Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

What Hate Can and Can't Do: I Feel Awful That Any Family Would Feel the Hate That Was Experienced That Day in Canada, but I Can't Help but Think There Is a Lot of Good That Is Happening in Our Society Too

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

What Hate Can and Can't Do: I Feel Awful That Any Family Would Feel the Hate That Was Experienced That Day in Canada, but I Can't Help but Think There Is a Lot of Good That Is Happening in Our Society Too

Article excerpt

There has always been hate, but for the last few weeks I have been inundated with blogs and articles discussing hate, more specifically, hatred against people with special needs. A few weeks ago, I read a story from the Huffington Post describing an awful and disgusting letter sent to a neighbor in Canada. A neighbor did not like the fact that a child with autism lived near them and they were horrified that they saw the child playing outside because they could see the child's behavior and hear the noises the child made. What was so vile about the letter was that they did not see the neighbor's child as a child. They seemed to think that because the child happened to have autism, then he had no value or reason to be living on this planet. The letter recommended they euthanize the child and give his organs to typically developing people who may need them.

If anyone spends at least a few moments of their time on Facebook, you can only imagine how many times this story was passed around and then littered with comments condemning the hateful neighbor and how they should be hunted down and held accountable. Bloggers started to dedicate their weekly and monthly blogs to writing hypothetical letters to this neighbor. Many of these hypothetical letters were written by parents of special needs children, so one can only imagine the venom that was dripping from each letter as they questioned the hater's very own need to exist and how our society would be better off if they would go jump off a cliff. I'm choosing to keep out the explicative language, of course. I will admit, I contemplated writing a hypothetical letter myself because the anger I felt toward this neighbor in Canada was so raw, since I have a son with autism.

After taking a step back, I spent some time trying to find some good from this horrible situation. There had to be something uplifting out of this dreadful occurrence towards this family raising their child with autism. One thing came to mind was that this awful hate letter created dialog about children with autism and the families who are raising them. Everyone started talking around the dinner table or at work about autism and the need for tolerance. This story was on the news, written about in news articles, Facebook, and every other media outlet. I did not read one blog or article saying that they thought the hateful neighbor was in the right. …

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