His name was London McCabe. He was a beautiful 6 year old, non-verbal autistic boy that was senselessly murdered by his own mother.
When I read the headlines my heart sank and I felt unbelievable pain for this innocent child. Please God, not again!
Sadly, London falls into a much too long list of autistic children murdered by their own parents. I have written about this before and it's sickening to be talking about it again.
When will it end? When will people stop murdering autistic children? This is not acceptable.
There has been a great deal of dialogue this week about London; mostly how he certainly didn't deserve the fate he was given. But surprisingly, there has been another dialogue in reference to his mother that has some people showing support and understanding for what happened.
In NBC's News article titled, "Jillian McCabe Was 'Overwhelmed' Before Autistic Son's Fatal Plunge", Dee Shepherd-Look, a psychology professor at California State University, said "quite frankly, I am surprised this doesn't happen more often."
Wait, before you get your knickers in a knot you have to hear the rest of it, it gets worse.
She goes on to say that, "These children are really unable to be in a reciprocal relationship and the moms don't really experience the love that comes back from a child -- the bonding is mitigated. That is one of the most difficult things for mothers."
Knickers twisting in progress.
Clearly her comments demonstrate how her degree in psychology does little to help her understand autistic children. Perhaps she should speak to autistic people before making such inaccurate, misinformed, misguided and completely ridiculous remarks about the mitigated bonding between mother and child.
Her words are so hurtful to autistic people, to my children who are both on the spectrum but most importantly her words are dangerous. Her words are printed in a news article to be read by thousands of people, some who know little about autism. They will read her words and believe them to be true. What a grave injustice this is.
Her words are coated with an offensive layer of understanding as to why and how a mother could reach a breaking point and kill her own child. Her words cradle the murderer as the victim, leaving London, the true victim, to be minimized as a human being; a human being that deserved to be treated with respect and dignity.
Would it be acceptable for a mother to throw her child with Down syndrome off the bridge? How about a child that was blind, or had cancer, or Spina Bifida, Cystic Fibrosis? Are any of these acceptable reasons to commit murder? No, and neither is autism.
Every single life is worthy. Every single human being, with or without special needs deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. To even slightly suggest that the difficulties in raising an autistic child can understandably lead a parent to their breaking point and kill their own flesh and blood is absolutely wrong. Murder is murder.
Allowing such inaccurate comments to exist in our dialogue poses a great danger to the future of our children. If it's acceptable for a parent to kill their child what message does this give society? Autistic children will be at risk for more abuse when they become adults and enter into the workforce and start integrating into the community.
Ms. Shepherd-Look, I am here to tell you that autistic children are capable of being in reciprocal relationships and so much more! Simply because they don't fall into your definition of what that looks like doesn't make it impossible. Different doesn't make it invisible or non-existent. Different doesn't make it any less real. Different is simply another way of being. Different is diversity and we need diversity in this world.
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