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Autism Can Be Deadly from the Outside In.

Child%20Protection%20log By Kim Stagliano

Here is a sad story and stark reminder of the stress for families doing their best to keep a child with autism (whether 5, 15 or 45) safe. It is from WSB Radio Atlanta. I often compare autism to cancer - and am lambasted for opening the conversation that autism can, like cancer, be deadly. Not from the inside out, but from the outside in.

Our condolences to the Dejons family.

The search for a missing six-year-old Douglas County boy has ended. 

Douglas County Sheriff Phil Miller tells WSB the autistic child wandered off from his home in the Middle Lake Subdivision in Villa Rica Wednesday afternoon. 

Authorities from all over including the Georgia State Patrol, which provided its helicopter, helped in the search.  Hours later, he was found nearby.

"Unfortunately, we found the child in the lake and he had passed away.  We don't suspect foul play.  It's just a sad, sad tragedy," said Miller.

The child has been identified as Christian Dejons.

Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism. Her "Kimoir" titled, All I Can Handle. I'm No Mother Teresa. debuts this Fall from Skyhorse Publishing in NY.



Evie, a child is dead and the best you can come up with is that you're offended? You should be working 24/7 to save other people with autism. This is reality for many - death by wandering, drowing, their own mother's hand. You can be as offended as you want - it's not productive and helps no one.



I'm autistic and I find this highly offensive.


The terrible truth is that AOA could post about the death, or the abuse of, an autistic child every day. I hope they don't because sometimes I just can't take it.


This is devastating. Every autism family's nightmare. I wish there was some way to console the family-- though mostly I wish we could bring back all these victims of tragedy.


This is heartbreaking. I pray for this family. Thanks for posting this....I think we all need to be reminded of how careful we need to be with our kids.


so much for neurodiversity's argument that autism is okay because it does not kill people like cancer or AIDS


Kim - I think it's important to include in depressing but necessary posts like this one that there are tools available to help lower risk and promote safety in our community.

They can be found at sites like
The Autism Safety Project
ASA Safe and Sound Initiative

After years of advocating on safety issues, I continue to be shocked and bummed out that people in our community really don't put safety plans and structures in place before something bad happens. You can't mitigate all the caregiver taking his charge to a crackhouse instead of the park just this past week...but there are many risks that can be managed, elopement and water safety being 2 of the biggest, which were clearly a big factor in this tragedy and too many others.

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