I didn't know Tracy Hawks, 47, of Howard County, Maryland who police say killed her autistic and mildly intellectually disabled son Christopher Melton on June 4 using a gas generator. ExploreHoward.com says the mother suffered from depression and there had been a family breakup. The mother was described as being close to her son Christopher who was described by several persons interviewed at the school he attended as a great kid, well behaved, caring and welcoming with a smile for anyone who looked at him.
People will judge the mother and many, perhaps most, will judge her harshly, very harshly. I do not quarrel with those judgments. Those judgments though will not change the facts ... that the mother and her son are both gone. The study has enough details to suggest that the son's disabilities may have had little to do with the mother's desperation. Readers like me have no way of knowing that with any certainty.
What is certain though is that with better assistance from communities and governments, with real support and services, with the knowledge that an autistic child will live a decent life after a parent has passed on, some ... some ... of these cases would turn out differently. In some, not all, but some of these cases, a child with autism would live and perhaps enjoy life to the fullest. Throwing stones at the dead parents will not, however, change a thing.