The Arc Weighs In on Dr. Phil Shows on the Case of Kelly Stapleton

Dr. Phil logoWashington, DC – Last week, Dr. Phil aired two shows about the case of Kelly Stapleton, a mother from Michigan who attempted to take the life of her daughter, Issy, who has autism, and herself last year. The Arc released the following statement in response to the reporting done by the Dr. Phil Show.

“Kelly Stapleton’s failed attempt to take the life of her daughter, Issy, must be understood for exactly what it is – a crime of the worst magnitude – and her attempt to take her own life illustrates that likely she was experiencing a significant crisis in her own mental health. The act of a parent to kill or attempt to kill her own child is not a rational act, regardless of whether the child has a disability or how challenging the circumstances, and is never acceptable and offends our deepest values and sensibilities.

“There are, though, other lessons to be learned here. Unfortunately, the horrific story of the Stapletons shows what too many families across the country are facing – a failing system of supports and services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Stapletons were in a challenging situation and seeking help for their daughter so that she could continue to be with her family, attend school, and be a part of her community. If the system – in the end, the school district that rejected Issy’s inclusion for the school year – had not failed them, this family’s reality could have turned out very differently.

“Kelly’s actions are indefensible, and sensationalizing this family’s tragic story only hurts the public’s perception of autism. Issy’s voice, or the voice of a peer on the autism spectrum, should have been heard by the millions who tune in to Dr. Phil. His audience should have had the opportunity to learn from an individual with autism what it’s like to live with autism, and how services and supports can make a huge difference in their daily life. America needs to be woken up to this national crisis – the lack of access to services and supports for people with disabilities is an unacceptable reality and Issy and millions like her deserve much, much better,” said Peter Berns, CEO of The Arc.

2 thoughts on “The Arc Weighs In on Dr. Phil Shows on the Case of Kelly Stapleton

  1. Messa has been Issy’s fairy godmother. In addition to helping Issy they have laid down the very first brick in a path that will get residential treatment for extreme behaviors covered by insurance and Medicaid in the future. There will be many, many (many, many,many,many,many, stoopid amounts of ) bricks on this path; but this is where it starts. Right here.

    Yes, they just did that.
    Here is their facebook page. Please, I beg you, like their page and tell them thank you for supporting Issy, saving our entire family, and breaking new ground in autism treatment. https://www.facebook.com/MESSAOnline?ref=br_tf

    With the help of Messa and donations, we feel confident that Issy’s treatment will be able to continue through to her discharge date of September 2nd, 2013.
    We are finished fundraising.
    Any additional funds that come in from t-shirt sales or donations will go toward all of the expenses related to Issy’s care that aren’t covered by insurance, Messa, or Community mental health.

    Appropriate gif for autism related expenses not covered by insurance….
    Issy update.

    Issy is doing so well in therapy. Everyone at the facility is working hard to help her. She has prayers, letters, and good energy coming from all over the world. She will be a success story for the facility (and the first to go through fully funded), for us, and all the families who are trying to get treatment at Great Lakes or in similar placements.
    In fact, Issy’s treatment is going so well we were able to move her release date up two months, from November 1 to September 2 (In time to start school on the 3rd!).

    We are working on thank you notes but please understand if we’ve missed you. So many donations have come from many different places. Looking back, I should have set up a spreadsheet. But I seriously had no idea so many people would want to help us. We are so very fortunate.

    Thank you everyone. At this moment, I have so much happiness and hope. Please stay tuned because I plan to continue blogging about her progress (I just had my FIRST training session to transition home. Wow…wait until you hear about that!).
    see that in the dr phil show she says Issy was kicked out of the program but in the blog she says they are happy the treatment is going so well they managed to move her release date two months from November to september.

  2. Hay Dr Phil, me and my friends would like to come tell you why this mom and so many others can relate and defend this dedicated and devoted mom. Follow the funding and u will see where the problem is. Regional centers need to be shut down and the funding needs to go to the receiptants because we are not getting any benefits and people are getting desperate and that brings out desperate and unwanted choices. something needs to change, is this story not a red flag! Being in the same boat as this mom, I wont kill myself but i wont give up my kid either. any suguestions besides go thru a process i would have to neglect my kid to accomplish? Just to get what the law says is there for my son. No No No, this is not going to be good, but i dont see anyone jumping in to help my sons best interest to remain in his home. Not going to be a problem turning into crazy mom when it comes to protecting my kid. I dont stand alone on this just like Kelly needs to know she is not alone . Anyone willing to step up for change can start here.

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