Those we lost in 2014 – autistics and advocates no longer with us

At the end of each year it is common to find a little segment in memory of “celebrities” who passed away during the year. A similar event fro those in the movie industry will take place on February 22nd at the Oscars –  87th Academy Awards. I thought it a fitting tribute for us here at Autism Daily Newscast to honour those on the spectrum and those who were advocates whose lives ended last year.

rememberingWe hope all of you will take the time to read this list, perhaps read one or two stories about these individuals and take time to pause in remembrance.

While we simply can’t report on all of our children and adults on the spectrum who go wandering and end up in tragedy, I was shocked at how many news stories we did cover. Below is a list of loved ones who died unnecessarily in 2014

Loved Ones

 Julian Stacey was 11-years drowned

child handCharlie Birley, 11 house boat fire

Beyonce Riddick, 12, drowned

Sam Trott 2.5 years drowned

David Lidley, 15 by car at intersection

Kenneth Pierre Louis, 18, seizure on school bus

Jack Ellis, 20 unknown

Dyashsa Smith, 21 chocked

Kurt Miller, 32, unknown

Murdered

The heartbreaking death of Autistic kindergartener London McCabe – Opinion

Nhlanhla Mnguni, a 4 year old, South Africa

 

We also acknowledge those that went beyond the call of duty to help an autistic child at the risk of their own lives. Boyce Coleman lost his life saving another.

Heroes

43-year-old Boyce “Scoop” Coleman on Sunday September 6 when he tried to save a boy with mild autism

 

Celebrities

mayaangelou2

Maya Angelou

Ms Angelou is one of the few on this list that was able to live a full life. She passed away at the age of 86 and left with her a legacy that will stand the test of time. She was a role model to every woman… of all colours, all mothers, sisters, daughters whether they are NT or asperger’s. She campaigned for many causes including autism. Each year she participated in the ABC of NC Child Development Center Annual Gourmet Lunchbox Lunch fundraiser.

Robin Williams

While we didn’t report on the suicide of Robin Williams we are profoundly aware that his death as a result in part from depression affects many on the spectrum. Williams was a much beloved performer who took his own life last year.  His suicide brought much needed awareness to the correlation of depression, medication and suicide and we know that his legacy will live on.

2014 was a year when we lost a number of life long advocates.

Advocates

Special needs advocate Martha Hanes Ziegler dies aged 84

Stella Young 

Vickie Nettles Advocate For Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders Dies

Autism advocate David Crowe

Shirley Ellen Woodward

National Autistic Society pay tribute to Dr Lornal Wing (1928-2014)

Our thoughts go out to the families.