The hidden danger of suicide in autism | Spectrum | Circa August 8, 2018
Many people with autism entertain thoughts of suicide and yet show few obvious signs of their distress. Some scientists are identifying risks — and solutions — unique to autistic individuals.
Nearly every Sunday since he was 7, Connor McIlwain had panicked about going to school the following day.
The noise of barking dogs or crying babies, the demands of school and the constant fear of being exposed to one of his phobias was a lot for Connor to handle. Diagnosed with autism at age 3, he would get so upset at school that sometimes he would run into the street; on at least one occasion, he narrowly escaped being hit by a car.
Connor’s mother, Lori McIlwain, recorded one of his Sunday-night tantrums when he was 10 to share with his doctor. “Poof me away. Poof me away,” Connor pleads in the audio clip, his voice strained. “I want to leave school forever. Throw me away forever; I really want to go away forever.” […]