I am assuming that you have already read about George Hogdins, the 22 year old autistic who was killed by his mother. Here is the original story that focuses mostly on the mother’s feelings of being overwhelmed with his care. Most of the initial response was focused on the mother. As a mother I get being frustrated but killing your child. This thought has kept me from writing this post but I need to write this post.
One of the most upsetting reaction came from the Autism Society where they also did not mention George’s name. A wonderful and well written blog post over at Autistic Hoya discusses very passionately about how we are human and deserve better treatment. (after all of this outcry the Autism Society has made a public apology, enough?)
Another well written blog post is on BlogHer, written by Shannon from Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism. Her post was a well balanced post recognizing George and also recognizing the lack of services. There are a lack of services but that doesn’t mean that there is any reason to harm or murder another person.
My son is autistic and before anyone starts with how he is “high functioning” or is “just asperger’s” please just don’t, leave the blog if that is how you feel. Go back and read Shannon’s post on BlogHer. First of all it doesn’t matter, a life is a life. If that isn’t enough really I just got yelled at for asking him to do his schoolwork. Earlier he was fine, now he is yelling. Tomorrow who knows. When he is 22 will he be out on his own or still living here I have no idea. But if I ever get so frustrated with him that I take his life I deserve the death penalty. Or maybe I deserve to rot in jail and think about what I did. Because there is no excuse for taking another person’s life. Especially not your child’s life.
I decided to have my son. I wanted nothing more than to be a mom. I love being a mom even if I don’t love being yelled at. As Shannon said when you decide to be a mom you take that on, no matter what it means. I know that not everyone is up for it. I used to work for the court system and we dealt with cases involving parents that abandoned or neglected their children. These children didn’t have any special needs, those parents just couldn’t deal with it or didn’t want the responsibility.
Sometimes parents give up their kids for adoption, that is at least a choice that allows the child to go on and live a better life with someone else. I have a niece that was adopted. I can tell you that my sister in law loves her adopted daughter as much as her biological daughter. George’s mom had a choice. I know she told people she didn’t have a choice but she did. Maybe she didn’t like the choices.
I can’t imagine putting a gun to my son’s head. I can’t imagine my mother putting a gun to my head. I was not an angel by any means. My mother and I do not talk about it. She seems to have forgiven me but I was horrible. I refused to do schoolwork. I refused to go to school quite often. I even became violent during meltdowns. I put holes in the walls and I was even violent towards her. I am very sorry for that. But I am thankful that she never put a gun to my head and killed me. It could have been me.
It could have been my son. I don’t know how to wrap my head around that. I can’t. My son deserves to live. I deserved to live. George deserved to live.
I am thankful that the ASAN is organizing a nation wide vigil in memorial of disabled individuals that have been murdered by family members. I am organizing one in my area to help me deal with my grief. I hope that you will join us in some way on March 30th in the evening.
Here is info on Facebook event
Disclaimer: I give my permission for this post to be reprinted in order to raise awareness of this issue.