Friday, March 09, 2012

Austerity has a human price

Mother of 22 year old autistic son kills son, herself.

I've worked with autistic kids in the past. It's hard enough dealing with them when they're little, they don't respond like normal kids, and they get overstimulated very easily at which point they usually respond with self destructive, self-mutilative, or just plain destructive behavior. But they were little kids, and we had special facilities, so we could deal with them. Dealing with a non-verbal autistic adult who has full adult size and strength... no family can do that alone. It just isn't possible. That way lies a nervous break down, depression, and... well.

Public health programs such as respite centers, day centers, and visiting nurses aimed at people with cognitive disabilities aren't just a good idea. They're the only alternative to stories like this one. Thing is, funding for all of these has been slashed to the point where the state-run programs here in California are all shut down and the ones getting Medicaid money are turning away people because they really don't have the money for the clients they already have. And don't think that charities will take up the gap, they have to do the math and put their limited funds where it gets the most bang for the buck. They're having a hard enough time keeping the soup kitchens and food pantries open, a few thousand dollars will feed hundreds of people for a week, while it will barely serve one severely disabled autistic adult for a week. Feed hundreds, or day care for one. That's the unpleasant choice that charities are having to face this time of reduced giving, and they're choosing to feed the hundreds, not provide day care for the one. And who can blame them, really?

So the austerity that Washington has dictated to the states by refusing to give them community block grants the way Nixon did during the '73 recession is killing people. That's the choice that our Representatives, Senators, and President in Washington have made: the genocide of the handicapped on the altar of austerity. I seem to recall a short German dictator who had the same idea about the handicapped(*)...

- Badtux the "Can we call it fascism?" Penguin
(*) The short German dicator at least made it quick, rather than making the handicapped suffer like the Representatives, Senators, and President are doing to them...


  1. Guess we're finding out the answer to Scrooge's question of "Are there no workhouses?" I used to think the Republicans wanted to bring back county poor farms and state orphanages. Nope. They just want poor people to die.

  2. First this is so sad. There are many optimists out there and you just have to have that and not the same amount of guys like me who are not like that.

    So - - there are many who think the bad shit like this is gonna get better on many levels. Well it's not. I'm sorry to say that but it's just going to at least anytime soon if ever.

  3. And then there's the strain on the caregivers, too... I found it exhausting to take care of elderly parents who had frail bodies but all their faculties. I can't imagine the strain of taking care of an adult autistic child.

    Unfortunately, I think Nan's right. The Rethugs want the "unproductive" to just die off. The working poor can be replaced with illegal immigrants who will work for half the wages and are ineligible for any sort of government help; after all, somebody still has to mow rich people's lawns and clean their houses. The poor, the disabled, the old, anyone who can't be a skilled cog in their money-making machine, they'd like to see dead.

  4. Wasn't Grayson the first to say that and he/you guys are correct. That was hard hitting got a bit of life and of course went away. Hardly anyone gets it and our side in DC needs to say that all the time. Of course that won't happen.

  5. In the late 50's my Mom had severe depression and anxiety problems. My Dad a private practise Psychologist had access to Private centers that were able to provide help. In early 2000 my wife had similar problems and there were no public or private centers that we could get her into or afford. All I can say is "thanks Ronnie" F U !

  6. Damn. Why the crowd of people kissing Republican ass and allowing spineless Democrats to keep mis-prioritizing things cannot see this is beyond me.

    I mean, yes, the progressively more fascist right thinks such people ARE throw-aways; but damn it, why more ordinary people can't get the wrongness of this is beyond me.

    When my eldest son thought he was going to be sent to Iraq, he told me, "Mom, if I come back fucked up and am going to be in a bed for life, please END it for me." I knew that would mean a story like this one; because, frankly, seriously disabled vets are no better off and there is no respite for their parents or spouses, either.

  7. Survival of the fittest and all that.
    Vegetables seldom provide much as adults and are just a drain on resources better used elsewhere.

    Let the gene pool work it out.


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