Saturday, December 15, 2012

This Parent's thoughts...

As I sit down to write this blog, it is very hard for me not get emotional about things of late.It is gut wrenching to see and hear about the deaths of 20 kindergardners, gunned down. As a parent, I am heartbroken for the parents that had to get the news their children had died. No parent should have to bury their child. I can't even fathom the anguish.In fact, I can't even wrap my brain around the fact that these parents dropped their children off at school, either saying I love you or annoyed with them for taking too long to get their stuff packed up, that was the last time they saw their kids.

The events of yesterday has sparked many debates on certain things, Mental illness, Autism, and Gun control. I am not going to state anything concerning the Gun Control laws in this Country. People have their minds set on either one side or the other. So it would be pointless to start it and I really don't want a war of words to be started. It would not bring back the lives already taken. Mental Illness and Autism are two things that need to be talked about because those two things people are willing to talk about.

Yet again we are listening to the news stating that yet another shooter of a massacre is either on the Spectrum or mentally ill. I have always been a champion of the mentally ill. As it seems that they get the back burner when it comes down to healthcare. Mental Illness is unseen. You can't look at person and say they suffer from Schizophrenia or they are Bipolar. The problem is a lot of the mentally ill cannot afford their medication, they can't get access to help because they can't afford it or it just isn't there. And yet society is surprised when we have a situation that involves murder and the mentally ill. If medical insurance companies paid more attention to the raise in mental illness instead labeling everything pre disposed condition things might start to change. People that need to be on a steady medication schedule and monitored might be able to live a normal life. It does happen, when there is the support of a program that works for that person.

Now with the sheer mention that the shooter of yesterday's tragedy might have been on the Spectrum, has sent a wave of fear through the country, that Autism is the root of all evil. Its not. Here's why. For many of us that have children on the spectrum, we can tell you that there is a reason that the Puzzle piece is the symbol for Autism Awareness. 

1) Autism is such a vast thing when you think about it, Hello, Spectrum?.It is usually very hard to pin point how or why someone has it. Thus making it a puzzle to figure out. 

2)If you notice, there are never two puzzle pieces that are the same. Not one. Kind of like Snowflakes. So when you look at an autistic person, they are not going to be the same as the Autistic child you have met in the grocery store. Every person on the spectrum is different. Some have violent behaviors, some don't. Some excel in things like Math and some don't. You get my point. There is no, one person on the spectrum that are the same. They have some of the same characteristics, again like a puzzle piece. Odd Shape, they go to the same puzzle and they have the same colour scheme. People on the spectrum are like that.  

So when you have this fear that all the people that are on the Spectrum are going to get semi automatics and gun down children is generalization that shouldn't happen. 

This does not mean that people who do bad things should get a free pass, simply because they have a mental illness or are Autistic. There is right and wrong. I feel bad that many people have lost their lives due to the combination of Mental illness and firearms. And in some cases its not even firearms, but knives.

This was a way for me to put my thoughts down on the week's events. It is truly sad that children have been the victims. Children should never be at the end of a violent crime. I wish the people of Newtown, CT the peace they need to grieve and heal. They deserve that. And regardless on your stance on Gun Control, Mental illness or Autism, the thing to remember is that you can hug your children and feel blessed that you can do that. Parents of 20 children cannot take that comfort.