Violence is linked to autism. Really.
Two recent, horrifying massacres involved a possibly autistic person and one of their parents.
But that’s not the only link, by any means.
- Jude Jordan’s (8 years old) mother is charged with murdering him in 2010.
- Christopher Melton was murdered in a murder/suicide by his mother in 2010.
- Ebony was cruelly abused and starved by her parents in 2010.
- Chad Jackson’s mother is charged with murdering Chad in 2011.
- Gwen Freaney, 11, was killed by his mother in 2011.
- George Hodgin’s mother killed him in a murder/suicide in 2012.
- Daniel Corby’s (4 years old) mother is charged with murdering him in 2012.
All of the victims were autistic. The parents who murdered were not reported as being autistic, and most are, presumably, neurotypical.
So you see, yes, there is a connection between autism and violence. Autistics are murdered by mothers or fathers at an alarming frequency. I found these in about 5 minutes of Googling. There are many, many more out there. I stopped researching the murders of autistic people years ago because of how sad it is to do, and seeing the above list fills me with sadness.
When a presumed autistic person kills, the discussion becomes one of locking up people like him – autistics and mentally ill.
When a mother kills her autistic kid, the discussion focuses on how hard it is to raise an autistic kid.
Even as dead murder victims we’re at fault.
Often it will be pointed out that many of the mothers or fathers who kill their autistic kid (who may be a child or may be an adult) also kill themselves, and people will say, “You can see how horrible that person’s life was, that’s why they killed themselves.” When an autistic person commits murder and then kills themselves, the discussion is about what a monster they were.
Now, I’m not saying that a murderer isn’t a monster. I’m shocked and saddened by the horrible loss of life in Connecticut. But I do note a double-standard that reflects society’s bias towards the mentally ill and autistic.
Mentally ill and autistic people are much more likely to be murdered by their parents than to murder their parents. Nobody would suggest that autistic people’s parents should be locked up. I’d like to suggest that we quit suggesting that for mentally ill and autistic people too.
In hindsight, do I wish the Connecticut shooter was locked away and/or received effective support and treatment? Sure. Of course. Just as I wish each of the mothers and fathers above could have.
I beg parents of autistics to blog with perspective and fact. Yes, there are violent autistics. Your kid might be. But, there are also violent non-autistic parents. It would be unfair of me to paint a loving parent who would never harm their child as a potential murderer. Likewise, it’s unfair – and unsupported by science – to claim that autistics or mentally ill people are more likely to commit violent acts. It’s simply not true. And, yes, it’s been studied.
Violence is linked to autism. Autistics are the victims.