Joey is also eleven years old, over five feet tall, and about 200 pounds. He's a big kid, about to hit puberty, big-time. His emotional and social development is as splintered as so many of his other skill sets- advanced, delayed, and everything in-between. The world holds a lot of frustrations for my little man, and self-regulation can be problematic.
Reading about caregivers who murder their autistic children is not only terrifying, depressing, and frustrating, it is horrifying to see how many people believe that such murders are justified. Lack of services, lack of support, the child was getting big, aggressive, unmanageable... people, these are not good reasons to murder someone.Would it be acceptable if the victim of the murder was not disabled? NO. And believe me, lots of teenagers can seen big, aggressive, and unmanageable, without being autistic. Somehow, when the victim is disabled, is autistic, all the sudden the caregiver becomes the victim, and victim becomes... what? The aggressor?
Yes, the aggressor. That is what we can conclude by the "poor caregiver!" attitude prevalent in these news items: the person murdered brought it on themselves, by being big and "unmanageable" and needing care and services. They get swept aside as a sort of sacrifice to our society's greed and cold capitalism. After all, people with disabilities are often seen as a drain on society, needing support and services and hey those things cost money and poor caregivers...
Yes, we need to fix the services, and make it easier to get services. But we shouldn't be murdering children to prove that point. No one should have to be some kind of sacrificial lamb, dismissed as a blood offering to... who? Our poor, poor taxpayers?
Joey is getting big. He's getting increasingly frustrated. Teen angst isn't going to help. He's come at me before. He's likely to come at me again. I'll probably have some bruises before we get through these next few years. Who will be to blame for those bruises?
I am the adult here. No blame, no shame. Just do what is needful, as best I can.
There is no excuse for murdering a person over "lack of services." Being a teenager is not an excuse to murder a person. Being poor is no excuse to murder a person. When we claim these are justifications for murder, we are denying the personhood of a human being. There is no excuse for that.
No matter how big, frustrated, hormone-fueled, and yes, even aggressive Joey may get, he is still my baby, my son, my love and my joy. I am his Mom, and would gladly give up my own life to give him every possible minute he can have. His life is his, not mine.
His life is worth living.
No excuse would ever change that.