The widespread sympathy displayed for attempted murderer K. Stapleton exemplifies a disturbing trend implying that it is "understandable" when disabled people are harmed or even killed by caregivers. It has been stated that "anyone can be K. Stapleton" and that people shouldn't "judge her unless you've walked in her shoes." We are united in our opposition of this rhetoric; disabled lives DO matter. We affirm that #IAmNotKelliStapleton and implore you to #WalkInIssysShoes
Saturday, October 11, 2014
My Thoughts On Issy Stapleton, & The Raw Deal She Got On The Dr. Phil Show
The following are my thoughts on the attempted murder of 15 year old Issy Stapleton, written over the course of the past several weeks.
My first thoughts after finally garnering the spoons to watch the two part Dr. Phil interview with Issy's mother, who i shall refer to as The Mom or mother, or K. Stapleton, as it hurts me to have to utter that monster's full name.
I finally watched both episodes of the Dr. Phil show interviews on YouTube, where he interviews K. Stapleton, the mother of 14 year old Issy Stapleton who is Autistic. For those who may not know, a year ago, the mother drove herself and Issy to a deserted area near their hometown of Portage, Michigan, lit two charcoal grills inside of the van, in a botched attempt to murder Issy and kill herself.
Here is my critique. The shows made me sick. Utterly all kinds of sick. Even though he did ask Issy's mom: "So, why shouldn't all parents of Autistic children just go and do what you did?", and "Do you (the mom) think it was okay to do what you did?".......both of his shows were totally sympathetic to K. Stapleton and all of those warrior type parents who view Autism as a jail, burden, etc. He never once bothered to tell Issy's side, to find out what was provoking her outbursts. I am sure if he had dug deeply like a good journalist would do, and bothered to do a proper investigation, with Issy's side of the story told too, he would have found out that there were valid reasons behind her meltdowns. I also went on The Mom's YouTube channel and watched alot of her videos, and i noticed how she would talk to Issy in those videos, just like Issy was a 2 or 3 year old. The way she talked to her was very condescending and sarcastically rude. It was dehumanizing. I wouldn't like my mother if she treated me that way. When people squelch an Autistic person, muzzle us, don't listen and respect us, and they treat us and talk down to us as if we are babies, using baby babble on us, like Issy's mom did in those videos, we are going to feel dismissed, demeaned, and othered, and also feel like we are being backed into a corner, so yeah, we are going to fight back. To be honest, i haven't yet read the mom's blogs...but the main thing i got from the Dr. Phil shows, was that he definitely unjustly and unfairly painted Autism in an awful light, and he portrayed both Issy and the other Autistic boy he did a story on in the second show, as monsters. If i had more spoons, i could better express what i am feeling right now. My heart goes out to Issy, and i bet you that with her mother behind bars, she is not having meltdowns now.
First of all, Issy is not an animal, she's a beautiful young HUMAN BEING!! I'm an Autistic adult, and i grew up in a non-accepting non-understanding family. That was holy hell for me. I had alot of violent meltdowns, only because my family didn't understand and have patience with me and take the time to accept me on my level, plus i did not have the supports i needed that Issy has had and does have. I had to mainly teach myself how to cope through all of that, and it was not easy for me. It took time, and lots of it. But my mother never resorted to murdering me, or even having me sent away to any institutions. Autistic people are not animals, and neither are we a tragedy or a burden, and we are certainly not locked inside by our Autism. We just communicate and experience life on a different level than neurotypical people do. If we are given the right supports, patience, understanding, and accomodations, and learning to interact with us on our level, plus treating us with respect and dignity, we can get along well in life. But telling us to not be Autistic, to have quiet hands and feet, is not going to work, because we need those kinds of stims to cope. If what we are doing isn't hurting ourselves or others...why change it? Why change us? That's exactly what causes the meltdowns and resistence.....not because we are bad, but because our neurology makeup is different. We think and process things differently than a neurotypical person does. Please don't punish us for that!!
My thoughts after seeing all of the videos posted by Issy Stapleton's mother:
I have watched all of these videos that Issy's mom has posted, and have read Issy's mother's blogs and her Twitter feed. What i have observed seems to be a mother who has a snarky, sarcastic, self-absorbed woe-is-me attitude, talking down to her daughter like she is a little baby.....and calling her a burden and a jail, because in *her* world, Issy doesn't fit. What i have also observed, is blatant in your face actual disdain and hatred towards her daughter Issy. Issy, who may be unable to fully communicate and verbalize her feelings, still knows full well what is going on around her, and she can tell and feel full well whether she is accepted and loved or not. She does not know how to tell her mom, so that is most likely why she strikes out by hitting. Because no one taught her how to communicate any differently till she went to that school....where she did blossom and grow. It seems to me that when she got taken away from her friends in 6th grade, that is where things started to go downhill.....but Mom couldn't see that....all she could see was the "behavior".....and nothing beyond that. I also noticed how everything seemed to be calm in the schoolroom video that was posted on the mother's channel, until Issy's mom came in, and then was told that her mom was going to be her teacher that day. That was when all hell broke loose. That tells me right there, it was her mother who was the problem, her mother who antagonized and provoked her meltdowns. And i find it very odd that the sound on that video got removed.
Issy's mom did have help available for her, but she chose not to listen to the people who were giving it or to take the help......because in my honest opinion, she seemed to hate it that Issy is Autistic, and seemed to be hell-bent on changing Issy into what SHE wanted Issy to be, and to hell with Issy's feelings!!
I also saw a video that was made about a year after the attempt on Issy's life, where it shows that because of the new caregiver, Issy has made a great deal of progress in the past year since her mother's been away from her in jail...in the video, Issy's dad even confirms this....so now, what does that tell you? That her mom was the problem!! Please, do your research, read Issy's mom's The Status Woe blogs, go on all of Issy's Facebook pages, etc., and her Twitter, before running your mouth and calling ANY human being an animal or a monster!!!
Telling an Autistic person to have "quiet hands and feet" is like telling someone not to wring their hands or twirl their thumbs. It is my choice if i wish to flap my hands if i am happy or nervous, and to wiggle my legs and feet when i sit. Or if i wish to rock back and forth as a way to help keep me calm. These things don't hurt anyone. So people, please stop telling us we can't do these things!! You are oppressing us!!
To reiterate, I know Issy got abused,
1) just by what i have seen of all of the videos that were uploaded to the mother's YouTube channel.....including the one where Issy was in the room with the two therapists, and when the mom came on scene, things escalated.....and the sound was taken off the video too, i may add, yup, the sound got taken off, so we can't hear what is really going on in that room.
2) There is also a video---also on Issy's mom's YT channel of the whole family and their cats where they are playing around about throwing the cats around, feeding them wine and rat poison, and putting them in the dryer and the microwave
3) Issy's monster mom's blogs and Twitter feed, where you can see it all in black and white, her disdain for her daughter....why can't she have quiet hands and feet....never once telling Issy's side
4) The video the news station did where Issy is doing great now, and showing that she has been doing great ever since monster mom has been in jail. This all tells me that monster mom has been the problem all along!!