Abby's Neurodiversity Blog

Monday, June 26, 2006

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In loving memory of Katie McCarron.

A beautiful, wonderful, happy little girl, who was murdered by her own mother(, at the age of three.

The story ran in the Chicago Tribune on June 9, 2006. I first found out about it the other day, while at my favorite neurodiversity blogger's site:

Katie's mother, trusted and loved by Katie and entrusted with her care, put a plastic bag over Katie's head, and suffocated her to death. There is no excuse for that. Katie's mother claimed that she was trying to "end her daughter's pain" because Katie was autistic. Katie was not in pain.
Here's what Katie's grandfather had to say about it:

"I would like to say something about Katie. Some newspapers have reported that this was done to end Katie’s pain; let me assure you that “Katie was not in pain”. She was a beautiful, precious and happy little girl. Each day she was showered with love and returned that love with hugs, kisses and laughter. Katie loved music; she would fill in some of the words in children’s songs as my wife would sing along with the CD that would be playing, their own version of “karaoke” . She liked to dance, she loved to do the “hooky poky”. She loved being in among flowers and tall grass. She would say “I like grass”. She enjoyed the zoo and because of all of the drills and flashcards she could identify the animals. Which I thought was pretty amazing for such a young child. She was also the only little child in her non-autistic play group that could identify an octagon. My wife and son had a party for her the day they heard that from the teacher."

She only barely got to experience life. The murder of Katie is tragic and inexcusable.
Although, Katie's mother may have had reason to believe she might be able to commit this attrocity and escape justice:

But, Katie's loving grandfather will not except Mrs. McCarron's attempt at justifying this attrocity. How could anyone stand for it?

Here are some more links I found about the tragedy, and with some of Katie's Grandfather's commentary.
I can't even express how sad a thing Katie's untimely death is. How terrifying it must have been for her, for such an act to be committed by her mother, whom she loved and trusted.

The world is a sadder place now that she's gone. Katie did not deserve to die.

Katie deserved a mother who would take good care of her. A mother who would tell her "I love you for who you are. You are my daughter, and you are perfect and beautiful to me in everyway." She deserved a mother who would laugh with her when she was happy, and comfort her when she was sad.

Katie deserved a chance to experience more of life. She deserved more days of visiting the animals at the zoo. More trips to the mall with her grandmother, and days of sitting among the tall grass she so enjoyed. She deserved more days to laugh, and play with her dolls, and to continue bringing light into the lives of the people who loved her.

Katie's mother should have loved her unconditionally. Instead she chose extinguish the precious gift that was Katie. To put a plastic bag over her head, and suffocate her trusting little girl to death.

I'm so sad about what happened to Katie. But still, I'm glad that she existed. I'm glad that she got to experience life, and see those animals in the zoo, and sit in that tall grass. But her time here was far to short. I only wish that the world that she lived in, could have been one where it was not dangerous for her to simply exist. I wish that it could have been a safe world for Katie to live in and be who she was. I hope someday, it will be such a world.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

This is my first post. I suppose it would be appropriate of it to be an introduction, and the best introduction would be an explaination of why I created this blog in the first place. I am trying to create a blog about nerodiversity and autistic rights.

I'll try to summaraize, which I'm not entirely good at, but here is a brief outline of what lead me here:

First, parents, teachers, and doctors thought I was odd.

Next, I got diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome.

Next I had some bad experiences with a corrupt education system, and ignorant doctors and medications and things(despite the fact that I have loving, supportive, well meaning, albeit occasionally misguided, parents for whom I am very grateful).

Next, I declared that there wasn't anything wrong with me, and therefore I couldn't have anykind of whatever this whole autism thing was.

Next, I read about it, and said, "Hmm. OK, yes. I suppose I do have that. But, I can't see how there's anything wrong with it. Everybody has different strengths and weaknesses, and they seem to be medicalizing individuality. I like myself the way I am. Is there anyone else like me who feels this way?"

Then, I got online, and discovered that I was not the only one who felt this way about it, and that there are many people who think like me, and who feel the same way about it, as I do.

The internet is where the other half of the story is told. Not the story that doctors, teachers, and parents sometimes try to push on us, that we are actually suffering but just don't know it; but our side of the story. That these differences in the way we think, and in the way we perceive, are not wrong. Our individual minds, and our minds alone are who and what we are. And, I have long held that if I was "cured" of the way I think, than I, would cease to exist. Altering the very core of what makes someone who they are, keeps them from existing, and replaces them with someone new, and thats a kind of death, so it just wont do.

Anyhow, I've come accross some excellent blogs, my favorite one being Autistic Bitch From Hell: .

And, I've also discovered that a lot of people who claim to be trying to help, are actually causing a lot of harm, such as a lot of doctors, and a lot of non-autistics on the internet who think they know what is best.

I'm often taken aback at how some people claim to care about autistics but say such hateful things about/to them, such as calling them a bitch, or saying they are mentally dead/better off dead.

I've also discovered many tragedies and injustices that I hope to do something about. There have been many instances of autistics being murdered, and often their murderers are not brought to justice:

In addition to that, cruelty and medical negligence against autistics goes unpunnished all the time, and is often even condoned by the law.

I was talking to my step-mom about the Katie McCarron case, and other senseless murders and how I wanted to be able to do something about it.

She recommended to me, that I change my major from geology, to either law or special education, and eventually become a lobbyist for autistic rights. She noted I was much more passionate on the subject than geology. I proposed the idea to my dad.

He said he couldn't see why he'd never thought of it before. He said I would be uniquely qualified as a special education teacher, having had experience being in the system myself. That, my students and I would both learn differently, and therefore I would be ideal for teaching them.

Also, that I have had some bad experiences in special ed, my father has even fought the school system on my behalf and for that I am very thankful. If I were a special education teacher, I could right some of the wrongs in the system today, treat children like people, not like dammaged goods which can't learn, and need to be warehoused where no one will see them.

He also noted that, being a special ed teacher with a focus on autism would make me a qualified expert on autism, that in addition to being on the spectrum myself, would help me on my way to becomine a lobbyist.

My step mom is a lawyer, and ever since she married my dad, she's been taking all the cases involving autism. My step-mom told me that she is aware of a group called "Bikers against child abuse." They are a group of motorcyclists which gives support to abused children, and sometimes attends trials. She said that I should form a similar group, to support the rights of autistics.

So, that is, in short this is where I am and how I got here.