On April 2nd, 2014, (Autism Awareness Day), Angie Robinson, 40, and her 16-year old
severely-autistic son, Robert, were found dead in their British Columbia home. Police say it was a
murder-suicide. Apparently, at her wits end over inadequate services, Has anyone ever done a study to investigate what were the antecedents to this mother's behavior that led her to think the ONLY way out was to KILL herself and her autistic son? Has there ever been a study looking at HOW MANY parents have been pushed to brink of insanity that they felt this was the ONLY way out of such a confusing and hopeless situation? The answer to this question is NO. NO studies have been done.
It appears in Angie's case, after hearing no residential placements were available for her son, And after hearing that the only option she was given was to keep giving her son ATIVAN and herself ATIVAN, Angie decided murdering her son and killing herself was the only way out of the senseless pain she felt for her son and herself. It didn't have to end like this. There should have been supports and services in place to help her and her son live a life that would give someone hope that at least, during all this stress, there would be direct support and care to help her and her son get through these tough times.
Some ask, "Why did she kill her son?" How selfish! She could've dumped him off at the hospital, right? She could've given him up to social services, right? Before you judge her, consider it's possible she planned on only killing herself.
Perhaps the torment of knowing how her son was neglected by agencies funded to help her and her son, and the broken record in her head playing the song, "There are no residential placements for your son...." may have tormented her. Where would he go? There is no home for him. Hospitals can't help him. Social services aren't helping. Nobody had any answers, even those paid to have answers. They were all useless. With their degrees, titles and awards, useless. Phony. Fooling the public for years.
All these people. And NOT ONE social worker blew up on her and her son's behalf? NOT ONE demanded better care and treatment? Really?
We have been fortunate enough to have at least ONE social worker at a hospital that went toe to toe with ER doctors to advocate for our son to get the medical testing he needed. And we have some really good regular doctors that treat our son and do try to help.
Why do so many people who KNOW what is going on these cases play so stupid after the damage is already done? For so long those who pretend to help sit silent, afraid to confront their supervisors.....And so we see cases where parents like ANGIE aren't getting the help they needed for their autistic children, despite years and years of crying out for help and reach a breaking point where they driven to madness....and despair beyond anything you could imagine...
Screw U if U don't get this as you sit and read this from your comfy chair, drinking your Merlot or whatever the fuck you are drinking....all you alleged "professionals" who didn't do shit for this mother and her teen son and these useless Adult Protection and Office of Client Right's people and Protection And Advocacy groups and all you other phony, phony phony people who know you know I and other parents in distress know what you really aren't..... For all you who turned your backs. For all you who turn your backs. For all you who lack courage. For all you who lack compassion. For all you who spend more time in your useless meetings instead of doing your motherfucking jobs to help people like Angie and her autistic son, Robert, I know what you are. You're not fooling me. You may go to your phony look what we're doing for disabled award ceremonies and have your big shot connections with certain people in congress so you can get more funding to do little, but you aren't fooling me. I know what you are and what you aren't doing for the disabled population. Your phony speeches. Your phony mission statements. Your phony seminars. I see it. I've an inside witness.
Do I sound angry? Yes, I am. Being nice doesn't save lives. This system serving disabled is NOT NICE. IT"S BRUTAL> IT"S CRUEL> IT"S BENIGN NEGLECT> And even the agencies that lie to their governments about helping disabled are neglecting the disabled so being nice now is NEVER going to get anyone in the autism community the changes that need to still place, so FU who have the audacity to judge families who are struggling with helping their autistic children, and are pushed so hard, for so long, with such little relief, that these parents are pushed to the brink of insanity..and hopelessness. You who don't have a clue, you who don't know what's it's like and willfully ignore all this have no idea what the fuck you are talking about....And it's NOT the autistic person's fault. It's NOT. They can't help it. THEY NEED EXTRA HELP. IF ANGIE would've had 24/7 1:1 support to HELP with her son, she and her son would NOT BE DEAD TODAY. FU if you don't get this scenario. WAKE THE FUCK UP.
Even those promising and paid funds to come up with answers, even those agencies like Protection and Advocacy organizations, with all their fluff, and all these people who say they are there to help, to protect, and to advocate for disabled, have left families behind...what then? What now? This mother was exhausted. She was tired of hearing nobody knew what to do, when they were being paid to do a job that was supposed to be helping people like Angie and her vulnerable autistic son.
This mom knew nobody would help him. And that inept people who would take over his care in a group home would only cover up caring for him properly, isolate, drug and shackle him. One can only imagine the confusion, distress and chronic emotional pain this mother and her son was in. She was tortured by benign neglect. Hopeless, exhausted and frustrated. Unless you have lived in this type of insane situation you wouldn't know. And don't you dare blame it on the autism
Our autistic children are NOT the problem. They deserve help. Parents need support. Better services. We need more advancements in medical treatment for autistic people in crisis. Not more fucking ativan.
You wouldn't understand my rage right now at another senseless death in the autism community because you don't understand the complex etiologies involved in this mom's tragic and desperate decision.
And yes, it is terrible. And tragic.And could've been prevented. Have some damn compassion. Don't just write it off and hope it doesnt' happen again. It will happen again. Somewhere. Just like it will happen again that caregivers who provide services needed will abuse the autistic person, because that is another area that has yet to addressed and fixed.
Put yourselves in this mom's shoes. I wish Angie would've turned her torment into rage against this senseless system. Rage against the UMFS that sit on their lazy asses in this system and do NOTHING to help in crisis. Cowards. Dullards. These same useless people will be the first to tell the Media it's so tragic. Yet, all along, these same people saw the tragedy playing out and did too little, or worse, nothing.
If only to reverse time. Give her a hug. Tell her, "No, Angie. Killing yourself and your child is not the answer.
Keep fighting! There is light at the end of this battle. Don't give up! Stay strong!"
Look, I may be a Republican who is soon to turn Democrat...but I must agree with Hillary Clinton's statement it takes a village...yes it does and nowhere do we see this more evident in the severely autistic community....where the needs are so great and the care is so critical that it DOES take a village......
Would that have been enough? Who failed this woman and her autistic son? Who was getting paid, who was getting funds, who was not doing their damn job? Who was in charge of neglecting to provide this woman's autistic son the help he so desperately needed? What cubicle dwelling dipshit sat on their ass for years, reading their Facebook page and chatting with co-workers, while this woman and her son were suffering in ways that none of these idiots addressed?
Why wasn't Angie getting respite or behavioral support for her son? Who was her son's social worker? Did they help? Did they even notice? Or were they too busy filling out forms. Pretending they were doing something.
Was the mom sleep deprived? Severely-depressed? Isolated? How many times had she begged for help?
Why wasn't there a residential treatment home available? How much
funding was in place for autistic teens like Robert? How long did she cry out to the people she believed were there to help, but only heard,
"Sorry, no help for your son is available." Not even the medical professionals at the hospital did much, Here try some Ativan.....A lot of Ativan. Take some for yourself. Give some to your kid. Take care now, bye bye, sign here please.
There were signs things were going down hill fast......
In March of this year, Angie's son, Robert, smashed his head through the window of Angie's truck.
Imagine how seeing your son do this would fracture your heart and mind. Your child just bashed his own head through your car window. You are all alone in the car. There is no behavioral support person on board. No caregiver to help. You've got to keep your hands on the wheel, while he's bashing his head on the window.....shit, is there a place to pull over, I'm on the damn freeway....yep, those are scenarios that happen daily in the lives of some people raising severely autistic teens and adults, but you won't hear about it, until it's too late, because the people in charge of documenting these serious incidents, cover it all up, so they don't have to do anything.
There is no end to this madness.
How DESPERATE for adequate help would you be at this point? How hard would
you try and get help? Angie asked for help. And asked again. She didn't get it.
Angie tried again. Robert spent time in the hospital. Hospitalized and tranquilized. Ativan,
to be specific. WTF? Ativan is the WRONG medication to treat challenging behaviors in autism.
Ativan is toxic to the autistic brain during a behavioral crisis. It has a paradoxical effect.
In treating aberrant autistic behavior. Ativan is a RESCUE medication for SEIZURES only.
You do NOT use Ativan to treat the autistic person having a behavioral meltdown. You would only give ATIVAN if the person had one of the rarer types of epilepsy that triggered behaviors. Usually, behavioral outbursts are rooted in frontal lobe seizure activity, but it's complicated, because different seizures can also make the autistic person calmer. Only comprehensive neurological testing can determine which types of seizures are involved, and this is almost never done unless you fight for it, like you have to fight for everything when you have a severely autistic child.
Apparently, Robert was given a copious amount of Ativan at the hospital. Perhaps if the Canadian agencies had had the PROPER SUPPORT for ROBERT, the hospital wouldn't have had to dope him up with so much Ativan.
Upon release, his
mother given tons of Ativan to control Robert at home. The mom was also prescribed ATIVAN. So ativan was supposed to make it all better.....Recall Mom did NOT have adequate support at HOME to help her with her son. No wonder she chose ATIVAN. It didn't help. She lost hope.
While I'm not a fan of anti-psychotics, given my autistic son had bad reactions to many
(an oculogyric crisis and torticollis), you can give an anti-psychotic if you piggy-
back it with Cogentin. And don't overuse it. Use as a rescue medication only, if possible.
Seroquel, Risperdal with galantamine (4mg BID) are much better alternatives for an autistic behavioral crisis. You must stabilize the brain, not the body. Heal the acute crisis in the brain= reduce the behavior. Likewise, rule out UNDERLYING, UNDETECTED
medical issues. Was Robert in pain? Surely, smashing your head through a truck window
would warrant at least a CT scan of the head. Was it done? How about an fMRI?
I mean, if Robert was already loaded up with Ativan, you'd think at this point, what
the heck, he's already in the hospital. Let's do some flipping tests. Were tests done? Or was he
simply given, like so many autistic people in crisis, a quick fix chemical lobotomy, so he could be discharged and sent away to be someone else's burden? So much for carry the burden of others....
It's a win/win situation when an autistic person with challenging self-abusive
behaviors receives adequate behavioral, medical and social services.
Ignoring their complex needs is negligent. Ignoring the parent's cries for help is cruel.
Pretending there is a budget crisis is a con job.
Having Autism Awareness Month in the absence of awaken awareness is ridiculous.
Families raising severely-autistic children, teens and adults need relief. Trusted, trained
caregivers. Safe group homes. An UPDATED global medical standard of care for autistic patients with severe behavioral issues. And yes, we need effective, safe pharmaceutical drugs to target specific brain
receptors involved in autism and self-injurious behavior. Improved ABA for autistic adults.
And so we have......
At 11:56 pm, on April 2nd, 2014, Angie Robinson wrote her last Facebook post, "More, more, more needs to be done for our teens with special needs, they are neglected. Canada needs more residential and respite care for families hoping to keep their children at home."
Raising a severely-autistic son, I can tell you supportive services DO HELP. I have fought and fought for years for adequate services. It has not been easy. And there are a lot of other crazy issues, like retaliation from the very agency we thought was there to help our son.... we've had to face, but overall, adequate services save lives. We got doctors to write letter's of support. Thank God for doctors who GET it.
We collected evidence to support our son's level of care. Though the agencies controlling the funding for services continue to downplay our son's needs. You must keep fighting. This is a spiritual war as much as it is a physical one, which may sound strange to those who don't understand this, but if you don't, then think of your "fantasy movies" where good vs evil is always in play. Autistic people are special people, no matter how many issues they have. They are here to TEACH us love, tolerance and patience. They are here to teach us to HELP others and go beyond thinking only of our own goals, dreams and visions. Jesus sacrificed Himself for the whole world, the least we can do is sacrifice some of our own selfish needs to help those who are in pain and crisis.....if these agencies getting funds to help the disabled aren't willing to do this, and are going to continue making excuses, blaming the fake, manufactured budget crisis, etc...then they should find another profession. Quit lying to the world about what you are doing for the disabled, when we all see, every year, more and more families struggling to get the services they need for their severely autistic children.
Rest in peace Angie and Robert, in your new home, may your lives never be forgotten..............may the angels of
heaven carry your souls to the throne of God and wipe away every tear.......
Sources: Erika Tucker, Global News