The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) was called to investigate threats James and Mai Firth allegedly made to kill their children and themselves in a “suicide pact” they had agreed to. The family resides in Vietnam and traveled to the United States to obtain treatment for their 4 year-old Autistic daughter Chieu “Kristin” Firth.
Law enforcement says that the “suicide pact” was the result of James and Mai Firth’s frustration that “Kristen’s” Autism is expensive to treat. James and Mai Firth stated they would kill the children and themselves if “the money ran out” or “Kristen” didn’t show improvement during treatment.
Before DCF could shelter the children, James Firth allegedly lied to the DCF investigator about the location of the hotel the family was residing in and then disappeared with the family during the time it took for DCF to locate the correct hotel.
The family was last seen near the Florida Institute of Technology and does not have ties to Melbourne. James Firth has family in Ormond Beach, Florida, and in Michigan and Arizona.
The family may be traveling to San Francisco, California to board an international flight to Vietnam. The family is riding in a silver 2002 Lexus SUV, Florida license plate 612PGW, which is registered to James Firth.
If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of this family, please call the Melbourne Police Department at 321-409-2200, or Crimeline: 1-800-423-TIPS (8477), or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: 1-800- THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).
I have high functioning autism that was diagnosed when i was 5 years old and it disgusts me to hear about these cases where parents become "overwhelmed" with their child's autism and then commit murder. There is NO EXCUSE. I think part of the problem is that autism is portrayed in the media as "devastating illness" that parents need to try to cure.
Yes, because it's totally awful and judgemental to say IT'S NEVER OKAY TO KILL SOMEBODY
Damn right I'm judgemental.I judge the hell out of anyone, ANYONE, who thinks that there is any acceptable reason to kill their child.This makes me a well adjusted member of society.
I don't think anyone objects to treating physical illnesses. And there are many illnesses that autistic people are, for whatever reason, more susceptible to than the general population (seizure disorders and autoimmune disorders, especially). But those illnesses are not autism. They are more prevalent among autistics, yes, but they are not, in and of themselves, autism. Autism is a set of developmental, cognitive, and behavioral characteristics. It offers some advantages (hyperfocus, sensitivity) and some disadvantages (difficulty processing language, sensory pain). Different autistic people do experience those advantages and disadvantages to different degrees. But that is what autism is... not the illnesses that often accompany it. When people talk about "curing" (or worse, "preventing"---since autism is a genetic condition, it helps to remember that the only likely form of "prevention" is selective abortion), this is what they are stigmatizing. If Congress and advocacy organizations wanted a cure for physical illnesses that disproportionately affect autistics, they would say that. They would say "we want a cure for seizure disorders/autoimmune disorders/allergies." But they don't. They say "we want a cure for autism." They're actually bypassing the actual physical ailments that should probably be cured in order to focus on preventing people from being like me. The reason I believe that those advocates who preach the need to cure autism feel that way about us is based on their own words. Words like devastating, disease, epidemic, burden, costs to society, incapable... and they are clearly, within context, not talking about physical ailments. They're talking about the way our minds work. I understand that you, personally, might not have this contempt for autistic people, but the organizations, and the members of congress, certainly do.
K - I kept looking for the "like" button for your post.
Actually...there IS High Functioning Autism which is very different from Aspergers. It is a spectrum disorder which goes from low to high...Aspergers is a whole other diagnosis. I have a son on the low side and I love him no matter what...yes it is difficult, but once people get over what they want for their kids and accept them for who they are, a whole new world emerges and it's not so bad. There are hard days and there are good days. You shoot for the stars and do everything you can to get them to their full potential...but you accept them for who they are and where they end up...so what if they can't talk? I think that's more devastating for parents than it is for the child. My son is still learning to talk at the age of 18...and that's OK...we get by on other means of communication and the best part is that he's happy and healthy...which as far as I'm concerned is what all parents want for their kids. I hope these kids and parents are found safe and sound and I hope that the parents are given the help they need to cope. It's a scary time because the future is so dark...but it can get better and it really boils down to attitude, acceptance and help from the government in the form of supporting the family.Autism is NOT the end of the world...it is the beginning of a new world...and it's not such a bad place to be.
Let me guess; you diagnosed yourself, right? Let's be honest; many people with autism have miserable lives, as do their caretakers. If you truly knew parents of kids with severe autism, or you'd worked in a residential facility, you'd know what some of us are talking about. As for prevention? Hell, yes. Any parent who loves a child who is in mental pain on a daily basis, would prevent it if they could. You're wrong about something else: it's not strictly a "genetic condition", so prevention is possible. If I could have my son, without the autism, I would do it in a second. So would he. You see, he wasn't just whiffed by the Autism Fairy like you may have been, he was clobbered. He can't write erudite posts about how the world should be according to him, he's too busy just trying to communicate that he needs something to eat. Finally, it's a "people with autism", not "autistic people". Sorry, but you don't define my reality.
Well, aren't you a special little snowflake? How about you don't tell the rest of us what autism is or whether it's a burden or not. You may not have enough self-awareness to know the price the parents of a kid with autism often have to pay, but we do. My son's life has been more difficult than you can ever imagine. You act like it's some adorable little quirk that makes you special. It's not for people who are truly impacted. Most of what you said is incorrect: it actually is devastating, it possibly has a disease component, there is an epidemic of it and it is incredibly burdensome to society when you consider the medical, financial(gov't benefits) and educational costs. How dare you downplay the impact that autism plays in our lives and society in general?
I also hope whoever is responsible for monitoring this drek is keeping track of all the hate speech they are allowing through.Despicable. Just despicable.
Freedom of speech is protected by the U.S. Constitution. It is also essential to the Freedom of the Press. There are no 'authorities' to 'report' about these commentators in the U.S. While some countries do provide for punishment for hate speech, the comments are not punishable here in the U.S.Brevard Times does not monitor the i.p. addresses for the commentators.