Wow, I’ve been getting an incredible amount of feedback from the information shared to help break the myth about suicide and Autistics, also our homelessness crisis.
I just want to say thank you to all of you who took the time to read and are now helping to break the myth here in the Fresno-area and further. Much of the feedback was shock or amazement on the fact Autistics are living shortened life expectancies and our real crisis with suicide and our challenges with homelessness, incarceration as care, abuse, murder, Fillicide, poverty, and more.
As the information has gone out I’ve also gotten messages from others about Autistics in this area, or people who might have been Autistic, in their life completing suicide. Yes, messages. Plural. These folks didn’t have a formal diagnosis and, in this valley with the knowledge of Autism being limited and riddled with misinformation, these Autistics probably would never have gotten a diagnosis locally, and certainly they didn’t have the means or knowledge to go outside the Valley for one either. Often families are left even more confused after their diagnosed/undiagnosed Autistic loved one completes — never understanding how much danger their child (youth to adult) was ever in, and being left more confused and bewildered after their death. The stigma surrounding Autism only contributes to the tragedy.
Diagnosis is a privilege many Autistics never get and many Autistics die not knowing why they’re different. This doesn’t mean these Autistics didn’t know they were different. Believe me, when you’re born different than the people around you … you know you’re different every moment of everyday. … And this is where Autistic masking comes in and then over the years, leads to Autistic burnout. This is a very deadly pattern, and one that’s just started to be explored in research.
Also, Autistic children can suffer suicide ideation at very young ages – starting as early as five or six. Studies of Autistic children find that 11% have suicidal ideation and 4%–7% have made suicide attempts. The risk of making a suicide attempt is six times that of other children. <— This is a very serious issue. As an Autistic woman who’s suffered suicide ideation starting at severely young age and throughout my lifespan, and as a parent of Autistics who’s suffered ideation at a young age, I can’t stress enough we have a crisis in this Valley with Autistics and suicide. We have a crisis in this Valley with unknown Autistics and suicide. We have a crisis with Autistic children and youth suffering suicide ideation and attempting … and completing. We have a crisis happening right now, and it’s unrecognized, unsupported and misunderstood.
We have a desperate need for better communication, real information being shared and learning the signs and warnings, and how to support and find help — and we need that support infrastructure created so access to appropriate health care and crisis support are actually available, and we’re no longer sent home without help and with no help available.
Again, many thanks to you all who are sharing this information and helping break the myth in Fresno and the Central Valley about the real Autistic crisis and tragedy happening daily. Someone out there needs to hear this. Thank you again and again. You give me hope.