“Mom Shoots Disabled Son and Self at Sunnyvale Home”

The autism community is deeply sadden and is still reeling over the recent death of Elizabeth Hodgins, and her son, George who was diagnosed with autism.

This tragedy has lead me to open this dialogue with the autism community, and the general public at large on the state of how our families are living with this disability today, and the current state of the system which funds and provides services to this population of children and adults.  This includes:  The Department of Education, Local Education Agencies, The Government and both State and Federal Funding Institutions.

The death of this mother and son is symbolic of the struggle which parents face when trying to obtain services, and supports from our society,  especially when attempting to obtain services for pre-teens and adults.  This difficulty extends to parents attempts to enforce their childs right to a FAPE and their rights for them.

Yet has this death changed anything ? Will the power of that tragedy make a difference ? Did they die in vain ? They didn’t. We’re all deeply saddened… At a time such as this, words cannot express our feelings. But, Nothing more clearly reveals the existence of that invisible chain which links all the events of their death, therefore :

We must hold the President, to his word and insist on fully funding IDEA.

The US Secretary of Education, can no longer be complicit, in light of having held in his hands absolute proof of California Department of Education refusal to enforce the law.

The California Governor, and making himself an accomplice of this tragedy, by persisting on cutting vital disability services.

The California Legislature, in the same, by voting the cuts to vital disability services.

Finally, the California public school districts; County SELPAs, County Offices of Education; Regional Centers; The Department of Health Care Services; The California Department of Public Health; Department of Rehabilitation of knowingly covering up violations of State and Federal laws, of knowingly exposing the disabled and their parents to emotional and mental abuse, resulting in psychological trauma, anxiety, chronic depression and post traumatic stress disorder.

Let us hear what you have to say about this tragedy!!!







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