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Tragedy In East Texas as 21 Year Old with Autism Kills Father

Stop-collaborate-and-listen We post this with a heavy heart.  Our children are aging, racing to adulthood. We need to have a fully honest discussion about the reality of autism for families, the urgent need for prevention, and medical treatment beyond psychiatric drugs that themselves can cause behaviors, plus the equally urgent need for respite and adult services because for millions of Americans autism is a nightmare.  And somehow we have to balance this harsh, ugly reality with education for the general public that our kids are not monsters, not killers by nature. It's a Herculean task. KS

From KLTV East Texas:

By Sara Story - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

ARP, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas man is dead after authorities say his autistic son stabbed him multiple times.

David Adam Wilson, 21, has been charged with the murder of his father David Wayne Wilson.

Authorities say the suspect stabbed Wilson with a kitchen knife.

Tuesday, family members said they had been seeking medical help for the 21-year-old, and the tragedy could have been avoided.

Handcuffed by authorities, Adam Wilson was arrested for the murder of his father. Family members are shocked by the actions of the autistic 21-year-old.

"There was no way of us knowing, although his behavior was drastically different," said Angela Sanderson, the victim's sister.

"It's apparent that he retrieved a kitchen type knife, stabbed his dad multiple times in the upper body, and his dad died at the scene," said Lt. Tony Dana, with the Smith County Sheriff's Department.

Investigators were at the scene all day. When sheriff's deputies arrived Monday evening, they said they found the 21-year-old hiding inside a storage unit to the side of the house.

"He was in a very confused type state," said Dana. "He was angry. Obviously, he had made threats to family members earlier in the day."  Read the full story at KLTV East Texas.


Autism Grandma

Re: Teresa Conrick post: "This may be a key sentence- "They took him to the emergency room over the weekend and the doctor on Monday.".....and it could be very likely that something was prescribed that ultimately caused this. Yes, a medication that acts on the brain can be toxic. Think Columbine or many of the other homicide stories of teens on a medication that was found to be dangerous."

"Yet another example of the complete and total failure of western medicine." [Posted by mourning]

"21 years ago the pharmaceutical industry, the CDC, and this government started Adam Wilson on the trajectory to this tragedy.
They did everything but provide the knife."
[Posted by: michael framson]

Whether the actual trigger to this tragedy was toxic drugs prescribed to him or not, not only did western medicine fail this poor man and his family, western medicine was the original CAUSE of this issue.

It's just wonderful to be living in a "demoncratic" nation isn't it? A country where any big corporation can buy congress and get what they want, all perfectly legal to make "donations" to political members and then own them, thereby getting laws passed in their financial favor at the expense of the American Public, who in reality have no power---we "vote" for people to represent our interests while in fact they represent thier own financial interests and that of thier corporate supporters. The few politicians who are trying to make changes and live by the straight and narrow are living a very high risk existance. Congressmen like Dan Burton deserve our respect but tragically men like him are few and far between.

All we can do is to try to educate our fellow man and pray that God will cause the truth to be made manifest.

CT teacher

Don't discount the use of drugs in this kind of behavior. There is a link between mind altering drugs and violent behavior...SSRI's, Ritalin etc. Back in the '60's I watched my formerly normal 7 yr old niece turn into a violent monster in about 1 or 2 weeks. It all began with an ear infection. Pain killers were then prescribed. She stopped sleeping so drugs were prescribed to help with that. Anxiety followed that so anti anxiety meds were prescribed. Soon she stopped speaking and began to lose bladder control. Next she was given a shot of thorazine. Amost immediately she turned into a screeming violent monster, attacking everyone. After she tried to attack her 4 year old sister with a knife she was hospitalized. Naturally no one thought of a connection to drugs so she was kept on tranquilizing drugs and was transferred to a children's hospital in Phila. where she was diagnosed with childhood schizophrenia. She could now no longer talk or recognize anyone. She had lost bowel and bladder control and attacked her food like an animal would. It was terrifying. Finally they released her to her family and said she should be institutionalized and would never get better. My sister refused to believe it and made the rounds of several mental hospitals in the general area. Finally finding a psychiatrist who said he could help she was hospitalized for several weeks and finally came home more like her normal self. It all took place in about 4 months. She is a grown normal woman today. There was never any explanation of what had happened but she came home from that mental hospital with a long list of drugs that she should never be given. We suspect it must have been drug reaction and thorazine is a most dreadful drug. Although she appeared completely normal after this experience we noticed subtle changes in her personality and slight learning disabilities We wondered if she had received electro shock therapy. My sister was afraid to ask questions, because her pediatrician told her to just let it go. He said mistakes were made all around. This experience has always made me very leery about the use of mind altering drugs. There is never any mention made of prescription drug use when violent episodes occur but a link exists in many of the mass shootings like Colombine etc. If this happens to NT young males it could certainly play a role in the violent behavior of an autistic young adult.

Margo Kelly

Did any of you see the CBS World News piece earlier this week that featured Peter Bell from Autism Speaks? The piece was around the lack of services for kids after 21. Peter's son is 18. They asked him what will happen to his son when he ages out of an excellent program. Peter said, "I don't know". The piece then showed how he and his wife have created their own "village" of supporters, from members of their congregation, to therapists, etc. who have vowed to continue to support the boy into adulthood.

Isn't is great to be Peter Bell? Rich enough to surround your son with loving, supportive people who will help him into adulthood? And that money is all coming out of our pockets.

Hey Pete, good job taking care of your own kid. Don't you think you owe your community some sort of similar help?

It's time Peter Bell resigned from Autism Speaks. He's a do-nothing, as my Irish father in his thick brough loved to call people like him.

He needs to set aside and let someone in that role who will create adult programs to help our kids so this will not become the norm.

Teresa Conrick


I know, and I think we all know that this has been increasing as the numbers increase and the kids become adults. Your comment- "The sad thing is this young man did take his father's life and will most likely either be jailed or sent to an institutional setting and be a cost to society." true but more concerning is that autism is literally ripping families apart in horrendous and tragic ways. It is all heartbreaking and horrific that there is a chance that "autism" will be looked at as if it is a monster and our kids will be in real danger as they grow up.

As far as getting support for families, that means money and caring, competent individuals ie- respite. Both of those are meager and scarce these days. The bigger issue is not looking at autism as a pscych diagnosis and then adding in a "dual-diagnosis." Autism needs to be far away from the DSM and the psychotropics that it is an infomercial for. Autism is a medical illness and something was truly affecting this young man. There is a good chance that whatever treatments he received made his condition worse. As I type this, it is deja vu to so many others I have commented on.

We now also need to say that autism is deadly - people are dying weekly - nightmare accidents of drownings, traffic deaths, exposure to the elements, maltreatment at the hands of caregivers (locked in a van), inappropriate medications-psychosis suicides and violent homicides.



I do think the relationship piece is esssential to understand, especially in cases like this were families have sought assistance due to sudden behavioral changes.

I say this because our own son's aggression, due to frustration, was often aimed at us because we were "safe" as his parents. This often happens and others may rarely see it. With our son he was able to self regulate until he came home and let go. This does happen often and many parents and care providers do sustain injuries for this reason.

We recently had a case in MI where a mother murdered her daughter, then attempted suicide (she later passed away) after her daughter became aggressive with her at age 13. The daughter's acts were not directed at others and the mother had requested assistance and still had sustained some significant injuries.

We do need more information in these cases however in my mind, but overall we are seeing them more and will if we don't get better support for families. The sad thing is this young man did take his father's life and will most likely either be jailed or sent to an institutional setting and be a cost to society. If the support was upfront and what we needed, we would probably not be discussing this now.

We do need to look also at emerging mental health conditions in individuals with ASD. It's essential to meeting their needs in my mind and PTSD is one that is often overlooked. Hopefully we will get more info in this case.



"Family members say the younger Wilson suffers from autism. 'He's been having some recent behavior problems. They been working with his doctors to try and adjust his medication.'"


It isn't just autism families, though pharma was there was well. The following are from the month of August.


That made me lose my breath. My boy, who is 8 now had stopped the knife grabbing when he was 5 or 6 and after two years of being aggression and "knife free", he began his knife-weilding again this summer. Shit, we have to get this under control, all of us dammit...and if that means I have to hold big signs to keep this from happening to others then I will. My son is in good hands as far as medical care, but I cringe to think if ONE relapse happened in the future, all it takes is ONE!

michael framson

21 years ago the pharmaceutical industry, the CDC, and this government started Adam Wilson on the trajectory to this tragedy.

They did everything but provide the knife.

Heidi N

This is a sad situation for everyone. My son use to be aggressive, but he truly didn't mean it. When he recovered, he said his thinking was off. He thought he was making a joke when he choked people or hurt them. He also had very high testosterone, which made him angry often. In the end, Bartonella infection was at the heart of his problems, and most docs still don't see that infections cause these kinds of behaviors. We need to spread the word that there are networks that people can use to find the docs who will be helpful. Sadly, the average doc will NOT be helpful in any manner for autism. If people don't get on this Internet, they will never see all of us who have so much information on where to go to find the good docs. and Yahoo Groups will get people started on their healing journey.

Teresa Conrick

Hi Carolyn, You said -

"It will also be interesting to see what his relationship with his father was."

I have to say that I just disagree with that. So many of our very affected children and teens do not lash out on purpose or premeditate harm. This young man, handsome and looks like a typical teen, shocked everyone with this alarming behavior.

"But, family members and neighbors say this type of aggression was uncommon in Adam.

"I had tears in my eyes," said Walter Ritch, a neighbor. "It just shocked me...He's a really, really good guy. Shy. But kind at heart."

"I don't want this to characterize a whole group of people," said Sanderson. "Adam was autistic, and this was not autism. Whatever has happened is a result of what the family has been trying to get some help with in the last few days."

The family says Adam's behavior had changed. He became agitated and aggressive in the past few weeks. They took him to the emergency room over the weekend and the doctor on Monday."

I don't think we know what happened to create this agitation but I would bet it has nothing to do with his relationship with his father. Medications, foods, hormones, pesticides, histamines, bacterial infection, fungal infection, a recent vaccination, etc may be more likely.

Our kids who have an autism diagnosis got there due to their vulnerability to toxins, which stays with them for life. This time of year, with high histamines, can cause very serious allergies, not always visible but can cause pain, inflammation, and agitation. That is what we need to educate the media and public about.

This may be a key sentence- "They took him to the emergency room over the weekend and the doctor on Monday.".....and it could be very likely that something was prescribed that ultimately caused this. Yes, a medication that acts on the brain can be toxic. Think Columbine or many of the other homicide stories of teens on a medication that was found to be dangerous.


The wave of adults has been here for quite some time. We've had several homicides too by individuals living with ASD due to lack of supports. We do also need to look at the fact that one out of five individuals in this country will be affected by a mental health disorder in their life time. To think individuals with ASD would not have a dual diagnosis as well, and need specific interventions by proessionals familiar with ASD, we are not meeting a need that is one we need to think about. Did ASD cause this tragedy, we cannot tell from the info provided, but if this young man was experiencing difficulties and behavorial changes, something was. It will also be interesting to see what his relationship with his father was. At this point he does need help, especially after there is a realization of what he's done.


Sadly, Texas is a compassion free state.


Last night, I watched the 80s flick "Honey, we blew up the kid...' a 10-foot toddler with 2 year old cognition. Parents couldn't control his behavior, and neither could he.
Felt weird and ominous.


A memorial wall needs to be erected in plain site of all congressmen and presidents in DC.


The family should demand medical attention for his gut. ARI should go head over heals on this and offer free medical assessment to prove that if this was gut induced or a phara nightmare, that this young person is protected from a mob of ignorant justice seekers and healed and made as whole as can be.


So sad. When I see these stories I always wonder what antipsychotic they might have recently started. Or was he sick with some bacterial infection that went untreated, or untreated seizures, etc. My heart goes out to the entire family..


Kim - For some, psychiatric drugs are the ONLY thing preventing acute self injury, aggression, OCD, and seizures. While it's undeniably true that some individuals can have side effects that make things worse (we've been there). The option of using medications to help control intense behaviors that don't respond to other therapies shouldn't be dismissed out of hand (nor taken lightly).


The horror. My only hope, given that Texas is the capital punishment champ of the United States is that they get this young man the help he apparently needs rather than off him. Autism = all sorts of increased risks. For individuals themselves and those who care for them. Denial is not an option. All sorts of tragedies are happening seemingly at an increasing rate. We need to get our act together within our community and, with a unified voice, get first responders, players in the judicial system, legislators, and policy makers on the same page. Our effort so far is small relative to the task. We need help for ourselves and loved ones. Go to the following websites to learn more:


Yet another example of the complete and total failure of western medicine.

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