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Committing Suicide Because of Son's Autism

It can be difficult to deal with autism.  Or.  Rather.  It can be difficult to deal with autism when you don't have enough help.

A blogger recently was horrified when she saw that "want to commit suicide because of my son's autism" were the search words that led to her blog.  So she wrote a post in the hopes that the original searcher will find it and others are writing responses of their own.

I think searches are extremely cursory.  But yeah, they do say something about the person making them.  Someone searching those terms might just be feeling sad and want to see if others feel as desperate and awful as they do sometimes but have no set plan in place.  I mean, it doesn't count unless you go through with it.  I might also google "want to become Olympic swimmer" but believe me, I have no plans to actually do so.  I might just want to learn about swimming, extreme swimming culture, or whatever.  I don't even own a swimsuit.

I think all this horror is... odd.  Who would NOT think about killing themselves if they had children who desperately NEED services but realistically speaking will never get them.  I tell you, you do not know what you are talking about if you think this is not a normal feeling. 

Have you any idea how funding actually works?  Losing a parent bumps your kid up on the magical "how disabled/entitled to funding am I" checklist.  There are limited funds.  You are competing with others for those funds.  A rational parent, one who really loves her children more than life itself, would have to at least seriously consider it, especially if things are going badly just then.  Remember, normal parent-guilt gets amplified a whole boodle when you have an autistic child or four.  If you don't have support?  If you don't have balance?  Things can get dangerous, fast.

It's sick, really.  But that's how the system works.  I mean, with food stamps at least, one could ask, "Is your income below x level?  Do you have fewer than (number) dollars?" and *zing* you have benefits.

With disabilities, here's how it works:

Are you disabled?  Yes?  OK.  We have 200 slots for this special waiver that will give your family some help.  200 slots should do for the millions of people in the WHOLE STATE, right?  So all y'all people who have some disability-related trouble need to put on a really good song and dance for our committee.  Tell us why you are more worthy than everyone else in the entire state who is applying.

Oh!  Did I mention?  Only a few slots are open at any one given time.  Someone has to die or age out of the system to free the slot you want.  Also, you have to prove that your child would likely be institutionalized without this help.  But we're only giving help to a few people so guys?  Bare your souls, send us detailed forms about your income (and does your kid have a burial plan?  We need to know.  Go find the policy number.), go to monthly meetings that last for hours, fill out more paperwork... and then just hope no one else more disabled than your kid appears before the committee.  Someone else more disabled than your kid?  Would ruin it for you.  You start hoping the other families never hear about funding.  You're not going to share information with anyone.

It's like a sick game show where the prize is the help to which every family with a truly disabled child should be entitled in the first place.  I know for a fact that many families that are pushed to the extremes that, well, I'm not even going to outline.

Thankfully, one of my children is one of the lucky 200 children now using this Sara Lopez waiver.  I'm very, very grateful, but I think the process shouldn't have taken years.

I don't think this blog searcher, if he/she is desperate for help, is the only one out there hoping for real compassion and some tangible support. I'll tell you something.  It probably isn't one person's mental health problem that led to any such search.  Let's not think that.  My honest reaction isn't an uncaring one, I hope, but I'm genuinely not surprised to read that people are googling all kinds of stuff when they're looking for a way out of a bad spot.

Suicide is not the right way.  But are we willing to actually fund the right way?  I'm asking.


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