When parents of disabled children kill


I hear it all the time.

A parent gets overwhelmed and they kill their child with a disability because one more day is just too much.

Kelli Stapleton, age 45 of Michigan, wrote on her blog, The Status Woe, in September:  “I have to admit that I’m suffering from a severe case of battle fatigue.”


It was on this blog that she vented about the challenges of raising her 14-year-old daughter, Isabelle, who has a diagnosis of autism and a history of violent outbursts. Something went wrong with her school program and it made things worse.

Why did something go wrong with the school program?

One of the reasons I want my degree in special education is because I have insight as a parent of special needs children.


When will the schools realize that SAMENESS is one of the most important factors in educating students with autism? Especially severe autism? And especially severe autism in the teen years?

Later that day, this Mom and her daughter were found unconscious from carbon monoxide poisoning  in a van in which charcoal was burned with the windows all closed. The child survived and Mom is now in jail awaiting trial.

muchpainI’m not condoning her actions. But I understand what it’s like to lose hope. It’s the worst feeling in the world. You can’t think straight after being pummeled by your child day in and day out with no end in sight. There just isn’t enough support for parents in this country. We love our children. We love having them with us in our home. But where is the support?

School is not enough.


Kelli’s friends are blogging for her now on her blog, and raising money for her legal fees.

Kelli’s Blog: The Status Woe

Fund Raiser: Friends of Kelli Stapleton

And a beautiful blog post about this situation is here: A Line in the Sand. It says so well all that I wanted to say here but couldn’t find the words as my heart breaks for this child and her mother.

Please read it. Even if you have no interest in special needs families. Read it and learn. There are hurting people out there and you just might be an answer to their prayer.




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Comments 4

  1. wow, all too true. There isnt enough support and advocates will tell you, all that support and funding that may have been available in the grade school years…and is often literally thrown at you…disappears totally past age 21.
    Its as if all the powers that be simply assume everyone grew up and got fixed, healed and normal and there was no more reason to be concerned….they get their 700 dollars SSI and maybe a day program that lasts til 2 pm {what do you do with them from 2:30 to midnight?}

    They dont realize that many of these adult children, {without the non stop support of therapy, as well as the natural maturing process} can become significantly worse as their adult egos develop and the hormones kick in.This happens around the same time the parent has become older, sadder, fatter, weaker and broker.

    So many things could be improved if only the right peple would listen.

  2. I’m sorry but where’s the sipthy for her daughter and we are not burdens she deserves to be in jail. I am a person with autism and outher changes I know how shity the sistum is but in no would do people with disabilities deserve to be murder buy the parents or attempted.

  3. I understand that these things can be hard for the parents, but is anyone thinking about the children in these cases? I myself have autism (though not as severe as Issy) as well as depression and anxiety. Whenever I hear these things about parents killing their disabled and impaired children because they were “overwhelmed” and “overburdened”, it really bothers me how they give all this sympathy to the parents but hardly any for the child. Of course I take it personally, how can I not? I am one of these children. I am similar to Issy. Am I a person with thoughts and feelings beyond my imperfections or am I just damaged goods and a burden that is better off dead for everyone’s sake? Society plays in a part in this as well because to them I am unimportant, a waste of space, etc. My sympathy is more inclined towards Issy, the REAL victim than the mother who betrayed her role as loving caregiver to this child no matter what. Issy and I are people, we’re human beings. We deserve far more.

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