The tragic news story of Sunnyvale mother Elizabeth Hodgins, who in early March killed her young adult son, George, who had autism, and then killed herself (see story), has shaken all of us in the disability world — particularly parents — to our cores. What she must have felt, her complete despair that would drive her to end her son’s and her own life, seems unimaginable to most. It certainly points out the fragility and vulnerability that lies right below the surface of so many families — not just parents of children with autism — who are working so very hard to keep their lives together especially in this age of diminishing resources and support systems.
To all families of children with disabilities and challenges, please know that you are not alone. There is emotional support just a phone call away. Keep reaching out. You will find someone to help you. Call our Helpline, 800.578.2592, and talk to one of our Parent Advisors, join our online Yahoo parent support group, find other parent groups on our website…the support of other families who have experienced similar situations is very helpful.
If your situation still seems overwhelming, professional help is out there: suicide hotlines, community mental health services, and a call to 911. Please know that we are here for you.