Having an autistic child is not the end of the world--far from it. It is my hope that through this blog, at least a handful of people will get to understand that. My child is amazing, she brings us tremendous joy. We have good days & bad days, but we CHOOSE to focus on the good. Our belief is that by loving our daughter, giving her the most comfortable environment we can, and by most of all accepting her differences, she will continue to blossom--in her OWN way.

1/16/08

Shame On The Media (again)

A verdict is due any moment in the trial of Karen McCarron, the mother who viciously suffocated her 3 year old daughter to death. Her daughter, Katie McCarron was a beautiful, precious, and happy little girl, she was also autistic. The media coverage has been sparse, and this story has gotten very little national attention. Thus far, every article or story I have read or seen leaves out a very crucial image--a picture of Katie. Most have no pictures, others show only Karen McCarron.

I have found, also, that most stories use lines and words like "...little girl was asphyxiated..." and "smothered," all take away from the fact that a mother murdered her child--held a plastic bag over her face for at least two minutes. The stories also include lines like this, telling us how much Karen McCarron suffered and how she "longed for a life without autism..." Where is all the outrage in the media? What advocacy groups are standing up for Katie?

The overall theme is that autism was to blame for a mother killing her own child. Karen has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. This woman was so insane, or so her attorney claims, that she drove her child to her parents' house, where she knew no one was home. She killed her, then drove Katie's lifeless body home. She carried her upstairs, passing by others in the home, pretending that Katie was sleeping. She then ran errands, and later went to "check in" on Katie. She then put on a convincing act that Katie was suddenly not breathing and began CPR. It was not until hours later when, I suppose, she felt some pangs of guilt and apparently tried to kill herself, that the truth came out.

That is not insanity. An insane person would not be capable of such a cover-up. We wish, as a society, that this person, this mother, who committed such a horrifying act was indeed insane. We hope that a person was unaware of what they were doing, and incapable of realizing how wrong it was. That is the only way we as humans can make sense of such a tragedy. A mother can't be so full of evil and selfishness as to take her child's life, right? Wrong. This woman is not insane. She knew what she was doing.

Autism is not to blame, autism did not kill this child. Katie's grandfather has described her in the most beautiful of ways, please, you must read this.

This murder again leads back to groups like Autism Speaks and most other supposed autism charities. These groups support the idea that autism and being a parent to an autistic child is sheer terror. They promote falsehoods such as autistics are lost, missing their souls, etc. They celebrate mothers who admit contemplated killing their own child, and lift her up as their heroic poster-mom. They further the idea that autistics are not due the same human and civil rights as the rest of us.

I pray this jury does not buy into her plea, or buy into the fact that autism is the true villain here. I pray there will be justice for Katie. I pray it will bring even just a little bit of peace to her father and grandparents.

Kristina Chew, PHD., on her AutismVox blog has been giving trial updates daily.

Still think that "cure" groups like TACA, DAN!, etc. are entirely innocent here? READ THIS!

I have to add, I am very upset and distraught over this story. I have been blunt here, but I feel it is necessary. My family, my friends, had never heard of Katie McCarron. The world should know her story. Katie's murder occurred several months after we first began to suspect my daughter was autistic. Hearing of her murder was actually the first time I had heard of an autistic child being murdered. It was startling to me. Katie's story stuck with me, her picture engraved in my mind forever. It was a stepping stone that led to this blog, and to me being fired up about advocacy and acceptance. Katie was murdered within a day of my child's birthday. When I see the pictures of Katie and hear stories about her from her loving grandfather, all I can think of is my own daughter. They seemed to be a lot alike. I can't imagine a day without my precious child, she is so amazing and I am blessed to be her mother. It is incomprehensible to me how a mother could feel any different. This truly breaks my heart.

4 comments:

Patrick said...

Her story saddens me too. I also find it hard to accept the insanity defense, she was stewing about this for at least a year from what I've read. I partially blame those who led her into her belief set.

S.L. said...

Thanks for your comment. I agree, and I too lay some blame to those groups. When I discuss Katie's senseless death, I can't help but think of the big groups like Autism Speaks, TACA, etc. They all have their own agendas, and all only further stigmatize autism and devalue autistics. Furthermore, their constant rhetoric about "curing" children and "ridding" the world of autism is promoting hatred and telling parents their children are next to worthless so long as they have a diagnosis of autism.

As you can tell, I'm so passionate about this. Thanks again for reading & commenting!

Brillig said...

I'm enjoying reading through your "rants" here. I stumbled upon your site quite by accident today. My child is only 16 months old, but appears to have some rather severe developmental issues, and the word "autism" has been tossed around repeatedly. I'm so grateful to read through your ideas on autism. As I've been reading through your posts, I keep reading pieces out loud to my husband. We both are loving what you have to say. We're new fans. I expect to spend a lot of time reading through your posts, especially as the diagnoses begin to roll in.

S.L. said...

Wow...thank you so much for your comments. I'm glad you came upon my blog, and hope it gives a fresh(er) perspective on the whole "my kid has autism" deal...the majority of what is out there is all very negative and depressing. It doesn't have to be. If you should ever want to chat, please feel free to email me (stopthinkautismATgmailDOTcom). I can just say I've been there, done that. Those beginning stages of it all can be nerve-wracking, tiresome, and lonely. Anyway, wishing you and your family well. I just checked out your blog--LOVE IT! Love how you describe yourself, I could relate a lot. Take care!!