A List That’s Hard To Look At: Stapleton Not The Only One
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A List That’s Hard To Look At: Stapleton Not The Only One

My recent piece discussing what we could learn from Kellie Stapleton, a mother accused of trying to kill her daughter with autism and herself, inspired me to research other similar cases.

Here is what I found after a brief online search. This list is not comprehensive, and certainly can’t begin to quantify the much larger number of caregivers who think about ending either their lives, or the lives of their children, or both.

However, I hope this information further alerts us all to the importance of supporting parents of children with autism or any disability. These parents need financial, emotional and social support. Respite support may be the most important; it offers caregivers a few moments to themselves. It gives them the chance to take a break and maintain their strength as they sort through the challenges of the day or week. Clinicians, teachers, school district leaders, service providers, organization leaders, government officials, clergy and community members must come together to provide caregivers of children with special needs an environment that is filled with the vital support, love, care, acceptance and guidance they need in order to stay strong and continue fighting for the needs of their child.

2004

1. Xuan Peng drowned daughter, Scarlett Chen

2006

2. Karen McCarron suffocated daughter, Katie

2008

3. Ryan Dutter shot son, Kyle, and self

2009

4. Jeffrey Bostick poisoned self and son, Jeremy
5. Seow Cheng Sin strangled son, Tony

2010

6. Denise Snyder shot grandson and self
7. Tracy Hawks poisoned self and son, Christopher
8. Michaela Jackson shot son, Kenneth, and self
9. Daniel McLatchie shot son, Ben, and self

2011

10. Yvonne Freaney strangled son, Glen

2012

11. Elizabeth Hodgins killed self and son, George

Frances Victory is a Developmental Psychology PhD candidate at CUNY Graduate Center in New York City. You can reach her at victory.frances@gmail.com

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