My thoughts on Kelli Stapleton

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I’m still trying to wrap my head around this whole Kelli Stapleton thing.  She is charged with the attempted murder of her 14 year old daughter with Autism. This was an apparent murder suicide attempt.

I think what she did is indefensible but at the same time, how can we as a civilized society allow a situation to get so out of hand that a parent feels they have no other choice.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Stapleton family, especially Izzy. We pray for a speedy recovery. No child, regardless of how challenging, deserves to be murdered. 

I believe so strongly that we have to raise awareness for special  needs parents. We have to be able to provide relief and support to parents before they reach the point of desperation.  We must be able to identify the signs and intervene, so that something like this never happens again.


Autism isn’t going away, we need to recognize that fact and begin putting money and resources in place, so that when a child needs treatment for extreme behavioral issues, families aren’t left to their own devices. Money should never prevent a child and family from getting the help that they need. 

These kids are the future and if we don’t begin investing in that future by providing help to those families raising them, what kind of society have we become?

I can’t and won’t defend Kelli for trying to murder her daughter. However, I will ask a question.  How bad had things gotten, that murdering her daughter and then committing suicide herself became an option for a mother. How does this happen?

She very clearly loved her daughter.

As I try to wrap my head around this tragic situation, I’m going to focus on continuing to raise awareness for the plight of special needs parents. We have to do better.  We have to reach out to each other and we have to talk. There’s comfort in numbers and sometimes knowing that people understand, love and support you can help.

Please keep the Stapleton family and especially Izzy, in your thoughts and prayers.

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Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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As a mentally healthy person my sons aggressive behaviour, constant screaming, meltdowns, etc. we’re enough to put me close to the edge (taking him to the hospital and leaving him there was the edge for me). For someone struggling with depression with no help, no end in sight to the torture… Ya I can see it. In her deranged mental state she probably rationalized that she was helping her daughter. It is sad that society will condemn her but change nothing about itself.

Kelly Pechacek Osborne

I love u Heather Carlisle. I have been on this wall a I know what j deal with day in an day out.

Heather Carlisle

I can totally see how a mother would break.

Heather Carlisle

Government should stop mandating vaccines causing this. Stop putting anhydrous on our fruits and vegetables. Put money back in the education system for special needs. And strangers should stop staring in the store when a child is acting out. Stop say,” they just need a spanking” how about offering the parent help!


KatMoody  Very, very well said.  Thank you for sharing you perspective.


I can pray for the mother, but I can’t do more than that. Whether she had a break, became too overwhelmed suddenly or as a part years’ worth of stress of being a special needs parent, at the end of the day she tried to kill an innocent child and I just can’t accept that. We’ve dealt with aggressive, destructive, overwhelming for 14 years here too, and I’m sorry but no. 
NEVER would I even momentarily consider the thought that my children don’t need to be here. 
NEVER would I think through how I could murder them (whether I planned to follow or not). 
The truth is we don’t know all the details, we only know what she’s blogged about (and please, why the hell didn’t she blog about what she was really feeling, why didn’t she reach out? She just wrote about having gotten Izzy on a waiver and all the help that would bring … things were looking up and then this…she mentioned battle fatigue but now how much she was really hurting, how close she was to snapping) and we might not ever understand the reasons why or how she could have hurt her own daughter. 
But I think in the drive to call for awareness of the stress we special needs parents face we are forgetting one of the biggest reasons we are so stressed and overwhelmed and exhausted and … you know the drill. We are this way because we love our kids, because we want the best for them. And we feel like we will never be able to give them everything they need – whether that’s because society makes it hard to find help or because we have to recognize our own shortcomings because we are human. 
I’ve been suicidal before – I’ve been overwhelmed and on the edge – and while I desperately thought hurting myself would make everything better — I wouldn’t have fathomed the idea of hurting one of my kids – I thought suicide would allow them to be better taken care of since I was obviously such a horrible mother (because at the time I was sure I had somehow caused their rare disorder, their autism, their epilepsy …. irrational but yeah), but I never wanted to hurt them … or that was my thinking at the time. I don’t talk about it much because it was over 10 years ago and Lord knows I’ve lived through more stress since then. 
So I get the stress and the fatigue and the down-right desperation to a degree – it’s different and personal and horrible for everyone because it’s our own personal hell. BUT hurting yourself and hurting a child because you are overwhelmed is a step too far for me to commiserate with. I will not ever and refuse to even consider the idea that we should in some way (if even on an emotional level) pardon her behavior because she was faced with overwhelming stress and battle fatigue. 
I can pray for her and for her ability to heal and find some way to move forward, but I can’t pardon what she did because of the “unbearable stress” and I can’t have sympathy for her beyond that. Maybe something in me in broken but I just can’t. 
My prayers and heartfelt despair are for the rest of the family and for Izzy, who is fighting for her life because of her mother’s selfishness. Her mother will have to live with her actions for the rest of her life, and we can only pray that Izzy is able to live beyond this act of violence at all.


What it comes down to is this…Autism is a single person diagnosis…it’s a family diagnosis…we need help for the whole family not just the person with the diagnosis.


emilymonroe03 @The New Normal Tammymcgann @Carrollynn Henshaw jjean3940 @Kelly Pechacek Osborne Thanks for your feedback everyone.  Let’s just hope that Izzy pulls through.


Thank you.  Thank you so much for being a voice of reason during such a horrible tragedy.  Kelli wasn’t a selfish, vindictive woman who was attempting to rid herself of an “inconvenience”.  Kelli was a woman who was pushed beyond her limit and, in the midst of what I imagine was a psychotic break, she made a HORRIBLE decision that will haunt her for the rest of her life.  She may never see her daughter or her other children again.  Her husband will most likely divorce her.  This whole tragedy could’ve been avoided if we parents were provided with better resources!!!  If the government or politicians or rock stars or WHOEVER started to sympathize with our plight and our struggles and HELP US!!!  Because we’re almost entirely on our own.  It’s not our fault that our children have autism!!!  And we’re struggling to remain afloat as we attempt to raise them to become productive members of society  HELP US HELP US HELP US!!!  Or, unfortunately, this story will become a common occurence.  🙁

Carrollynn Henshaw

So sad. So so sad.

Lost and Tired

Well said. Unfortunately, this is far from the only case like this. People get so overwhelmed and it’s not easy to find help. We have to support each other and raise awareness.

Kelly Pechacek Osborne

oh my god!! U know we read stories an ppl vent on here , but unless u live in her shoes or my daughters shoes Heather Carlisle we cant judge. NO killing is not the answer , but we need to grasp at what pushed her to it then help her an the other families. Its sad it is. I never relized how hard it is until i read her story. My daughter does so good at hiding her pain i never knew it could mae a mom snap. God bless the family an May god put more awareness out there. amen

Lost and Tired

Wonder no more 🙂


I fear that any amount of support for the mother might put other autistic lives at risk. Not everyone has a healthy personality.

The New Normal

was wondering when we were gonna hear from you…


I agree with everything you said, and this whole situation has made me almost desperate to speak with other autism parents.  I am afraid, because I read her blog, and I respected her and all she was trying to do.  I am afraid because if she was able to fall that far what does that mean for me?  We all need each other, we need the support.  I wish so many things but especially I wish that she felt able to reach out to those that she was close to and say the simple words “i can’t”.  excruciating, simple, and life altering words…

Donna Lynch Linton

I think the elephant in the room is parental abuse. Seems to me that Kelli was behaving like someone who was being physically abused on a regular basis. We cannot allow children to use physical violence against their parents. Autism can't be an excuse. I see it far too often where I live. That said I agree with you wholeheartedly with your post.