28 April, 2010

Benjamin McLatchie

I'm too tired and can't write about this in much depth, but yesterday a guy shot his 22-year-old son and then shot himself.

It seems like usually when a person kills their son (or, you know, anyone), every article about them isn't bending over backwards to try to excuse away what happened. Unfortunately for Benjamin McLatchie, he was a person with autism, so he doesn't get to be written about as a guy who had something terrible happen to him. Instead all the articles are about how hard it is to be the parent of someone with autism, and they quote parents of people with autism talking about what a hard time Benjamin's father probably had.

I'm sure Benjamin's father did have a hard time. I feel sorry for him like I feel sorry for Andrea Yates and anyone else who experiences the kind of mental illness that would lead them to do something so horrible. But he did something bad to Benjamin. Something bad didn't happen to them. Autism didn't do this. It's unfair to Benjamin to imply that this naturally happens to people like him, as if he somehow deserved it.


  1. If Ben's father actually had help than this wouldn't have happened.

    But getting help for developmental disabilities is very difficult, even if you are low-functioning, but especially if you are high-functioning.

    I'm not sure how to solve the problem of complete lack of resources since we (our country) don't really have the money to provide these resources.

  2. That isn't true--we don't know whether it would or wouldn't have happened. People kill people who don't have disabilities all the time. We don't know why Ben's father killed him, we just know that's someone's theory. We don't know how difficult Ben was or wasn't to take care of. Maybe he had a lot of challenging behaviors (although lots of people have kids with challenging behaviors and manage not to kill them)--or maybe he was a very mellow person. The articles don't talk about who Ben was.

    When Katie McCarron was killed everyone rushed to say that her mom did it because of stress and a lack of services. Then it turned out Katie didn't even live with her mom. The people who actually raised Katie--her grandparents--were very adamant about saying that Katie was a great kid and her disability shouldn't be blamed for her death.

    Anyone who kills their kid is really screwed up and I feel sorry for them because they were obviously in great pain. But not having help is not an excuse and neither is anything else. It's wrong.

  3. I have never felt an amount of compassion towards parents who kill their children. I don't care what the circumstances are, there is no GOOD reason as to why a parent kills a child. We don't know if the reason why Ben was killed was cause his father wasn't getting the help he needed. For all we know he could have been mad at Ben for something and killed him.

    But that doesn't matter, people are too busy saying how sorry they feel for the father, who I wish didn't kill himself (so he can be arrested, and FULLY punished by the courts, that is justice not the cowards way out imo.) I know that there is a huge lack of services (seeing as how I can't get help at ALL, despite my diagnoses..)

    Poor Ben. I hope he's in a happier place where he's loved.