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Calls to Action

Autism Speaks Responds to Issy Stapleton Tragedy

September 05, 2013

On Tuesday, Kelli Stapleton of Benzie County, Michigan allegedly tried to kill herself and her 14-year-old daughter Issy. Police found and rescued Kelli and Issy, who has autism, from a van where both were already unconscious from carbon monoxide poisoning. As of late Wednesday, both Kelli and Issy remained hospitalized in Grand Rapids. Kelli is expected to be charged with attempted murder.

We are deeply saddened by the incident involving Issy Stapleton. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved in this tragedy. In light of this  event, we once again want to encourage individuals with autism and their families who are experiencing a crisis situation to find help by visiting, or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Autism Speaks has put together resources to help members of the autism community – individuals with autism, families, friends and caregivers – access support and resources needed to manage a crisis situation.  You will also find tools that can help you learn about and access ongoing autism services, treatments and interventions. You can find Crisis Intervention Resources from Autism Speaks here

In addition, the Autism Speaks Autism Response Team can connect people with autism, their families and caregivers to information, tools, and resources to help them. Call us at 888-288-4762 or en Español 888-772-9050, or email

Read more about the tragedy here.