Like others, I am horrified and deeply saddened by yesterday’s Associated Press story, “Accused Mom Struggled to Help Autistic Son,” by Verena Dobnik. Gigi Jordan is accused of killing her 8-year-old son, Jude Michael Mirra, who had autism.

This tragic story is also a reminder to all of us of the severity of the challenges and stresses that often face many families of children with autism and other special needs.

Rather than judge this mother, perhaps we should use this harsh reality to advocate for the provision of greater resources and services, financial and emotional support, awareness of family struggles, research for cures, and respite for these families.

This child’s death, and others like his, should not be in vain.

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Photos Judy Winter