Many thanks to Joanna Conners for her thoughtful and heart wrenching telling of the Sky Walker story. She has answered many pressing questions that our community had about the death of his mother Trudy Steuernagel at his hand and what has happened to him since.
At hearing bits and pieces about his treatment, we have been angry at what seemed to be callous treatment at the hands of authorities, but seems that they were doing the best they could given the circumstances and the limited options for children like Sky. It highlights the question, if a proper placement for Sky, which was the daily priority of the police department for the two months he was with them, could not be found, with all the resources at their disposal, what choices do families with children like Sky have now?
And what will it look like when the Autism Tsunami hits? Sky was born in 1990, a year or so before the swell began.
From the descriptions of his food obsessions and Sky's diet, MacDonalds and ice cream every night, goldfish crackers to sooth his aggression, it is clear that he was not on any biomed protocol, and probably needed to be. (Chandler's one and only aggressive outburst was when he was 2 and we had put him back on gluten for a month to see if he could handle it... no dice. He viciously bit another child. None what so ever in the five years since then.) When doctors like the much derided Max Wiznitzer, who was interviewed in this article, poo poo dietary intervention for lack of large epidemiological studies as proof of efficacy, does he even realize that he is likely channeling children into a life of violence and disconnection from the world like Sky Walker? Does his ego even let him entertain the idea that reams of documentation on GI disorders in children with autistic symptoms and clinical examples of behavioral improvements on dietary intervention might make it a really, really bad idea to feed crap to violent children like Sky? Doesn't seem to be the case.
I am reposting the article in its entirety, to ensure that it does not drop off the web. This is an article that every one of us needs to read. It is a very hard read, and I had to take several cry breaks to get through it, so be forewarned. But read it.
And if anyone ever, ever says to me that I need to look at autism as a blessing, or focus on the bright side, or that medical treatment for some strange reason means I don't accept or love my child for who he is, I will simply refer them to this post.
For Ashley Brock, Elias Tembennis, Sky Walker and his loving and dedicated mother, Trudy Steuernagel, autism was a deadly disease. And now as well for James Delorey . Sky clearly loved his mother, and still does, yet his love still could not stop him from killing her.
And distressingly, Trudy saw her own murder likely coming, and wrote to defend her son in case it happened.
Kent State professor Trudy Steuernagel's fierce protection of her autistic son, Sky Walker, costs her life: Sheltering Sky