The case of Kelli Stapleton, sentenced this week to 10-22 years after attempting to kill herself and her autistic daughter, Issy, has divided the autism community. Is it possible to raise awareness of the profound challenges faced by those with severe autism and intellectual disability and their families without excusing attempted murder?
MIT scientist Stephanie Seneff recently blamed increasing autism rates on exposure to the herbicide glyphosate and predicted that by 2025 half of all babies born in the U.S. would be autistic, a development that would "risk the demise of the human race and a mass extinction unparalleled by previous events." How would we as a society respond?
The recent New York Times article about kids who recovered from autism has generated much debate, from neurodiversity activists who think autism doesn't need to be cured to the parents of severely autistic children who know their children never will be cured. Yet we should all celebrate these findings and their implications for the entire autism community.
As the public has vacillated between condemning the California parents arrested for keeping their autistic son in a cage and sympathizing with their lack of support, we have yet again missed the opportunity to openly discuss the medical treatments available to treat aggressive and self-injurious behaviors in autistic individuals.