I think every parent to a special needs child is (or will be) heartbroken by the words in this letter. And pretty much all of us who have blogs are likely to make a post like this one. It’s one of those things you just have to comment on when you can relate to it.
I’ve decided to make a post comprised of my initial reactions to seeing this letter. First of all, here is the tweet that started the process of this letter going viral. There’s also an image of the letter itself, if you have the stomach for it.
A close family friend has an autistic boy and this was an anonymous letter slipped under her door. This is real. pic.twitter.com/VyRb2oqPrG
— Lennon and Maisy (@lennonandmaisy) August 19, 2013
I can imagine if you’ve just read it for the first time, you have a lot of thoughts. Let me share with you the ones I’ve had, in chronological order. 😉
Initially, upon seeing it on a friend’s Facebook wall:
I… have no (printable) words for this woman. Hopefully none of my neighbors feel this way about my child. She hangs out in the backyard a lot and she is certainly not quiet. She had an outdoor meltdown of epic proportions on July 4th, which involved her running across several lawns whilst screaming bloody murder. Good times. These are not things we can help; if they were, I’d have “fixed” her long ago.
On my own wall (and in comments), when I shared the link:
I…. I just can’t with this. Hopefully none of my neighbors feel this way toward my child. And to the woman who wrote this, or anyone who feels this way. You know what? Your “normal” children can become disabled in the blink of an eye. All it takes is a car accident, an aneurism, a stroke, a bad reaction to something… would you be willing to put yours down like an animal?
No one has any guarantees in life. If you parent on the condition that your child has to be perfect… don’t be a parent!
The wording used in this letter literally made me cry. This is a hate crime, plain and simple.
The idea that a MOTHER wrote this is mind-boggling. She’s likely teaching her children to use these horrid and vile words to describe people, instead of taking the time to explain differences. Parenting FAIL!
On a Facebook group:
I sincerely hope the letter wasn’t actually sent by a mother, but some bored teenager or bitter old spinster. The idea that a mother could write those words is just too horrid to process. What if something happened to one of her children (whom she labels “normal” in the letter)? Disabilities, challenges, or worse can happen in the blink of an eye. Could she be so cold toward her own child if they suddenly fall from “perfection?” I certainly hope not.
My daughter (who has “moderate” Autism) plays in the backyard a lot, and yes, she is loud. Yes, we live in a community where sound carries. But you know what? The “typical” kids down the street who play football or baseball in the front yard with their parents make sudden and ear-shattering squeals, too. The trains that run through town at all hours are loud. The cheers coming from the high school football games carry across town. It goes along with living in a community. If this person can’t handle it, then THEY (and their apparently silent children) should be the ones living “in the woods.”
And that pretty much sums it up. I didn’t think anything new I could try and write would capture the feelings as much as initial reactions. As you can see, I repeated myself a bit, but because I added additional thoughts, I decided to share all of it.
I am taking the attack (which is what it is!) on this family very personally. This could be my daughter she is talking about.