Please Keep Fighting the Good Fight!

Please join our plea to Senator John McCain urging him to continue combating  for those affected by autism. 
 As grateful as we are for all of your courageous attempts and efforts to bring the current autism epidemic to light and address it, sadly, much remains the same.  Our families continue to suffer and despair.  Our crisis seems to go unheeded and our cause appears to remain at the bottom of an enormous pile of requests and causes.   In short, we are most certainly in need of a hero for our family and families such as ours.

Sorrowfully, we remain desperate to help our children.  Now, more than ever, we need you to continue to champion our cause.  Ours is a path few others in your position are willing to go down.  A plight even fewer are willing to take on.  Ours is a matter not for the meek, but rather the mighty.   In short, we desperately need you, Senator McCain, a man of honor, integrity and character.  A man to whom courage is no stranger.  A man who desires to put others before himself.  You are that man, John McCain.  For as much as I know help exists for our families and children, I also have not a doubt in my mind, you are the man who has the ability to take on our cause and win!

Please take notice of the links which are included in this correspondence for your added convenience.  They assist in the telling of a story currently unfolding in Wisconsin .  It is a heartbreaking account of a devote father who met his demise and decided the fate of his severely autistic son one day not so long ago.  It is a report about a dedicated, adoring, compassionate father who advocated seriously for his son%u2019s cause.  This father, Ryan Dutter, so loved his son, he set up a website in his son%u2019s honor, committed entirely to him.  A closer look at the website reveals the ten specialists his son, Kyle, was seeing to address his autism and co morbid medical conditions.  It divulges many of the things the two shared and enjoyed together.  To the experienced eye of an autism parent, the site discloses the suffering as well.  When gazing upon Kyle%u2019s innocent face, the autism parent quickly realizes that Kyle was distraught to the point he could be aggressive and self injurious.  How many parents of children with autism suffer right along with such an afflicted child?  A parent trying desperately to keep their child safe and unharmed during outbursts caused by the afflicted child%u2019s inability to cope with their surroundings and conditions, all the while being forced to watch their own beloved child suffer.

Ryan Dutter had been forced into bankruptcy trying to care for, heal, help, and provide for his son.  The bills were once again mounting.  He continued to press on.  Ryan continued to advocate for his child.  He continued to drive him to the countless appointments and therapy sessions.  Ryan Dutter was described as a patient and supportive dad by those who knew him and often saw father and son together.  There is no questioning; Ryan Dutter very much loved his son.  So much so, it caused him a great deal of pain.  For Ryan Dutter, the light at the end of the tunnel was a train.  On Tuesday, November 18, 2008, Ryan Dutter ended his son's life, his perceived suffering, and then his own. 

As horrendous of a tale as this may appear, what is even more horrifying is how many of us out here in the autism community can relate to Ryan Dutter; to the visible  desperation he suffered, the pain he endured, the obvious hopelessness he felt.  These feelings are prominent for families in our community, the ever increasing autism community.  It is not uncommon for us to be forced into financial ruin trying desperately to properly care for our children.  It is common place for us to fight battle after exasperating battle for the betterment of our child and more often than not to simply obtain for them that which they are entitled to, but others refuse to render them.  We, too, see the light at the end of the tunnel; thus far, the light at the end of that tunnel is a train!

Please, Senator McCain, help us stop that train!  Please!

Acknowledgement - "the light at the end of the tunnel is a train" reference was originated by Laura Bono of NAA (National Autism Association), a very wise woman and tireless advocate for our cause, our loved ones with autism.  Thank you, Laura.

THU., NOV 20, 2008 - 2:29 PM

Dutter deaths shock those close to the family



FRI., NOV 21, 2008 - 9:47 AM Suicide notes left behind by Middleton father who shot his son and himself (with audio) Patricia Simms and Doug Erickson

Joe Harris, the father of an autistic son in Fort Worth, Texas, said he was compelled to call the State Journal newsroom Thursday after reading about the tragedy online.
"It hit me hard because of the stress the parents must be under," he said. "I'm not saying you should go out and kill your child %u2014 no, no, no! %u2014 but, oh my God, the stress is unbelievable."

"Often, people underestimate the complexities families must handle in being a case manager for a child with special needs. It can be overwhelming and frustrating," said Lisa Pugh of Madison, whose 9-year-old daughter has autism.

Desperate parents sometimes turn to the unthinkable: filicide-suicide

Wisconsin State Journal


Donna Fox has heard parents say it.

They get to a place where they are so stressed out, so overwhelmed, that they think the unthinkable %u2014 I don't want to live anymore, and my child is better off coming with me.

My sincerest gratitude for your time and attention.

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