A tragedy occurred in Oregon recently when Jillian McCabe committed murder by throwing her severely autistic son London off of Oregon’s Yaquina Bay from a 246-foot-tall bridge while suffering a mental breakdown. (for more on this tragic story go to: http://www.popsugar.com/moms/Oregon-Mother-Throws-Autistic-Son-Off-Bridge-36050753
This isn’t the first time a parent has been accused of, or charged with abuse or murder of their autistic child. Parents often find themselves on the verge of a breakdown when dealing with the day to day care of a child with autism. They feel helpless, frustrated, alone, and at the end of their rope. When it comes to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, parents need to remember that there is a lot of help out there for them.
The parents of a child with autism have many options when looking for the right care for their child. Your child’s physician will be able to guide you in the right direction to get your child the help they need. Many times the physician will recommend Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) which integrates proven scientific therapies in order to reduce maladaptive behaviors and improve appropriate behaviors, communication skills, social skills and coping mechanisms. With ABA therapy you will also receive parent training from knowledgeable behavioral specialists who will teach parents proper ways of communicating with their child. This process will help the parent understand their child’s wants and needs; and in turn will decrease tantrums, escape behaviors and other maladaptive behaviors. Once parents learn to understand the ways in which their child communicates, the entire family’s quality of life will improve.
Sometimes a parent needs more personal support, in which case they can see a therapist to work out deeper fears, frustrations, or concerns. They can also join a support group for parents with children that have been diagnosed with autism. Sometimes belonging to a group with other parents who are going through the same thing can help someone accept and better handle the situations and problems they face at home. Beautiful Minds Center has an extensive list of great resources for parents and kids with autism on their website resource page (http://www.beautifulmindscenterforautism.com/resources/)
In the end, it’s important to know that there is both help and support out there. There are ways to go about healing yourself without harming your child. No matter what issues your child may have, it is important to remember that they are a part of you and that your love for them should propel you to do anything in your power to help them, not harm them. Choose acceptance over abuse!