The Autistic Journalist

Using words to explain the mind

When autism can be deadly

with 7 comments

Courtesy Irving Police/AP

It’s been a while, I know. Duties at SPNN and Community Hoops, where I cover the Minnesota Lynx, along with a lull in autism article publications, have kept me from making any new posts lately.

I mentioned in a blog regarding vaccines that autism can’t kill like the diseases vaccines are designed to prevent. I haven’t been proven wrong, but a Texas mother of two autistic kids strangled both of them to death, according to charges filed by the Irving Police Department. One charge has been filed, the other is still pending, but a 911 recording was released where Saiqa Akhter, a Pakistani native, tells the operator she killed her two children because they were autistic. If convicted (which is really a sure thing given the evidence presented at this point), Akhter could have the same fate of her kids since Texas allows the death penalty.

Reading this story brought back memories of watching a series of stories on YouTube where a couple in a small Ohio town killed their adopted autistic son and made up a story that he was missing. Akhter didn’t go that far, not that it relieves her of any wrongdoing. Ideally, a news outlet or two could pick up this story to highlight the frustrations of raising autistic children, then present a number of options to safely deal with those obstacles. I’ve absorbed a few stories where parents give up hope for their autistic child to pursue dreams their peers will have no trouble with, but killings are very rare.

This story is sure to get some office chatter going, but it won’t likely be substantial. What happens to Akhter is irrelevant, although I’m sure an update will be published on the national feeds. Very often, when parents cut their children’s lives short, mental issues are present. Signs will often present themselves, and those with keen eyes can potentially intervene before a scenario like Ahkter’s develops. This story highlights the dark side of autism. No one expects it, and no one can expect how parents will respond to the situation, but murdering children when they’ve done no wrong is bound to get you on the news without any brownie points.

Written by TheSportsBrain

July 21, 2010 at 10:27 pm

7 Responses

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  1. One can only imagine the sever strain this mother has been through and what pushed her over the edge. it’s hard not to be judgmental, sorry mom. I wonder if the father was in denial about the childrens’ issues and left the mom defenseless as she dealt with it alone all the time. I won’t be surprised if he will plead to the courts that she is mentally ill. Same old, same old…


    July 22, 2010 at 5:17 am

    • I’m a mother of an autistic child. I can relate only to the extreme stress and emotional pain that this mother must have been feeling. I hope that some good can result from this horrible tragedy. What I would wish is that families coping with the tremendously difficult challenge of raising a child/children with autism can receive real support. There should be free respite programs and camps that can help alleviate some of the depression and divorce stats associated with being the parent of an autistic child.


      July 22, 2010 at 4:52 pm

  2. Murdering your own children IS NOT a symptom of autism. Yeah she may have been under stress, no one would have known what she went through, but killing is killing. It isn’t autism that is deadly, it’s those who go to such measures to get rid of it. And the only reason most seem to empathize with the mother is because they deny the murdered sons the ability to have had emotion. I do not sympathize the mother, her actions were selfish to say the least.


    August 3, 2010 at 1:41 pm

  3. Yea, well take a look at people like Phil Gluyas and other fakesters who think they’rE aspergers. These clowns go around using fake names and tell parents of autistic children to kill themselves or “take a bat” to the kids. Real sick pups. EVIL. Norby or andrew anyone? And go to aspegers forums where some of the most disgusting wastes of life who pose as aspergers attack parents who are raising autistic children. Purely pathetic individuals who need a brain transplant.


    August 22, 2010 at 12:34 am

  4. It is absolutely critical families living with severe autism get the help and support they need. Something is very wrong when suicide rates among parents/primary caregivers/ raising autistic kids are skyrocketing. google video that is on youtube: “Autism: When More Help is Needed”


    October 29, 2010 at 4:54 pm

  5. Ever notice how fathers of autistic kids always bail? Or at least most often bail? Yep. They can’t handle the stress, so they leave the mothers alone to handle children who are screaming daily, poking fingers in eyes, smearing feces on walls, biting pieces of skin off flesh and/or smashing fists into head. Thanks dad. Thanks for the support you flipping cowards. And if things couldn’t get worse, the mum is now faced with a system serving autistic children/adults that doesn’t have a flippin’ idea of what real life with real autism is really about. No wonder so many of us, just say, f it….let’s check out. No, don’t kill your autistic child. Don’t kill yourself! But for God’s sakes, can we at least see why some women/men would be driven to this? (yes, a rare few women abandon their autistic children and leave them with the fathers…) Or grandparents…


    December 4, 2010 at 11:47 pm

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