Here’s the link, folks:
Click comments at the bottom to see people’s bewildered and often ill-willed, ill-informed responses. Or don’t: we all know what kinds of things get written in comments sections of news stories, and I, for one think they should be shut down.
Nevertheless, this story and the social response to it interested me in a personal level, and so down the rabbit hole we go.
No one wants to talk about the frequency with which autistic children are abused – nor the frequency with which adult autistic children in turn abuse their parents.
Autism has distinct genetic factors: a kid with autism is highly likely to have a parent, or possibly two, somewhere on the autism spectrum.
Tantrum behavior of varying degrees of frequency and severity is common in both juvenile and adult persons on the autism spectrum – across the entire spectrum, and IQ, education levels, and financial security don’t change the fact that tantrum behavior is extremely common – even a hallmark – of ASD.
It doesn’t sound nice to say, does it? That makes it no less a fact.
These facts are a recipe for abuse, and I in no way mean to excuse the inexcusable acts of this father (I certainly cannot render any sort of diagnosis – I speak only of likelihood to try to make a point worthy of discussion). I also am not declaring people on the autism spectrum to be more likely to commit crimes.
But it’s a well-kept secret that abuse is frequently a feature of autism families. (NOT ALL of them, though, to be clear – which suggests there are measures to be taken for better outcomes.)
Now, without placing any blame (except where it’s relevant that all adults not declared otherwise are indeed responsible for their actions), and without shooting the messenger, what should we be doing to protect autistic children from abuse at the hands of their parents, and older parents from abuse at the hands of their adult ASD children?
We could at least start by acknowledging the problem.
Disclaimer: please don’t misconstrue my comments to mean that this 5-year-old abused this adult father, or that the difficulties of managing a non-verbal child excuse the father’s behavior. IOW don’t waste time picking through my comment for straw men and responding to straw men. There’s a real issue to be brought into the daylight here.