Time For Psychiatrists to Release Autism To Immunology, Toxicology and Gastroenterology?
New Site "Lives Lost to Autism" Launched

Another! How Many Autism Murder/Suicides Before Nation Sees Crisis?

Tarot_death_02 Four children with autism under the age of 21 have been murdered by their parents in a single summer. Two in Dallas, TX, one in The Bronx, NY, and now Christopher Melton of Howard County, Maryland. What more can I add? KS

Washington Post Voices

HoCo deaths ruled murder-suicide

Howard County police have ruled that a Columbia woman used a gas generator in June to take her life and that of her 18-year-old disabled son, the Columbia Flier reports.

Police say that on June 4, Tracy Hawks, 47, was found in her bedroom, along with her son, Christopher Melton, who had autism and mild mental retardation. A newly purchased generator was found in the dining room of her Hickory Ridge home.

An investigation found that Hawks, who was in the midst of a divorce, financial debt and at risk of her losing her job, had been threatening to take her life for more than a month.



My son recently started 4-8 hour temper tantrums and is sleeping 4 hours here 2 hours there. Im a single mom with a deadbeat husband who when leaving said "you will nees to find another place to live bc I have not paid the mortgage in 3 months. I try to work from home bc I cant afford childcare. I am starting to understand the whole suicide thing...when u are so sleep deprived and can not even think straight...you are no longer sane. I told his doc today that I feel like I am going to have a nervous breakdown. The screaming is making me feel crazy and very little sleep and on the verge of losing our house...its overwhelming but starts to feel out of your control. God bless those of you struggling alone.

John Stone


It is always hazardous to generalise from one's own experience, and there is a real issue here: people are not limitless - perhaps it is the rather smug view of some people in our society which is what leads to tragedy.

I see this in the UK at the moment. The government have hired a private benefits agency which is busy re-classifying people who are sick or disabled, but do not meet their narrow criteria, as not sick and disabled, so apart from having their benefits taken away at time when they are unlikely to get work even if they can do it, they have suddenly been reclassified for public consumption as scroungers and quasi-fraudsters. On the one hand their lives are being made incredibly difficult and on the other public scorn is being heaped on on them: no one in my family is involved but I can see how awful this is, and I am sure something similar is happening in the US.

Jennifer Leaf

What makes autism a tragedy is the way that parents deal with it. I'm sorry, but it's true. I have two autistic kids and I don't see it as a tragedy or as an opportunity to play the martyr. And the thing is, I have Asperger's myself. If I wanted to play the victim and cry about how horrible it is for me to cope with having autistic kids when I am shut out of getting employment for lack of socially sanctioned dishonesty...I could. That isn't going to help my kids. They have a war to fight. If I'm bringing them down and thinking of them as less all the time, they are not going to believe in themselves and have the tools to make it. It is time to stand up for your kids and fight for them, not help the world out in beating them down into an underclass.


Severely autistic children and adults continue to be lost in the autism spectrum. More and more, their plight is downplayed, minimized and hated by those who think they know autism. Parents, in turn, are increasingly desperate. They turn to doctors, and find no help. They turn to special educators and find no help. They turn to social workers and find no help. They turn to police and find no help. They turn to experts and find there are few if any experts in severe autism. So then what? They are left alone in misery, pain and chronic suffering and all they find are books that paint false faces of autism. So then what? Then what? What we need are people who know about severe autism in the world of autism, reaching out and telling these people we know. We know. We know. And we can help.


@ Cherry Sperlin Misra -

Is pharma really our "friend"? How "clued-in" is the public as to what is going down?

Every physician today should ask themself whether they are a "professional prostitute for drug-cartel influenced government?"



Dr. McDowell,

I share the sentiments of Simon's OT mom, Rileysmom, and Theresa Conrick when I say the propaganda you're spreading concerning the etiology of autism is toxic and dangerous. It is preposterous for you to claim that autism is caused by lack of maternal eye contact, care from non-maternal caregivers, or television! Your claims are biased and clearly driven by some twisted agenda.

As a professional working with both neurotypical and special-needs kids, I have NEVER observed any substantiation of your claims. Autism occurs in children of loving, attached parents. Autism occurs in homes with no televisions. While I know they exist, I have yet to meet child with autism being raised by a non-parent.

As a mother of a neurotypical child and a child with regressive autism, I practiced attachment parenting with both my children. My children don't even know how to turn on the television (and have no interest in it). I have never left my children in the care of anyone else for more than two nights once or twice a year. I can confidently say your assertions are completely baseless. As a friend of many mothers with stories similar to mine, I'd be surprised if you have never been brought up on ethical charges.

YOU, Dr. McDowell, are part of the reason why parents are left feeling hopeless, shameful, and lost. YOU, Dr. McDowell, instill guilt in the vulnerable and perpetuate stereotypes for personal gain. YOU, Dr. McDowell, have the blood of these poor parents and children on YOUR hands.

I saw your website. I wonder what prompts your interest in narcissism...

Cherry Sperlin Misra

To Patrons 99, You are absolutely right. Just yesterday I found a brief mention of a 2 year old child with leukemia. Yes: TWO YEARS OLD !I was simply infuriated. How does a two year old child get leukemia? Other than some unusual toxic source, it just has to be the mercury or aluminum or other toxic substance in the vaccines.
Another article in an environmental magazine published in New Delhi, tells me that WHO inspectors went with some Indian inspectors to some of our vaccine -producing institutions. They found things not to their liking and the institutes were closed down. Now WHO, can we shut YOU down for allowing our children to be poisoned with mercury in vaccines? Remember friends, most of the children of the third world countries are still getting high levels of mercury in their vaccines. The Serum Institute of India has 25 micrograms of ethylmercury in each pediatric dose of most of their vaccines and they boast of their vaccines being used by one out of 2 children in the world.

Cherry Sperlin Misra

To Tina, Your post is touching, honest and truthful. Please help your son right from now by stopping fish eating, stopping eating high fructose corn syrup (often contains mercury) stopping all vaccines unless absolutely necessary and when absolutely necessary ask for non Thimerosal vaccines. Keep bleach out of your home. Avoid using plastics and melamine as much as possible. Try to find out if your water supply has high mercury levels. Dont let your son have dental work with "silver " amalgams. Dont use aluminium pans or aluminum foil. Go to the Generation Rescue website for biomedical advice. Your son may improve very slowly throughout his life- but better slowly than never. Go to the website for Safeminds to learn other sources of mercury. You might, for example be living near a power plant or a crematorium that is spewing out mercury into the air.
I think it is absurd that anyone decides that it is fine to be autistic. Lets let that autistic kid grow up and tell us how HE feels about what it is like being autistic. Each autistic child should have the chance to tell us if they feel the "blessing".


The link to this article doesn't work anymore. There were a lot of extremely rude idiots commenting on that page. I hope they took it down because of that...


David Mackintosh - From where I stand, the "crisis" lies in the fact that the stability of the human immune system and genome is showing signs of ever growing instability and dysfunction. I blame the crisis on pharma and their relentless pollution of our bodies and the food supply with their xenobiotics.

It's a little bit off-topic, but have you wondered why the Department of Defense now sponsors cancer research? What's that all about?


David Mackintosh

I'm confused.

The article seems to imply that the crisis is "parents who kill their autistic children and maybe themselves too". Which if the case, since nobody considers the number of people slaughtered in drunk-driving incidents a "crisis", good luck with that.

But the comments here seem to be hung up on the crisis being "autism".

What did I miss?

Carolyn Gammicchia

This Columbia Maryland case is a perfect example of how folks are not recognizing that folks need assistance when their behavior is screaming it. Why didn't this family intervene, where was the father when he visited his son and the home was in disarray. A sister tells you she's going to kill herself and you do nothing? In my mind, and this will sound harsh, these people aided in this homicide. If you didn't want to assist the mother, they why oh why didn't you at least assist this young man? My heart breaks with each of these stories. But folks then discuss placing folks away on a peaceful little farm where they will be provided for. Really? If a family cannot even provide care, a family that loves an individual, then how can a complete stranger? Especially if an individual has challenging behavior. Segregation breeds abuse and please look into doing what is right. Makes changes so that individuals with ASD can live full lives, even with supports, within their own communities and with their families. Getting the support up front is the right thing do so, not placing someone is an environment where others control their lives path.


Sad to say it, but my experience has been that people don't really get it until they are personally touched by someone very close to them or themselves. In other words, this crisis is going to get way way way worse before it even a little bit gets better. Awareness is a joke as far as I'm concerned. I think there has been a backlash against families because of the increased numbers. This backlash has resulted in blaming parents and denying the crisis (people believing in overdiagnosis and that autistic kids are just really spoiled)


Well said Simon's OT mom! I too am sick of all the money that is constantly thrown away of stupid research such as T.V. video games and computers. Oh the best is the cell phone and high electrical wires ever a house theory. I would like for this gentleman to answer your question....
"Related to this research, did you or the researchers ever take into account that autisms' historical discovery in the late '30's and early '40's by one of that era's foremost phychiatrists, Dr. Leo Kanner, who had probably seen it all in childhood behavioral disorders, and described autism as a new disorder, came without the presence of television, video, or computers?"

Teresa Conrick

Maxson J McDowell-

Your comment is really absurd -

"A testable prediction followed, that autism would be statistically linked to early non-maternal childcare."

Blaming mothers again?

The rest of your site is unrelated to the reality of actual autism though you try to pin both the parents:

"I have a special interest in treating injuries to self esteem/narcissism in, for example, the sons or daughters of narcissistic mothers or fathers."

Are you actually trying to blame the parents of autistic children as being narcissists? Get a clue. The indoor/autism/rain research has everything to do with mercury levels and precipitation.

Your weaseling in here to promote your DSM bull and make a feeble attempt to blame parents is total nonsense. What decade did you get a license if you even have one.

Simon's OT mom

To Maxson J McDowell

Did your really think the best thing for you to blog about related to an article telling of the tragic murder/suicide of a child with autism was research on the relation between rainfall and autism? Was there any forethought before writing this to at least at some level indicate how awful this tragedy was for the remaining family and friends, not to mention the parent and child? Related to this research, did you or the researchers ever take into account that autisms' historical discovery in the late '30's and early '40's by one of that era's foremost phychiatrists, Dr. Leo Kanner, who had probably seen it all in childhood behavioral disorders, and described autism as a new disorder, came without the presence of television, video, or computers? Did it ever occur to any one who even uses autism research money to look at the issue of television and video games causing autism that the rise of autism was well on it's way in the late '80's and the popularity of home computers and video games was only beginning to emerge? Perhaps the next time, before blogging about an article relaying painful and tragic events in the lives of families caring for children with autism, you might stop and consider the feelings of those families as well as the families on this and other autism websites for whom daily life is filled with ongoing difficulties and challenges before spouting off about yet another pot of money thrown away to tell us autism is caused by TV/computers/videos, unknown genes, and old sperm that has yet to help just ONE child or their families with autism!

Dan E. Burns

Kim, There's no excuse, of course, but moms and dads will continue to snap when the stressors pile up and there's no end in sight but to end it all.

Here's a vision of another "end": Imagine a safe, nurturing place where kids and adults with autism can go when their parents are no longer willing and able to care for them. Where they can be active and productive, psychologically and emotionally supported, where they interact, learn, enjoy recreation and entertainment, give back to their communities, and continue to heal.

I'm working with Dr. Wakefield and Polly Tommey to create such a place: the Autism Trust USA, with the first American campus in Austin, Texas. For a vision of how this trust could be something new and exciting, the risks and opportities, different from the institutions and pariah houses of the past, see and comment on my blog today at http://ow.ly/2okAM


Ok, I thought we were ALL past the whole "increased early TV/video/computer watching" thing when even our own government says it's environmental???? I could possibly get on board with the whole toxic rainfall and indoor air pollution thing but I have two reasons why I can't really consider them. First my son does NOT have a Vit D deficiency (he has been tested numerous times and is also given the most natural supplement from sheep skin he can get) and second, the biggest toxin in our children's environment is STILL being injected into them. Indoor toxins, ok, but still the biggest toxins may not be in the air we breath but in what we main line right into our children every two months per the CDC's recommendations.


It is a tragedy that this is happening. I am a mother of a 8 year old autistic little boy. I could NEVER imagine doing this to him. There is no excuse what so ever. They didn't ask to be this way. So i will never complain what a hardship this has put on me. We just grow together. My husband left me and our 3 kids and i'm financally struggling also. But to take a life, never. I never wish that he was NORMAL cause what is normal?? And I only wish they come up with something to make his life easier not mine. Its just sad.

Maxson J McDowell

Waldman's statistical studies prove a clear link between rainfall and the incidence of autism. People dismiss these only because they do not understand the meaning of statistical evidence. There are two plausible kinds of explanations. First vitamin D deficiency or indoor air pollution (from more time spent indoors). The problem with this kind of explanation is that such effects would be neurologically non-specific, while autism is quite specific - it need not impair intelligence at all (in the case of Asperger's). The second possible explanation for Waldman's results is increased early TV/video/computer watching. This could have a specific affect on early social development, which would fit with Autism's symptoms.
I explain more at http://www.jungny.com.


Another hit to the heart. I just want to go on a rampage and start shaking people. Slapping them. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE THAT YOU ARE NOT SEEING THIS???


Gayle - "The medical world must address this neuroimmune dysfunction and pursue clinical trials in the area of new meds that will end this autism crisis!"

Two short comments: yes, the medical world must address this neuroimmune dysfunction and aggressively seek to identify the cause(s). With regard to "pursue clinical trials in the area of new meds that will end this autism crisis", IMO it's VERY likely to be the "meds" that are at least in part responsible for the autism crisis.

Therefore, part of the cure, after identifying the cause, could be to eliminate the "meds" and any other toxic environmental exposures that may be identified.

Given the stupendous number of jabs on the vaccine schedules, fluoridated water/toothpaste, mercury-amalgam dentistry, GMOs in the food supply, the real wonder is that so many of us are still functional at all. Pharma's xenobiotics have even been identified in the public water supply.

The very LAST thing we need is one more "innovative" new allopathic med to add to the mix. The cure will likely lie in identifying the culprit toxin(s), whether they are chemical, biologic, or both, and eliminating our exposure to it.


So Samaxtics;
Once again is the sick taking care of the sick, thanks for the details. I really hope that they find peace in death that was not there in life.

Autism is not wonderful:

Of course not, it ripes out your heart, it takes your present, future and past happiness.
But as far as awareness goes it is increasing. Now I would say not to dispare, but the very fact that more and more people are aware may be cause for despare. Do I want my friends, neighbors,extended family to suffer as my family has? No, in this case misery does not love company.

Becoming aware of autims awareness example:
I went into the drug store yesterday (small town) I was looking through their supplements (they have good price on 500 mg of capsule form of L-carntine even beats WalMart prices). The assistant to the pharmacist offered to help, and of course the conversation lead to autism.

She started asking me all kinds of questions. Like how old was my son, how was he doing, what was the L-carntine for, why was I being so picky with the type of B12, for I wanted only methyl?

Next thing I knew, I was talking to the pharmacist, she was asking (me) questions???

And they both were hanging on my every word??? Me??? A nobody! Sort of felt on the spot and naked!

They said they had friends with kids with autism, and even had a niece. They had tried the Glutein/cassein free diet on the little girl - and it did not help, they were now soaking her in epsome salts. This Pharmacist was reduced to homopathic methods.

The hurt in their eyes as they ask questions and was waiting to hear what some random woman in the drug store had to say - that ain't right.

I got a picture in my mind of a small child struggling and hitting as some tired woman lowered it into the bath water, trying to help it. The number of times this is happening is just pitiful.


I agree with "autism is not wonderful". I agree. Last night I realized that my DS (11 years old, HFA) *never* gets phone calls from friends, *never* has anyone ask if he can come over to play. Part of that latter reason is because we are, literally, the only family in our cul-de-sac that speaks English and not Spanish. I worry constantly about what will happen when he's out of school; if he'll ever get a job, or if he'll ever get married. I was at a wedding this week and I realized, I might not ever see my son get married. Is he ever going to learn to communicate how his day went, or if he's feeling sad and why; or if he's feeling angry/scared and why?? I can't help him if he can't tell me things like that.

Autism is isolating, almost like no other disorder. And no, I don't think it's a special "gift". The week Matthew was diagnosed, I was told that he could be a blessing. I'm sure that's true, but to expect a parent to *immediately* accept that autism could be a blessing is a bit much. If it's such a special "gift", why do our children have such a hard time fitting in?

The world is NOT going to change to accomodate our kids. The world will expect our kids to accomodate to it!


Do we know what her blood toxicology screen showed? Were psychotropics involved? If she was compliant with her meds, did she suffer from an acute or chronic neurotoxic state related to difficulty metabolizing her psych meds? Were her liver enzymes ever checked? Did she really abruptly stop taking her psychotropics? How much of the blame for her psychotic break rests with her versus pharma's xenobiotics? I don't know.

say no to vaccines

Autism is very serious brain damage and very hard to deal with. Anybody who talks about the wonders of autism is on pharma or govt payroll.

My mother is law who has always been highly critical of me and downright mean is now caring for a sister with alzheimers (autism in the elderly.) After only one year of being a caretaker, she is going crazy. She even complains to me, I just laugh and say I've been living that life for 11 years. Nobody can possibly know how hard it is unless they experience it.

My son is wonderful but autism is UGLY.


We are in the midst of an autism epidemic that shows no signs of ending. The families of these children are under enormous stress and are not celebrating this horrible diagnosis. I am heartbroken for all the affected families, including my own. The medical world must address this neuroimmune dysfunction and pursue clinical trials in the area of new meds that will end this autism crisis!


“Court documents and the police report show that Hawks was in financial debt, at risk of losing her job as a pharmaceutical representative, in the midst of a divorce and facing criminal charges for misusing her husband’s credit card.”

“Hawks’ father and sister, who were not named in the report, told police that Tracy struggled with periods of depression throughout her life.  
The father said Hawks had been diagnosed with depression two months before her death. According to the police report, Hawks’ sister said, “Tracy had told her best friend ... that she was going to commit suicide and take her son with her.”

“On April 26, 2010, the family tried to force Hawks to seek help at Howard County General Hospital, but Hawks would not admit herself into the hospital’s mental health ward voluntarily as the hospital requires, the report states.

Shortly afterward, Hawks stopped taking her prescription medication, her sister told police.”


Autism is not wonderful

I don't think that the nation is ever going to see a crisis as long as there are those asshole bloggers out there spouting that it is wrong to view autism as a tragedy. They spend endless amounts of energy and time trying to convince people that autism is a lovely, unexpected gift. These parents do nothing but convince the masses that parents must be happy with autism when really, tragedies like this are occuring. For most parents autism IS tragic and they are doing drastic things like this because they are not receiving the support or information they need to recover their children.
If I read one more account of a parent saying something to the effect of, "without autism we would have never experienced the wonderful, odd things this child can do" or "autism has made us all better people and we would never trade it" I'm going to be sick. Autism is NOT wonderful. It is a horrible disorder that is causing parents to snap more and more everyday. Maybe these foolish bloggers can wake up and reaize that their stupid and phoney attitudes are not helping but hurting.

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