Tuesday, August 20, 2013

When Our Special Needs Children are Rejected

Karla Begley, of Newcastle, Ontario, wept as she read portions of the hate mail to local news. She is the  mother of 13-year-old Max, who was diagnosed with severe autism at the age of two.
Christina at the Mystic Aquarium autism day.
Watch her break down in tears trying to read the letter to a news crew in this video. 

The following is from Life Site News:
“I also live in this neighborhood and have a problem,” the writer stated in the one page letter that was received on Friday. “You selfishly put your kid outside everyday and let him be a [sic] nothing but a nuisance and a problem to everyone else with that noise polluting whaling [sic] he constantly makes!!!”
“That noise he makes when he is outside is DREADFUL!!!!!!!!!! It scares the hell out of my normal children!!!!!!!” it says.
“When you feel your idiot kid needs fresh air, take him to our park you dope,” the letter reads.
Calling the boy a “hinderance to everyone” the letter writer states that “no employer will hire him, no normal girl is going to marry/love him and you are not going to live forever”.
“Personally, they should take whatever non retarded body parts he possesses and donate them to science," the letter said. "What the hell else good is he to anyone!!!”
“You had a retarded kid, deal with it…properly!!!!! What right do you have to do this to hard working people!!!!!!! I HATE people like you who believe, just because you have a special needs kid, you are entitled to special treatment!!!”
The letter ends by asking the mother to move or have her child terminated.
“Do everyone in our community huge a [sic] favor and MOVE!!!!”
“Go live in a trailer in the woods or something with your wild animal kid!!! Nobody wants you living here and they don’t have the guts to tell you!!!!!”
"Do the right thing and move or euthanize him!!! Either way, we are ALL better off!!!”
The letter is signed: “One pissed off mother”.
Max’s father said he was scared for his son’s safety. “A person who is that crazy or demented who would fabricate something like that leads me to believe that they are very dangerous.”
Neighbors say they will discover the identity of the person behind the letter. The family is open to pressing charges. 

Those of us who are raising special needs children who can sometimes have irritating habits find this sort of news terrifying. My eleven-year-old daughter with Down syndrome sometimes makes odd, loud noises. She frequently behaves inappropriately in public places.  It chills me to think there might be people in my town who think about her like this. Just this summer, I gave a talk in our small town's library about Christina, whose story is told in my book, A Special Mother is Born. I explained that sometimes Christina does unexpected things, like using the employee bathroom in the local pharmacy, but that with the right attitude, these mishaps become opportunities to meet my neighbors. I am now friends with the pharmacy's understanding manager, who laughed at the incident.

But as the letter makes clear, not all of us are lucky enough to find such kindness in our community. We live in a culture of death where inconvenient,differently-abled, noisy children are aborted before they become 'problems' to our neighbors. Autism can't be prenatally diagnosed yet,but the angry mom sees no problem with euthanasia. Its the same mentality. Kill the child who is inconvenient. Don't learn to live with them, or teach your children to accept differences. Don't grow in tolerance and acceptance like the parents who contributed stories of raising their special needs children to my book.

That's why the worst question you can ask the mother of a child like mine, who could have been prenatally diagnosed and aborted their baby is, "Did you know?" the hidden question behind this is, "Didn't you have testing to see that she had Down syndrome?" The implication is, "And you STILL gave birth to that nuisance?" Since when does a mother have to justify her child's existence to absolute strangers? Since we have a 'choice' about whether they live or die. We become responsible for bringing inferior children to the community. We have a duty to weed out "life unworthy of life", according to the culture of death.
 It is a possibility that this angry, bitter woman suffers post abortion syndrome. Maybe she aborted a child with a disability and this boy reminds her of her pain every day. 

Eleven years ago, I took my newborn daughter with Down syndrome to the softball field to watch her sisters' games and received a less than warm welcome.  We never went back again and my ball playing daughters were never invited to play in the league again. Seven years later I was told that the reason my newborn wasn't welcome is because a mom who had just aborted a child with Down syndrome saw her as a painful reminder of her tragic 'choice' to kill her child. She was related to the girls' coach. My family was eliminated from the sports community in order to make this woman suffer less. 

Our special needs children are what Blessed John Paul called "signs of contradiction" in the culture of death and we can expect some hostility. In that way they are participating in the Cross of Christ, helping mothers like the one who wrote the awful letter, and the one who banished us from the softball field, learn to love.

Read the entire article at Life Site News.

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