded too. But ha she pushed anyone for this sort of assessment? I don't know. But she could. She could.



I saw that Hannibal Lector- like image and my first thought was, "Poster Boy" for the world of underfunded reactionary treatment of the mentally ill. Autistic people can have some serious mental health issues, as can anyone. Hell not being able to communicate the pain and suffering would drive most of us into violent fits of rage.

But unfortunately with more of our children growing older, taller, stronger life can be kind of dangerous, almost as dangerous as it is in the "normal" world. Teenagers twisted on drugs, gangs, tired of the mental, physical and sexual abuse kill parents every day.

Parents also kill kids, from 1976 - 2005 nearly 10,000 children under 5 were murdered by one of their parents.

It's an extremely harsh reality that people kill their own family members.

But that picture, that image will play out in all of our minds from now till the end of time.

America needs to come to grips with the violence with in all homes and neighborhoods.

In light of this mother's death, we need to spend a little more time thinking about our own future which should demand immediate action to build, train and facilitate state of the art environments where some of our children will need to reside someday. Not because they pose a safety threat, but because they deserve it, they are tired, frustrated and more than likely pretty damn angry. This is the darker side of autism but it has to be properly addressed. Now.


Any way a group of us can ban together financially and get him an assessment by Dr. Krigsman/Buie for gut & Dr. Geier for metabolic/hormone/testosterone issues?

Wake up is right!

Thank you Kim for keeping this in the public eye.

You'll be harshly criticized by those who think autism is a sheer delight and also for continuously talking about thie "rare" case.

I know our commnity is all over the place with "causation" theories, but this situation really made me realize what a divided group we truly are. Most people are worried about the impression people will have of those with autism. Don't want any negative PR. Well, I'm worried about Sky Walker and Henry Cozad who are both facing murder charges and both are severely autistic. I'm worried about all the kids getting handcuffed and arrested and tasered and locked in isolation rooms or tied to Rifton chairs.

If that doesn't apply to your kid and you kid's kind of autism. Please show compassion and empathy for those people who's kid it does apply to.

Sorry about the negative impressions it might cause your kid or you, but we got a crisis on our hands and we need to be upfront about the condition some people suffer with and deal with it.


Some very educated people believe NDs like Amanda Baggs when she paints autistic behaviors as simply an alternate way to live and somehow enriching. The official position of government health authorities supports this...until it gets out of control, then the person with autism is a criminal.

There's no blame for the mother if she was following a prevalent ideology and believed she was doing the best for her son by allowing him to "be diverse"-- if that's the case. We all know that. There's also the other issue-- if you call for "help" when your child is aggressive in some places, the state can decide to take over and that invariably means doping. Or just more doping. Who knows if Skywalker was taking psychotropes or not before-- something else which is sold as "safe and effective" and supported by the authorities. What's guaranteed is that they've got him doped up beyond belief now.

In Florida, the Baker Act is overapplied and children with autism are being arrested at school for acting out, even for suicide attempts. The parents lose control of their children's treatments. If they'd had the child on one drug, the child can end up on dozens in state care.

I wish we could talk to Trudi Steurnagel now and find out if she was conscious of alternate choices and, if she was, whether she took them or not. I just suspect that if the "authorities" supported research into vaccine injuries, made insurance cover "biomed" and treated children of the epidemic as victims of an official mistake, giving them what they need in recompense, this didn't have to happen.

Chicken Nuggets and Pizza

"I think his uncle brings him things he likes. Chicken nuggets and pizza. And BBQ potato chips."


I once saw a website set up by the father of an autistic teen. The kid was non-verbal, in his mid teens and had just been committed to a mental institution ... by his parents (!!) after convincing their school system that it was the best for everyone (the school had to approve the committment since they had to cover the costs). The website focused much more on the parents suffering than on the autistic teen's. It described the typical nightmare scenario, with violent outburts by a strong teenager who often became physically aggressive, or who would defecate in his pants on purpose to get even with his parents when they would not let him do what he wanted.

I felt for that familly although I did not agree with them giving up on their son ... until I saw a picture posted there as an example of what they had to endure. It showed the teen being restrained by his father at a fast food restaurant. The teen had become impatient and got violent while waiting for his favorite food: a slice of pizza. That photo told the whole story.

Before he was diagnosed at three years old, my son used to get very violent when requesting his favorite meal: animal crackers. After diagnosis, and as thousands of other parents do, we dug all the info we could on autism, got started on an ABA program, and were very skeptic at first about special diets and such. But we connected the dots pretty soon thanks to a big red flag: the days my son had animal crackers for a snack he would become physically violent with his teachers and peers. It didn't take long for us to start GFCF diet and getting in contact with a DAN doctor. Now 7 years old, he hasn't become violent ever since. He is the sweetest kid you've ever seen.

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