Saturday, 15 June 2013

RIP Alex Spourdalakis

Trigger warning for murder, Ableism, abuse

Note: It has taken me a few days to write this as I have been so overwhelmed by the intensity of my emotions surrounding this horrific tradegy.

read this article a few days ago. It has been shared on a number of Autism Advocacy Pages. There are more and more news articles coming out as I write, updating everyone about the murder of this innocent child, Alex. I am disgusted to think that a Mother thought it was ok to murder her son. No matter which way you look at it, it is still murder, regardless of the reasons surrounding why it happened and what lead up to it happening. I do not get why so many people have so much sympathy for the mother and caregiver when Alex lost his life at their hands without having any say. It is truly, truly horrific!

I saw the above photograph of Alex came up on my Facebook newsfeed and I cried when I first saw it. That was the first time the reality hit me of how heartbreaking the whole tragedy is. He looks so innocent and happy. It broke my heart to see him and know that he is dead. He is the innocent victim who had no choice whatsoever what happened to him. It breaks my heart to think that his own Mother thought it was ok and the only option was to kill him.  Did anyone who treated him ever try to help him communicate his needs? Or did no one think of doing that? I have often wondered that.

There are many who are saying they feel sorry for his Mother and understand why she did it. But what about Alex? How he felt? What he needed? What about his dreams for his life? What about his voice?

It feels horribly close to home for me. I am on the Spectrum. I am Autistic. I have times where I am non-verbal due to shutdown. It terrifies me to think that if I am in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people that I could get treated as Alex did. What if that were me? Non-verbal. No one to understand me or even willing to try. I would be angry and frustrated. My Autistic traits would become more severe because I felt so unheard and misunderstood. I would feel less than human, in a sense. That I was just a thing, a doll.

I recently had an experience where I had to advocate for myself. It involved a misunderstanding with my family and how they supported me. I wore myself out trying to advocate for myself as they did not understand me. We had a family meeting with my Psychologist and sorted it out. Imagine if I were non-verbal. In fact there are times where I did go into shutdown and was non-verbal. How would I be treated? It truly terrifies me to think how different things would be for me if I were non-verbal all the time.

Now imagine you are Alex. You can't speak. You are in pain. No one is listening to you or attempting to even communicate with you. Now imagine how frustrated you would feel. You are treated as less than human simply because you cannot speak. It is Ableism. It is wrong. It is unfair. It is for this reason that I feel so strongly about Autism Advocacy. To prevent another Autistic child from being so brutally murdered.

I must advocate for myself, and for others like Alex. To change how the world sees us. Not as an epidemic or a crisis but as differently-abled people who do things differently, communicate differently and see the world differently. We are human first and foremost. We demand and deserve to be treated as such.

RIP Alex. My tears fall for you. My words are for you. My Advocacy is for you and many others before you who have been cruelly murdered, abused or mistreated. May we on the Spectrum make a difference with our Advocacy. You are my Spectrum brother and it hurts me to read what happened to you. 

Many will not agree with me and my views. Alex was part of my family. The spectrum family and we must look out for each other as a family. Our Spectrum brothers and sisters.

Karla from Karla's ASD page made this slide. It is so articulate.


  1. Im a mother that fights for my son and will never give up on him! He is an adult with autism that was attacked and assaulted in an state of ohio facility! He was mislabeled "moderately retarded" so they could commit here there. HE HAS BEEN THRU HELL from a system that doesn't understand autism, doesn't know how to work with autistic individuals and blames him and even me for his disability! Because of my advocacy for my son, the corrupt system court appointed an "go along get along" attorney as an interim guardian for placement and medical decisions. The court says "im uncooperative with health care professionals" They know their court-appointed attorney wont challenge them like I will for the survival and rights of my son! I haven't had much support from the autism community. I hope this never happens to another autistic individual and their family.

    1. I am horrified, truly horrified! I cannot imagine what you and your son are going through :'( It sounds like HELL! The system does not understand Autism, nor does it attempt to. Stay strong in your Advocacy for your son. You sound like an amazing Mother, doing all you can for your son. I am so sorry to hear about the court appointed attorney too. They sound useless :(
      I just listened to the audio recording you shared with me. Thank you for sharing your story with me. I signed all three petitions and shared them on my Facebook. I will share them on Autism Advocacy pages for you too. I hope we can change the world, bit by bit so that future generations do not get treated this way :'( Sending you lots of love and strength. Stay Strong!


You don't have to agree with all that I am writing about, however please refrain from name-calling, belittling, and bullying. That will not be tolerated here. Thank you.