So I thought long and hard about writing about this, especially seeing as it only happened a few days ago, but I am not here to pass judgment on the family or the granddad in particular but I want to address the aftermath effects and especially the effect that it has had on me.
Not to go too deeply into the story that has dominated the press, but a family of 5 were shot and killed at a property in the Margaret River.
At first I wasn’t so concerned with this story and that’s not me being disrespectful or anything but when something like that happens you have to ask yourself what could you have done and how does it affect me? It didn’t at that point. It was a senseless tragedy and a tragic loss.
Then the journalists began digging and on a Facebook group for autism people that I am a member of, a person commented that the children that had been shot by their granddad were in fact autistic. Now my ears pricked up and I began to search the net for some answers.
It does indeed appear that the mother was in fact home schooling all four of her autistic children.
A wave of crashing emotions washed over me ranging from tears to anger. I then hoped that this wouldn’t be the main reason to cover the story, it’s about her and her kids being shot by their granddad for unknown reasons (he took his own life), my point is that we should place the autism to one side, it shouldn’t be the thing that is highlighted. It’s the terrible loss of those innocent lives, as they all lay in their beds asleep.
Whatever the granddad’s motivation was (and we’ll probably never know), we should maybe turn our focus on the mother. Who singlehandedly was home schooling four autistic children. That in my book deserves to be recognised. How she managed to home school those four children who were probably on various parts of the autism spectrum is where we should be placing our attention on. It’s that she day in and day out worked to provide those children with the one to one schooling that she felt that they needed.
Since this story broke I have been unable to think of anything else. It consumes my mind. I have actually asked that no one mentions and I also refuse to read any more stories on this, as it triggers my emotions and my anger.
I hope that we never see a tragedy like this in Australia and especially in WA ever again.
May those lost rest in peace.