Dr. Phil: Mother Attempts To Kill Autistic Daughter
Dr. Phil has been sitting down with Kelli Stapleton, the mother who tried to kill herself and her autistic daughter and is now in a county jail awaiting sentencing. Kelli told Dr. Phil that she felt her daughter, Issy, was extremely violent and aggressive and that “autism became a deadly condition in our house”.
Dr. Phil showed some pictures of bite wounds and striking wounds Issy had given one of the specialists at a treatment center Issy had stayed at.
Dr. Phil: What Made Her Do It?
When Issy came home from the treatment center, she was on a behavior plan and Kelli and her husband felt like they were on top of the aggression. Issy was going to go to the school where her dad is the principal. Kelli worked with the behaviorist about what school would look like for Issy. They had a lot of hope for Issy.
That was when Kelli got into a heated argument with a teacher and the next day, she learned that her daughter was no longer allowed to go to the school. Kelli wrote on her blog, “If you work with families, please try to minimize the soul-shattering disappointment you hand out. There are ways to say no without being inhumane.”
Kelli said she was left with no hope that she’d be able to free Issy of her aggression. She said she didn’t feel like she could keep Issy’s sister safe from Issy anymore and she didn’t know how to give Issy a good life.
Dr. Phil: What Happened That Day?
The day that Kelli attempted to kill herself and Issy, she told them they were going to go camping. She lived at her house with her two daughters, her son, and her husband. That day, Kelli knew it was going to be the last day she saw any of them. She told her son she loved him and teased her other daughter about school and told her how much she loved her. She also made sure her husband knew she loved him.
Issy, though, got no chance to say goodbye, because she had no idea she was going to die that day. Kelli drove the vehicle out to a remote place, rolled the windows up, and lit two charcoal grills inside the van. Why did she decide on carbon monoxide? Here’s her crazy words:
“I wanted to make the environment rich for Jesus to just come in. For us to just be able to transition to heaven together peacefully. And we got to this very beautiful spot and it was this September morning and it was crisp and it was beautiful. And she was beautiful. And we made s’mores. I gave her one and she wanted another one. I said, ‘You bet’. I had a whole lunch packed for her,” she said.
Then they laid down together in the bed in the back of the van and closed the doors with the grills inside. “I just look at her and I said, ‘I love you, Issy.’ And I was so happy to know that within in the hour, we would be in heaven. I couldn’t wait,” she said.
They were talking about heaven and about pets they’d lost. Then they fell asleep. After a while, Issy moved to the front seat and Kelli went back to sleep. The last words she remembered Issy saying was that she loved her. Kelli said she didn’t think of it as death, she believed Jesus would come and carry them off.
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