14 Jun 2006

Katie McCarron

I wanted to write this post, even though other people (Abfh, Ballastexintenz, Rettdevil, Kevin and Kristina) have already said more eloquently anything I might say, because I wanted to reach people who might read this through the Early Years home-education ring.

I wrote earlier about the murder of an autistic child in the US. Many people wished we could know more about little Katie or see her photo, since the newspapers discussing the tragedy, focused on the crime and its perpetrator. All we learned about the little girl, was that she was living with her Dad and paternal grandmother so she could attend a specialist school while her mother and younger sister lived in another state where the mother worked as a doctor.

Only 10 days after the family reunited, the mother killed her child by suffocating her with a plastic bag. She admitted this to the police when she was arrested.

Many people then started to publicly try to excuse this murder, reasoning that 'a lack of services' may have lead to it.

Katie's paternal grandfather has since publicly refuted these ideas;

"I too am fed up with the comments from "advocacy" spokespersons. How can people pretending to represent the good of children with autism ignore the murder of a beautiful and dear little child.?When I see the lead in line "I don't approve of murder; but…" I just have to buckle my seat belt because I know, here it comes. The advocate goes on to virtually admit it is OK, or understandable because Katie had autism. If these people are "advocates" for people with autism I can't imagine what the "opponents" must be like."


"When they start using a disability as an excuse for murder and say it is understandable, I go well beyond anger. When these “advocates” speak of the pressure that a care giver is under 24×7, I don’t disagree with that. But my son and my wife were Katie’s care givers for the past 20 months while Katie attend a special school in North Carolina. They not only held up to that pressure but they treasure every moment they had with Katie and are devastated by her loss. Since they lived it and loved it how can anyone use that pressure as an excuse."

Mr McCarron was generous enough to let us know a bit about his beautiful granddaughter,

"I would like to say something about Katie. Some newspapers have reported that this was done to end Katie’s pain; let me assure you that “Katie was not in pain”. She was a beautiful, precious and happy little girl. Each day she was showered with love and returned that love with hugs, kisses and laughter. Katie loved music; she would fill in some of the words in children’s songs as my wife would sing along with the CD that would be playing, their own version of “karaoke” . She liked to dance, she loved to do the “hooky poky”. She loved being in among flowers and tall grass. She would say “I like grass”. She enjoyed the zoo and because of all of the drills and flashcards she could identify the animals. Which I thought was pretty amazing for such a young child. She was also the only little child in her non-autistic play group that could identify an octagon. My wife and son had a party for her the day they heard that from the teacher."

Mr McCarron made some photographs of Katie available to people who wished to view and use them in a respectful way.

Many of us on the Early Years ring have or know children who are not 'standard issue'. We make every effort to help and care for our children. Raising children is hard work and we're often exhausted but we need to keep being real advocates for them. We can tell people that it isn't any less wrong to kill a person, just because that person has a disability.


Anonymous said...

I creid over Katie. 6 our of 7 of my children have AS or ASD and I could not imagine life without them. To use autism as an excuse to murder someone is sick.

Sharon McDaid said...

Poor Katie, I've cried over her too. I know you have a lot of fantastic autistics in your family and they are so lucky to have you and each other.
I know it seems unbelievable to use autism as an excuse for murder, but it does happen. Have you ever seen the site, Murder of autistics?
It shows the horrible reality that these killings have been happening for years, and often the killers get a very lenient sentence.

My daughter saw this post and asked who the little girl is. When I told her, and told her what had happened, she was outraged and said, 'But that's so stupid'. Lady is right, it's not just wrong, it's stupid.