A Parent’s Anguish Dealing with a Special Needs Child

I love to watch television and movies in my spare time. I am retired so I can manage my own time throughout the day. My television time is scheduled simultaneously at meals, late in the afternoon after a full day working in my studio, and in the early evening, after dinner and before I go to sleep. I enjoy knitting and crocheting while I watch television. This is my favorite time of the day, especially when my dog cuddles at my side. My family room is very warm and cozy and it makes me feel at peace.

This morning while I was enjoying my breakfast, I turned on the television and watched a show from my DVR. I tend to watch thrillers, police dramas and political satire. Today it was a police drama and I was getting into the concept of the show. Usually the show begins with a murder and then you observe the characters tend to their forensic duties to narrow down the main suspects. Today the victim was a young girl who had autism. Okay…this got my attention. The main suspect was a man with a history of child molestation. It appeared obvious he was the murderer? No, it couldn’t be, if so, there would be no real story and it was only fifteen minutes into the show. I had no idea who it was, but certainly was intrigued. Fast forward to the end….the murderer was her father.

Okay, you say, what was his motive? This is the premise of my blog post. The father was so overwhelmed with the care of his autistic child he couldn’t bear it any longer. His motive, as he related to the detectives, “she was having a fit, kicking and screaming at me. I couldn’t handle it any more and held her down with the blanket over her face to keep her from screaming out.” He continued, “I just needed her to stop screaming. I didn’t mean to kill her. It just happened.”

The tragedy of this story is the obvious lack of support to parents who are living with this every day. Yes, it is only a drama, but it is based on real, everyday life. There are many parents who are living with special needs children every day and feeling the pain this father obviously felt. The difference, I hope, they do not make the ultimate sacrifice this father did. What really hit me like a brick, were the last words the father said to the detective as they took him away in hand cuffs, “I might as well go to prison, I already was living in prison at home.” I have no sympathy for this father. You do not kill your own child because she had autism. However, being a mother of a special needs child, I can see and feel the pain this father was going through.

This is an issue many parents are dealing with. We have many very difficult issues facing us in this world today that need to be fixed. I would definitely put this one on the list, wouldn’t you?

Jude

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