It seems like Kelli Stapleton, who attempted to kill her autistic teen daughter, Issy, is campaigning to reduce her jail time. Her appearance on Dr. Phil produced the desired effects: so much sympathy – and anyone who criticize her for her action is judged, “Don’t judge her unless you walk in her shoes.”
As one who indeed walked in her shoes, I know firsthand how devastating aggression of autistic teens could be. I know how powerless that anything parents do to help have no impact. I know how scared the parents are for their own and more importantly, the sibling’s life.
Still, she should be judged for what she did – attempted murder (well, should I call child abuse?).
I know the shortage of services, though apparently the Stapletons had more resources than many families. As I live in one of the poorest area of America, I know how little local agencies provide for impoverished families. But that’s not the case for the Stapletons.
I understand the feeling of being at the end of the rope. I’ve been there, twice. First time, when it asked to give up the custody, the services suddenly poured in and I survived. The second time, it was physically impossible for me to take care of him. I had lupus and my son was growing. So I had no choice but to place him. After a long turmoil, I am at peace. I realized finally that K needed much more than I could potentially provide: now he has two aides at all time except during sleep, when he has only one aide. At his school, he has two behavior technicians at all times. I think the same might be the case for Issy. But Kelli Stapleton COULD choose residential placement and she didn’t.
Being a well resourced parent and well-known blogger, she must have been aware of such arrangement. More disturbing, though, was that rumor says she bought a shock collar to use on Issy (she didn’t) to hype up the blog. The current campaign with Dr. Phil might fall on the same line – to raise her fame. What’s next…a book deal?
“Judgement argument” aside, I can say for sure about this: Kelli Stapleton should NEVER earn money and fame for what she did. What she did was an attempted murder and child abuse. We shouldn’t get trapped by her media strategy.