Friday’s Photo Finish: An Astonishingly Cruel Letter

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Many of you have probably heard this story by now: a parent of an autistic child received an anonymous letter from a neighbor that stated her son was a nuisance and should be “euthanized” . Click on the picture to go to the full story.

That’s right. She suggested to a parent that they should kill their child. Because they have a disability.

Is there anything you can think of that is more shocking? Because a child is diagnosed with autism, a disability that is marked by social and communication deficits and ritualistic behaviors, this “parent” is saying they are not worthy of living.

Autism is already a diagnosis that is devastating for families. But they love their children. Because, well, it is their child, autism and all.

Can you imagine how heavy their heart must be, knowing that someone, ANYONE, wishes their child was dead?

That is beyond devastating.

I am not a parent of a child with autism, but I have worked with children and adults with autism for more than half my life.

Persons with autism are typical people- they just interact and learn differently. And that doesn’t mean they interact or learn in the wrong way.

Persons with autism love their family, love their friends, love their pets.

Just like “us”.

Persons with autism get scared when others yell, say hurtful things, or do bad things to them.

Just like “us”.

Persons with autism have favorite toys, favorite foods, favorite TV shows.

Just like “us”.

Persons with autism like to be happy, feel safe, and enjoy their life.

Just like “us”.

Persons with autism deserve to live.

Just like “us”.

I put “us” in quotations because really, there is no difference in someone with autism, and someone without autism.

We are all people.

We are all worthy of life. Liberty. The pursuit of happiness. Ever hear that before, “anonymous parent?”

I am heartbroken that this parent had to read such a hateful letter, read such ugly words, realize that someone wishes her child harm.

I am heartbroken for a community that is now being recognized for the ignorance and hatefulness of one person.

I am heartbroken for the children of this “parent”, who are living in an environment that does not teach tolerance. Understanding. Empathy. Acceptance.

I am heartbroken for the autism community, having to, yet again, be made aware that they are not accepted by all, that there is still, unfortunately, ignorance regarding their disability.

I am lifted up by the social media onslaught of support for this family.

I am lifted up by the overwhelming disbelief expressed over this “parent’s” hateful words by so many.

I am lifted up knowing that there are, still, many more that are willing to be tolerant. understanding. Empathetic. Accepting.

I am lifted up by the spirit of children and adults that refuses to be damped by the ugly thoughts of a person that has never met them.

Take a look here for the real faces of autism.>

Have a great crazy day!


2 thoughts on “Friday’s Photo Finish: An Astonishingly Cruel Letter

    • Thanks Dose Girl. I can’t stand intolerance of any kind, but this goes beyond mere intolerance to feelings and expressions of hate for someone based on a personal trait they cannot change.

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