Autistic 8-year-old Randle Barrow killed by his mother

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OliveOilMom
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17 Dec 2013, 12:03 pm

Norepinephrine wrote:
I can't believe this thread has completely shifted towards discussion of the 'correct' terminology of this woman's actions. After this woman just murdered her own child, that really matters so much right now? I think you can call her actions evil, some informal context of crazy or even claim that she's probably legally insane -- it matters not at this moment. All I think matters is that we can find out exactly why she committed this unspeakable act. It's a terrible thing regardless of what it's called.


I doubt we can find out why, cause she's dead.


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17 Dec 2013, 12:24 pm

Norepinephrine wrote:
I can't believe this thread has completely shifted towards discussion of the 'correct' terminology of this woman's actions. After this woman just murdered her own child, that really matters so much right now? I think you can call her actions evil, some informal context of crazy or even claim that she's probably legally insane -- it matters not at this moment. All I think matters is that we can find out exactly why she committed this unspeakable act. It's a terrible thing regardless of what it's called.


What I learned on this forum is it's apparently wrong to understand why mothers kill their child. I thought it was always good to look at the big picture to see what causes it and do something about it to prevent it from happening or see if it could be prevented and learn from it. That is what parents have to do with their kids about their behavior, what is causing their behavior issues for one or why are they doing a certain behavior or why they are acting up or whining. That is what my parents did so that is what experts have done about serial killers, pedophiles who offend, and of course parents who kill their children. You can't just look at a behavior only and punish it without knowing the reason why behind it.

Sometimes there really is nothing that could have prevented it such as a father that killed his kids in 1997 because he didn't have custody over them and his ex wife did so he killed them because if he couldn't have them, neither could she and ten years later he was executed for it. I mean what was the judge supposed to do to prevent it, let him have full custody over the kids so they live and not get killed?


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17 Dec 2013, 12:37 pm

psychopaths have emotions. in fact, they can be incredibly volatile. what they lack is the capacity for regret and to a significant degree the ability to learn from their mistakes (they don't experience a learned fear response like non-psychopaths). they are demonstrably, testably neurologically different from the general population, including us. There is even evidence that at least some psychopaths "age out" of their disorder to some extent which suggests to me that psychopathy is a sort of emotional/moral learning disorder (with horrible social consequences). but that doesn't mean they develop empathy, a conscience, or normal emotional responses ever; they just learn not to act out, learn to blend better, learn to control their impulses a bit better, whatever.

not all psychopaths are violent, not all are sadistic, and it's possible not all are even criminally inclined. we only know what we know from the ones who get caught doing bad things. what would we find if we tested every single person? a curious question.

there is a certain manifestation of complex PTSD, which may be a form of radical attachment disorder (or vice versa), which can leave someone looking and acting like a psychopath, but that doesn't mean that's what they are. They also experience neurological differences due to early trauma's impact on brain development, but their brains are more plastic and more available for remodeling. "Dexter" on TV is a classic example. Repetition compulsion coupled with emotional numbing. I think some domestic abusers are actually adults with attachment disorders.

i don't think everyone who kills is crazy. i don't think they are even always morally wrong (by their own code) or acting out of selfishness. i don't think everyone has the same moral code; i don't think there are absolute rights and wrongs. i'm not trying to justify murder in the general sense and i think most murders are just that - crimes. i do think there are some people out there who need to be put down, like a rabid dog. i do think there may be times when killing is morally justifiable. it's not for me to say. on a case by case basis, however, i have yet to encounter one i would accept. i think hate is a form of moral insanity. that's my opinion. i would kill to defend myself or someone i loved. if i could go back in time, there's a few asshats i would take out in a heartbeat and i'm pretty sure i could walk away without a drop of regret. on the other hand, i've never been in that position and there are probably some cops and vets out there who would tell me differently at least from their own perspective.

the inability to control impulses is not necessarily a moral issue. it may be psychological and most certain exists neurologically. the CHOICE not to control impulses is. i choose to strive to live peacefully and resolve my inner conflicts because i believe this is the only way to create a peaceful world. that's consistent with my own moral code. but there are times i lose control of my temper and do things i regret. i have to take responsibility for those times, and sometimes they have been a choice, and sometimes they have truly not been, but i'm still responsible for what i do. i have severe complex PTSD and it's not necessarily all my fault i turned out like this, but i am still responsible for what i do. i have to look at my life that way or i have no hope of changing and being the person i want to be.

basically i'm gentle and i do not want to perpetuate the sickness and violence and neglect that was inflicted on me. or i should say i WANT to be gentle, humble, and kind because those qualities are beautiful to me and aggression, hatred, and cruelty are ugly to me. Yet i still find myself being periodically possessed by those ugly qualities. so i'm not going to judge anyone for them. i'm not going to accept it either.

so i don't accept or justify what this woman did, but until i've walked a mile in her brain, i'm not going to judge it either. i have feelings about it and nothing but sadness and anger on behalf of her child, but that's not the same as judgement. i'm not in a position to judge. my feelings about press spin on the autism are a little different. aside from simple sensationalization born of greed, i think it's based on ignorance and the unconscious arrogance that stems from ignorance. to me that is infinitely more scary and dangerous.

maybe a letter writing campaign to some major media outlets objecting to the spin would make a difference, or a change.org petition. i haven't had time, honestly, in my personal life to even look into these recent events and the articles written about them - in fact until i came to WP i didn't even pay attention to them. but it's something to think about.


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17 Dec 2013, 4:04 pm

League_Girl wrote:
What I learned on this forum is it's apparently wrong to understand why mothers kill their child. I thought it was always good to look at the big picture to see what causes it and do something about it to prevent it from happening or see if it could be prevented and learn from it. That is what parents have to do with their kids about their behavior, what is causing their behavior issues for one or why are they doing a certain behavior or why they are acting up or whining. That is what my parents did so that is what experts have done about serial killers, pedophiles who offend, and of course parents who kill their children. You can't just look at a behavior only and punish it without knowing the reason why behind it.


It's disturbing to watch people rushing to find reasons to defend, rationalize, and sympathize with a parent who murders their child. This happens on nearly every thread about an autistic child who was murdered by their parent.

Finding the reasons why isn't a bad thing. Making up reasons that make the parent out to be "not so bad" is repellent.

And it's odd to see you complain about that particular thing when you seemed to be against asking why Issy Stapleton was so violent, and simply classified her as an abuser.

Quote:
Sometimes there really is nothing that could have prevented it such as a father that killed his kids in 1997 because he didn't have custody over them and his ex wife did so he killed them because if he couldn't have them, neither could she and ten years later he was executed for it. I mean what was the judge supposed to do to prevent it, let him have full custody over the kids so they live and not get killed?


That could have been prevented, actually. Situations like that are identifiable. Unfortunately, the justice system doesn't take such threats seriously or act to preempt them. That it hasn't done so doesn't mean it's not possible. There are such things, for example, as protective custody.

There are options other than giving him full custody.



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17 Dec 2013, 4:16 pm

Some situations are preventable; some aren't. Some would have been preventable only if we also messed with a lot of people who were never going to hurt a hair on their kids' heads. It's a balancing act. The world isn't perfect, and you can't get perfect safety.

I think we all know here that mental illness doesn't make you a murderer. Many of us have one or more in addition to autism, and know people with mental illnesses, and when we use "crazy", we mean something more like "aberrant behavior" rather than "mentally ill".

The trouble is that many people, especially NTs without personal experience of mental illness, don't know that. They don't understand that our use of "crazy" doesn't apply to their eccentric neighbor with the blank face and monotone voice, or that confused guy on the bus who mutters strings of clang rhymes to himself.

To an NT who hasn't thought about it, "crazy" is a synonym for "mentally ill". I'm not usually one to insist on politically correct anything, but in this case, using "crazy" to describe murderers is making a big problem worse. Many of us have had people think we are mentally ill, even when we aren't. Some of us have even had people think we are dangerous because they cannot predict our actions. On occasion, this stereotype results in death for some of the most vulnerable members of society--including autistic people who are thought to be dangerously insane.

I get why you might want to use terms like "crazy"; you want to say how shocking it is, how incomprehensible to you, or how very far it is from anything you would do. But you can say all those things without getting mental illness tangled up in it.


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17 Dec 2013, 4:45 pm

Callista wrote:
Some situations are preventable; some aren't. Some would have been preventable only if we also messed with a lot of people who were never going to hurt a hair on their kids' heads. It's a balancing act. The world isn't perfect, and you can't get perfect safety.

I think we all know here that mental illness doesn't make you a murderer. Many of us have one or more in addition to autism, and know people with mental illnesses, and when we use "crazy", we mean something more like "aberrant behavior" rather than "mentally ill".

The trouble is that many people, especially NTs without personal experience of mental illness, don't know that. They don't understand that our use of "crazy" doesn't apply to their eccentric neighbor with the blank face and monotone voice, or that confused guy on the bus who mutters strings of clang rhymes to himself.

To an NT who hasn't thought about it, "crazy" is a synonym for "mentally ill". I'm not usually one to insist on politically correct anything, but in this case, using "crazy" to describe murderers is making a big problem worse. Many of us have had people think we are mentally ill, even when we aren't. Some of us have even had people think we are dangerous because they cannot predict our actions. On occasion, this stereotype results in death for some of the most vulnerable members of society--including autistic people who are thought to be dangerously insane.

I get why you might want to use terms like "crazy"; you want to say how shocking it is, how incomprehensible to you, or how very far it is from anything you would do. But you can say all those things without getting mental illness tangled up in it.


Well, I learned it from NT's. I actually ran it by three people in line, the cashier and the other cashier at the grocery store when I went a few minutes ago. We chat down here about things, in line. I also asked my mother when I went to dry my clothes and my neighbor when I ran her her cigarettes over. They all said "No, crazy is something all by itself". So, maybe there are just a whole lot of undiagnosed aspies in this town? Maybe it's a conspiracy to lie to me? Maybe Autism Speaks is even behind it. Who knows really.

First when I explained to you that it doesn't mean mentally ill, that entire point was ignored time and time again. Eventually though, it was addressed, after I repeated it enough. Now it's been addressed but this is just an aspie definition.

Do you live where I do? Do you talk to the same people I do every day? Do you have conversations with the same vernacular that I use and that Meems uses although we are a long way away from each other? Were you raised with particular words and phrases that were common use that everybody knew what it meant because they were told when they learned to talk and asked what it was? We have lots of those. Crazy is one of them.

Now, you may decide to just dismiss it and tell me that if it's just regional, and especially with those ridiculous backwards Southerners and Texans, then it doesn't matter and just should be banned because the good folks up North and farther out West may or may not use different words in different places. Maybe some of them use the word just like we do too. Maybe a lot of time it's people who go around insisting and insisting that somebody is insulting the mentally ill community when they aren't at all. Just because the person insisting that it's an insult refuses to listen to the proper explanation of what we are telling you.

Could it be that?

Nah, never. Course not.


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amapola
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17 Dec 2013, 6:01 pm

People like her shouldn`t be parents.Her place is in a psychiatric hospital,people like her shouldn`t walk free on the streets.Simply as that.



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17 Dec 2013, 6:14 pm

Verdandi wrote:
League_Girl wrote:
Quote:
Sometimes there really is nothing that could have prevented it such as a father that killed his kids in 1997 because he didn't have custody over them and his ex wife did so he killed them because if he couldn't have them, neither could she and ten years later he was executed for it. I mean what was the judge supposed to do to prevent it, let him have full custody over the kids so they live and not get killed?


That could have been prevented, actually. Situations like that are identifiable. Unfortunately, the justice system doesn't take such threats seriously or act to preempt them. That it hasn't done so doesn't mean it's not possible. There are such things, for example, as protective custody.

There are options other than giving him full custody.



What were the other options?

I think threats should be taken seriously like guns have when a kid threatens to bring one to school or talks about blowing up the school. I think if a parent threatens to kill their child, that should be taken seriously too but sadly people probably think people use threats to manipulate and get their way. Even if they were doing that, I think it should be taken seriously for the safety of other people.


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17 Dec 2013, 6:17 pm

In this situation, there was only one indication that the woman might be dangerous to her son--she had a history of violence, one incident of armed assault.

But what do we do with that? Do we declare everyone who has ever committed assault to be an unfit parent, because it raises the risk that they will commit murder?


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17 Dec 2013, 6:36 pm

Callista wrote:
In this situation, there was only one indication that the woman might be dangerous to her son--she had a history of violence, one incident of armed assault.

But what do we do with that? Do we declare everyone who has ever committed assault to be an unfit parent, because it raises the risk that they will commit murder?



If we had a machine that would allow us to see into the future about a person and see if they would kill their kids or abuse them or not, then we could stop them from having kids because they would be an unfit parent. But because no such machine exists, we can't just lump everyone together and assume they will be an unfit parent because if their history of violence. So I say some things cannot be prevented. If only we had the ability to predict the future on people and what they would do with their kids, then it would be preventable.


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17 Dec 2013, 7:48 pm

Callista wrote:
In this situation, there was only one indication that the woman might be dangerous to her son--she had a history of violence, one incident of armed assault.

But what do we do with that? Do we declare everyone who has ever committed assault to be an unfit parent, because it raises the risk that they will commit murder?


i'm sure not. but, it sounds like this was recent enough to raise the question whether she was fit to currently have custody. i don't know.


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