On April 2nd, 2014, (Autism Awareness Day), Angie Robinson, a single 40 yr. old mom, 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 and the stress of caring for her severely-autistic son, Angie Robinson chose to check out.
Why? Media reports say Angie was distraught after hearing no residential placements were available for her son. From there things went downhill fast. Robert's behaviors were increasing. So were his trips to the Emergency Room, where the only solution doctors had was to keep giving her son ATIVAN.
Unfortunately, the docs also gave Angie Ativan, as if this would make everything better. It didn't.
Angie gave her son Robert an overdose and took an overdose of Ativan herself. And now they are dead. So we can conclude, Ativan wasn't the answer to the ongoing challenges faced by this single mom who was struggling to raise a more and more challenging autistic son.
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.
And consider this: What would the hospital do? Drug him again with ativan? Inject him with Thorazine until he went into seizures?
Use four point restraints?
What would social services do? Send another denial letter? Tell the mom to get an attorney to fight for services? Or go look for help at another agency?
God only knows the sadness this single mother must have felt. The pain. The despair. The frustration. The anger. And finally, the hopelessness.
"There are no residential placements for your son...." must have been the last straw.
What now, she may have thought? Where can he go? What more can I do as a single mom with not enough help?
There is no home for him. Hospitals can't help him. Social services aren't helping. Nobody has any answers, even those paid to have answers. They are all useless. Nobody who was paid to protect and advocate for the disabled in her country effectively did for Angie and Robert. And they must live with that reality, that scar, that shame, in order to not repeat the same mistakes.
Angie Robinson believed nobody could help her son because nobody had helped her son.
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...
Do I sound angry? Yes, I am. Rightfully so. Being nice doesn't save lives when you're dealing with apathetic and ruthless people.
The system serving disabled is NOT NICE. It's not on your side. It's not there to help your child if your autistic child's level of care is something they don't want to provide. It's about being "cost effective" to the extent of costing people's lives.
IT"S a BRUTAL arena. I've learned this the hardest way. I went into this arena thinking how wonderful....these people are here to help, and received a rude awakening.
A slap in the face from the monster of CRUEL. BENIGN NEGLECT. Yes, whether you believe it or not, there are people working in the system serving disabled that abuse their positions of power and are secretly sadistic and actually hate and resent the disabled. You can see it in their eyes, their actions and in their cocky disregard for other people's pain and crisis.
God help you if you're a parent who takes them on. They will hate you and your child even more.
We should never forget the Angie's and ROBERTs out there. Angie Robinson 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 disabled. Her son needed HELP. He didn't get what he needed.
If you don't understand my rage right now at another senseless death in the autism community, it's because you don't understand the complex etiologies involved in this mom's tragic and desperate decision.
If only to reverse time. Give Angie and every parent who has killed themselves or/and their autistic child a hug. Tell her, "No, Angie. Killing yourself and your child is not the answer. There is HOPE.
Keep fighting! There is light at the end of this battle. Don't give up! Stay strong! You and your son are NOT alone. There are many of us out here who GET it. We stand with you. We know what you are going through. Please don't give up."