Posted by: miriamjang | May 22, 2008

Drowning as the Number One Cause of Death In Autism

Here is a tragic story:

Dear Friends,

As I train police officers about autism and share with them the high risk drowning poses to children and adults with autism, I had hoped to not know that painful loss on a personal level.

This morning, I received the heartbreaking news from my very dear friend from Lexington, Kentucky–Michele Brock– sharing the tragic news of the loss of her daughter’s life on Sunday evening.  Ashley had autism and struggled with the lack of danger and safety awareness that so often accompanies this diagnosis.and which many of our loved ones with autism share.  Drowning is the number one cause of death among persons with autism.

The Brocks are amazing and careful and dedicated parents.  They gave up their lovely home in Kentucky, careers, families and friends to move to Maine to seek help for Ashley as she struggled to speak and battled the most serious biomedical issues I’ve ever seen in a child with autism–a great sacrifice to them personally, emotionally and financially.  Michele left her successful career to remain home with Ashley and her twin sister, Alexis.  Barry recently lost his job and was struggling with a national job search to find employment AND an area with schools suitable for Ashley.

Their message:  Michele has asked everyone with a child with autism to get them swim lessons ASAP!  Their neighbors had just put water in the pool and began to swim in it the day before Ashley’s death.  And, yes, the Brock’s yard was fenced.  Ashley was an incredible escape artist.

Please keep the Brock family in your thoughts and prayers.

Sharing this story in hopes that you will never share this pain~Michelle

Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 12:41:49 AM
Subject: Sad News

As I sit here agonized by the thought of closing my eyes, yet hoping I am in the middle of some nightmare that I may still wake up from, I realize that I can no longer put off the inevitable.  I somehow thought that if I didn’t write it, it wasn’t true.  Our angel, Ashley Brock, was taken from us in a drowning accident on Sunday, May 18th at 7:25pm.  While we mourn the loss of our beloved daughter, we also celebrate the truly unique and wonderful gift that she was.  We thank God for every day that he has blessed us with her presence and pray that he gives us the strength to survive this horrendous ordeal.

Arrangements are being made at the Brackett Funeral Home at 29 Federal Street in Brunswick, Maine for later in the week.   To learn more about our special girl visit our dear friend’s website

Thank you for all your love and support.


This is a medical disclaimer: Please remember that this not meant as medical advice but as a desire to share information. Please always implement treatments under medical supervision. We are cannot be held liable for any of this information.


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