Danielle Bencze, a mother of four, took to Facebook to warn other parents about bullying and how it affected her 12-year-old child with autism, who ultimately decided to end his own life.
Jack Isenberg, Bencze’s son, was said to be a loving, young man who always made people laugh. When he was seven years old, he was diagnosed with high-functioning autism.
Because of his condition, Jack struggled to live as a normal boy. In school, he was constantly bullied because of it.
Even though he had friends, the bullying did not stop. Other children taunted Jack, and they eventually took a toll on him.
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Bencze recalled how her son began to act unusual and distant for quite some time. He used to be a down-to-earth boy who loved being with his family and even his neighbors, but things started to change.
“Everything that I thought was puberty, for all I know, could have been depression. They sleep more; their attitudes change,” she wrote on her Facebook post.
One day, on May 26, 2018, Bencze’s world crumbled. Jack went out for a casual walk and never came back. Soon enough, his family realized what had happened. Bencze lost her son.
“He was sick of being who he was and was told it would just make it easier on everyone. The school never told me of half these incidents. You know why because nothing is ever done about them, no one listens to the kids being picked on our there is no repercussions.”
Later on, Bencze learned that her son was in a fight the day before he passed away. One of the kids told him to head home and end his own life. The school reportedly did not take the other kid’s words seriously, and everyone just brushed it off.
After grieving, Bencze made it her mission to spread awareness and tell her son’s story. She wanted his death to mean something.
She wants parents to know that words have power and they can convince someone to take his own life. She encourages parents to make sure that kindness and compassion are taught to their children.
“If I can spare one parent from feeling this I will know Jack did not die in Vain. All he ever wanted to do was help people and be kind to them,” wrote Bencze.
In another story, a pastor attempted to end his life after struggling with anxiety and depression for so long.
Even though he was found, he still passed away the next day. Three days after, his wife decided to write an open letter containing things that she wished she could tell her husband.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.
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