For Mike and Katie McCarron

I have been trying so hard to write a tribute to Katie McCarron and her grandfather, Mike McCarron. Mike has generously shared pictures of his grandaughter on Not dead yet and invited others to publish them.

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I cannot improve on Amanda’s tribute. And I challenge anybody to match the power and dignity of Mike McCarron’s words on Kristina’s Autismvox blog.

I would like to say something about Katie. Some newspapers have reported that this was done to end Katie’s pain; let me assure you that “Katie was not in pain”. She was a beautiful, precious and happy little girl. Each day she was showered with love and returned that love with hugs, kisses and laughter. Katie loved music; she would fill in some of the words in children’s songs as my wife would sing along with the CD that would be playing, their own version of “karaoke” . She liked to dance, she loved to do the “hooky poky”. She loved being in among flowers and tall grass. She would say “I like grass”. She enjoyed the zoo and because of all of the drills and flashcards she could identify the animals. Which I thought was pretty amazing for such a young child. She was also the only little child in her non-autistic play group that could identify an octagon. My wife and son had a party for her the day they heard that from the teacher.

She enjoyed having her grandmother dress her in new little outfits and dresses, and I think this is important. We have four grand-daughters, my wife loves to buy them frilly little dresses. When my wife went into a store she would never ask for three normal dresses and one autistic dress. I think we need to be very sensitive to the special needs of these children but at the same time not be oblivious to the numerous typical traits that are also developing. Katie was first and foremost a little girl, she enjoyed people making a big fuss over how pretty she looked. My wife would take her to the beauty shop to have her hair trimmed. Katie enjoyed going to the mall and looking in all of the stores and windows. These are female things.

She went to special schools everyday, the staff at those schools cherished her. I can not say enough for the staff at Mariposa. They were so very much more than professional therapists, they adopted her and loved her deeply. Katie was so lucky to be with them everyday.

There is also another young lady in North Carolina who worked with Katie during non-school hours. The bond that she had with Katie was unbelievably deep. I am amazed that a single Mom working to raise a son by herself could find so much extra love. Maybe love is one of those special resources, the more you give the more is given back.

Katie loved the park, the swings, the slides and being outside. She played with her dolls and toys; she loved “teletubbies” and brought joy to all of those that had actual contact with her. Yes, she was autistic. Developmentally she was behind other children. But her small victories would create unbelievable joy for those who loved her. I can not describe the ecstasy of having her little arms around my neck or of watching her and my son roll around on the floor playing in shear happiness.

Each day I ask the Lord if I could take her place, and perhaps He could return Katie to the loving arms of my son and my wife. So far that prayer has not been granted. But in the meantime I can assure you that no one will describe her murder as “understandable” or devalue her in anyway without my personal challenge to them and the organizations they represent.

I must apologize for the length of this post, please know that I keep each of you in my prayers.

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17 thoughts on “For Mike and Katie McCarron

  1. Mike,

    I am very sorry for the delay, but am happy to tell you there is now a link to your memorial on the ndy site. I am very happy you are here and doing what you’re doing. –Stephen

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  3. Hi. My name is Katie too. I was surfing the web when I spotte your page. I think that is the meanest thing a mother could do to a young child. I think that just because she had autism, doesn’t mean she should be suffocated. I have autism and my mother loves me for who I am. I just wanted to say that I’m shocked about what the mother had done. I think she had no right to do that just because she had autism. I am going to pray for little Katie Mccarron because when I saw her pictures, she was one of the cutest little girls I have ever seen. I just couldn’t believe it. May God Bless you Little Katie Mccarron. Love Katie

  4. I happened upon your website and felt compelled to leave a comment. I am a 30 year old mother of 6. Four of my beautiful children are boys, all of which have autism, and one of my daughters has obsessive compulsive disorder. I could NEVER understand how a mother could do such a thing. I can assure you that no matter how tough things get, I could never hurt one of these precious gifts. I believe you when you say that beautiful Katie was not in pain. Our children have their own happiness, and just because they are not “typical” doesn’t mean they do not experience the same love and joy that we do, they feel it in different ways. I tend to think they feel life in a deeper, more intense way and just do not know how to show it outwardly. Our children have the capasity to love and be loved, no matter what their functioning level is. I will always remember this story. Precious Katie will not be forgotten.

  5. I was looking for something completely different when I happened upon the story of Katie. The words that are written about her are something that will stay with me always. My best friend is a CNA for 2 boys w/ CP and she loves them dearly. Your story brought a tear to my eye. I have 3 kids that drive me crazy but could never imagine my life without them in it. God bless and good luck to you and just knowing that Katie is kept alive with your beautiful words about her is special enough.

  6. My heart goes out Katie, and any other child that has to suffer the way Katie did. Be blessed. Your story inspires me.

  7. This is so sad. What an incredible loss for her father and grandparents. I have two children with autism that are absolutely wonderful. The mother of this beautiful, intelligent, happy and loving little girl is sick beyond belief. Katie was obviously a wonderful gift to all who knew her.

  8. Can Anyone tell me when Her BIRTHDAY was and the date of her death/Murder. I too have an autistic child and NEVER no matter how frustrated I get would I EVER EVER EVER consider killing him. I am a single LOW INCOME mother at that but if you have any love and respect for your children REGARDLESS of their condition you get as much help as you can and take care of the rest on your own, THAT’s WHAT MOM’S DO We are MOM’s NO MATTER WHAT Not Killers and Do you think GOD wanted you to kill your daughter I hope she get’s put away for a long time seems to me she knew EXACTLY what she was doing.Angie Concerned Autistic Parent of 10year old Boy

  9. Also it is a fact that Autistic children LOVE Natural BREATHABLE fabrics Like Cotton, must be why Katie LOVED Grass my son does too and his Favorite color is Green they love dirt too. Anything that is earthy and natural most Autistic children can’t stand jeans and starched clothing it makes them have a sense of confinement and this troubles them.Calm and patients is the ticket when working with these children and have fun TENTION is felt by all.

  10. I was looking up research for my school report and i choose this topic cause this a sick and depressing thing that a mother like that could do and my opionion on this is that if my 3 year old daughter had autism i would do my best to treat her and i would care for her and i would defintly wouldn’t inore her and i would call her by her name and not reffer her as the kid.
    Love always your friend Katie Dalton

  11. I have a son with autism, I am also a physician. SHAME on Katie’s mother! SHAME ON HER!

    What she will never know, what the rest of her family obviously KNEW, was that Katie was a precious gift. A child that precious requires a lot of love, patience, and sacrifice. The rewards for such care reveal themselves as the child progresses through childhood. But she’ll never know that, because she was too selfish to put her precious child’s modest needs before her selfish wish for “freedom” from autism.

    Every parent of an autistic child knows the fear, the desperation, that sometimes occurs, but LOVE provides the tools to work through these feelings.

    Not only was her mother a disgrace to the medical profession, she was a disgrace to EVERY SINGLE PARENT who l*o*v*e*s LOVES their child affected by autism.

    Katie, your spirit graces your family every day.

  12. iam very sorry about katie, i have a 12 year old daughter with autism, i cannot believe this things can happen. yes they can be sometimes hard to deal with but are we-(the none autistic) not also? it is only today i have read about this.. God may help parents to love their children autistic or not…

  13. Mike,

    I can not tell you how deeply sorry I am for you, Paul, Emily, and all the people that Katie’s short life touched. I have just read about this terrible, unforgivable crime. God bless you and the rest of your family. Please send Paul my regards. You and your family will always be in my heart and prayers.

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