By Anne Dachel
Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump. The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD, an online supplement retailer for patients with special needs.
June 17, 2015, Detroit Free Press: Melvindale murder-suicide underlines strain of autism care
June 15, 2015, Bangor Daily News: Lack of services for adult son with autism prompts Carmel family's move out of Maine
The murder-suicide of a Melvindale father and his adult autistic son is unsettling but not exactly surprising, according to one expert, who says Michigan is facing an ongoing crisis in handling the vast number of people affected by the disorder. . . .
"It's really tragic," Allen said. "It's the second time in a very short period of time where we're seen something like this happen. It's a crisis in the state."
The deaths come after an incident two years ago in northern Michigan in which a mother tried to kill herself and her teenage, autistic daughter.
. . . "That is a real challenge for our state and as the population of the young adults who did not benefit from therapies enter into adulthood, we're going to see more and more."
Allen said work is under way to deal with the growing crisis. She said Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, whose daughter has autism, has been a huge advocate for change and autism awareness.
They must be drinking the Kool-Aid at the Detroit Free Press. This is a story about the stress from raising an autistic child.
The rate, one in 68, is based on counting children with autism.
There is concern about murder/suicide.
There are no answers. Autistic young adults face an abyss after high school.
WHY??? Is Michigan a state that totally has neglected autistic adults? Why is it a challenge as more young people with autism age out of school????
Do parents of children with Down Syndrome or blindness or deafness find themselves abandoned when their children turn 22?
THIS RIDICULOUS ARTICLE HAS A LINK TO A STORY TESTIFYING TO THE FACT THATTHERE'S BEEN NO REAL INCREASE IN AUTISM.
THEN WHY IS THERE A CRISIS? WHY ARE PARENTS (TWO INCIDENTS ARE DISCUSSED HERE) SO DESPERATE ABOUT THE FUTURE THAT THEY'RE WILLING TO DO THE UNTHINKABLE?
I can't bring myself to post a comment. Weep for the children. Incidents like this will become common, I fear. And the press will dutifully tell us what a shame it is parents have to resort to this.
(Mother) Cindy Levasseur: "We've had to move several times because of trying to find better services for our son. I've lost jobs because of having to be home to care for him. There are very limited services out there...
"Financially we have taken a beating many times, moving to get better services for him. We are now leaving the state because we have wasted two years of trying to get the system to work for him. We're not willing to do that anymore for him because he's not getting his needs met here. When you have a high functioning adult with autism with a high school diploma and the state can't even find him a job after six months---"
Michael Levasseur: "I just stayed home and that was it."
Mary: ". . . It's not very welcoming in this state to try and get someone to be independent. It's almost like they don't want you to be independent. It's very heartbreaking."
(Father) Paul Levasseur: "He wanted more, something that he would like to do, like a job--instead of attending a day program. He likes doing things; he likes being out in public.
Mary: "There's not enough time given to these individuals who are higher functioning. There's not enough support for them. There's not enough job coach availability. It's just not productive to try and be independent. They make it so that you cannot be independent.
". . . I'm feeling bitter. I've spent two years advocating, for not just our son, but for others like him. It's heartbreaking that people don't understand the impact that some of these lawmakers are making when they make decisions on programs and funding. It's heartbreaking--they don't understand the ramifications of how they vote that creates financial and emotional trauma for families. It doesn't seem right that no one is putting a stop to this."
Of course Cindy Levasseur is right. There's nothing for adults. (If I had the time, and a drink, I'd give the rundown on my years of advocacy in programs for disabled adults here in WI. I attended enough meetings where I felt like I was the only one in the room who knew what I was talking about.)
Social services has no idea what's ahead. They're trying to fit these young people into current programs---none of which address the needs of ASD adults.
The nightmare continues.
The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD. Lee Silsby is one of the most respected compounding pharmacies in the country and is committed to serving the needs of the Autism community. OurkidsASD is an online retailer for nutritional supplements for patients with special needs. OurkidsASD carries thousands of products from more than 60 brands and offers free ground shipping on all orders.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism and author of The Big Autism Cover-Up: How and Why the Media Is Lying to the American Public, which is on sale now from Skyhorse Publishing.