family killing in autism murder suidide
Article Autism In the News Parenting

When Autism makes going on untenable…

Murder/suicide for parents of autism children is not uncommon. The stats for autism related deaths due to homicide are not always published either. Why would you publish it? It really comes down to all the parties involved whether the event receives any press.

This case, last year, did get press.

A father, taking his 20yo son’s life due to his autism diagnosis.

nicholas john


Left is Nicholas, a autistic young man, and his father John, 58 who is also known to most people to be a lovely man.

The problem with raising an autistic child is two-fold. It is hard work (physically) and it is personal.

So when I do those little “extra things” for my autistic kids I think to myself, what if I wasn’t here – who would take care of them the way I do. And you can’t help but think if they did those “extra things” – how long before they gradually started not to do those things. Then you think of your child, unhappy. And you think, maybe there is a better way, for everyone.

But there isn’t. Murder/suicide is NOT a better way. It’s not even an option – it might be for you if you are exhausted and worry about things that you can’t change, but it’s not an option for the child because you take away their right to live – happy or sad – you take away their¬†life.

So what are your options when things get really crap?

1/ Talk to someone – reach out for help. Don’t talk double talk – talk straight – say “I’m tired, and I’m really worried about my kids future when I’m not around to care for them anymore – can you help?” Just say it. If the first person doesn’t help, ask another. Ask a church group, ask Government Departments, ask friends, family and so on. You don’t have to say you have asked others before them, just say “I need your help today”.

2/ Read how others cope – online many people share their stories of distress, but many share stories of success too. Get involved in their conversations, look for what you are looking for, it is there, but you’ve got to try.

3/ Write about your situation and people will come to you. It could be a blog, a book, a social media post – but don’t sit in silence and wonder why no one’s helping. If people think you’re OK – then they may think offering help will offend you, or not be to your liking. So writing can be a passive way of letting people know you are NOT coping.

But don’t resort to murder. Not for your sake, and not for your child’s sake.

It’s not selfish to kill your child, because your reasoning for doing it is probably from a place of selflessness.

But is murder.

And it is not necessary.

There are other things you can do.

Ending it for you and your child/children does not mean the end of pain, it means the beginning of it.