"ALL CAPS IN DEFENSE OF LIBERTY IS NO VICE."

Monday, December 17, 2012

WHEN AUTISTS BECOME MONSTERS

From Salon in March of 2009:
The monster inside my son

For years I thought of his autism as beautiful and mysterious. But when he turned unspeakably violent, I had to question everything I knew.


On Feb. 14 I awaken to this headline: “Professor Beaten to Death by Autistic Son.”

I scan the story while standing, my coffee forgotten. Trudy Steuernagel, a faculty member in political science at Kent State, has been murdered and her 18-year-old son, Sky, has been arrested and charged with the crime, though he is profoundly disabled and can neither speak nor understand. Sky, who likes cartoons and chicken nuggets, apparently lost control and beat his mother into a coma. He was sitting in jail when she died.

This happens to be two days after my older son’s 21st birthday, which we marked behind two sets of locked steel doors. I’m exhausted and hopeless and vaguely hung over because Andrew, who has autism, also has evolved from sweet, dreamy boy to something like a golem: bitter, rampaging, full of rage. It happened no matter how fiercely I loved him or how many therapies I employed.

Now, reading about this Ohio mother, there is a moment of slithering nausea and panic followed immediately by a sense of guilty relief.

I am not alone.

- – - – - – - – - – - -

Andrew started life as a mostly typical child. But at 3 and a half he became remote and perseverative, sitting in a corner and staring at his own splayed hand. Eventually he was diagnosed with high-functioning autism, a label that seemed to explain everything from his calendar memory and social isolation to his normal IQ....
Read the entire essay HERE.  Relate the contents of the essay to Adam Lanza, who according to the information to date, had a form of autism.

It is not politically correct to criticize the disabled.

But sometimes disability is mental illness. Dangerous and deadly mental illness, which resulted in the horror inside the walls of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012.

5 comments:

Pastorius said...

Wow. That is a brutal article. Very sad.

Will said...

HI AOW, Adam Lanza's mother had been increasingly concerned over her son's well-being in the weeks before the tragedy, telling a friend just a week before that he was "getting worse" and that "she was losing him," the New York Daily News reported. That report makes no mention of Asperger's syndrome, but it cites Adam's uncle who said he was taking an anti-psychotic drug called Fanapt. The Atlantic points out that several diagnoses have been bandied about in the press, including autism, Asperger's, and "personality disorder."

Fanapt is often used for schizophrenia

Always On Watch said...

Will,
If Adam Lanza was indeed on the autism spectrum, schizophrenia as well is not out of the question.

Bruce Hall said...

The shooting at Sandy Hook school is sad on so many levels, but saddest of all is the progressive mindset that refuses to acknowledge the real danger and keeps us all open to unexpected danger.

http://hallofrecord.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-real-tragedy-behind-newtown.html

Always On Watch said...

Bruce,
I noticed this information at your web site:

Due to deinstitutionalization in the 1960s and 1970s, there was less of a need for hospitals like Fairfield Hills [in Newtown, Connecticut]. With the high cost of running underused hospitals, state hospitals around the country shut their doors. In 1995, Gov. John Rowland closed Fairfield Hills and its sister hospital, Norwich State Hospital. All patients that remained were moved to Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown.

The Town of Newtown rented out the first floor of Canaan House [a psychiatric facility] from the mid-1990s up until 2005; it was home to the town's Board of Education, Planning & Zoning, and Fire Marshall. The Reed Intermediate School is also located on the property.

The irony is just tragic.


I haven't heard a thing about the above in the mainstream media!