Eliza Grace was born on March 15, 2006, at 26 weeks, 4 days, weighing 1 pound 4 ounces and measuring just 11.5 inches long. She is the light of my soul and this is the story of our life in the big city.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bias

Is bigotry in the air these days?

A topic of much discussion with another micropreemie mom friend has been our mutual, if somewhat belated, realization that a few of our family members and friends are actually quite put off by our children because our children have special needs or disabilities.

The one common thread is that these people maintain political correctness and actually pretend not to be bothered by our special needs children. Their bias and bigotry are often "outed" by sheer chance. An overheard conversation at a family function where phrases like "short bus" and "sped" are spoken (for the uninitiated, "sped" is a very unkind word used to describe kids in special ed programs). A poll posted on Facebook of all places about a developmentally delayed child's interaction with their typically developing child. An invitation to a child's party that was "forgotten." Unsolicited advice that certain activities may be "too much" for your child. A passing comment that you're too "neurotic" about your child's welfare (watching your child for months on life support will tend to do this). A comment that the "possibly" autistic child in their child's class is too disruptive. The suggestion that special needs children don't afford the level of competition that their child needs to succeed so they should not be included in the class.

These people act as if a couple of three year old special needs children are a threat to our very existence as a society. Are our children's delays and differences that frightening? Are they just throwing salt over their shoulders that they do not walk in our shoes? Perhaps they enjoy poking fun at three years olds who can't defend themselves? I just don't know.

Maybe these are the people who should be marginalized from our society and not a handful of special needs children who are just starting to enjoy life's adventures?

2 comments:

Robin Elizabeth said...

I see it too. At our local play ground Elizabeth is getting a reputation as the wierd kid. She isn't aware of the other childrens treatment of her but it will break my heart if she gets her fellings hurt. And the worse part is that other parents watch their children say things to Elizabeth and don't bat an eye. If Iever hear a "little yellow bus comment", I will freak and may need bailing out of jail.

Michele said...

And this is what I am deathly afraid of for my Kenny. I am dreading the day he goes to school and someone makes fun of him or says something stupid. My heart is breaking for our kids. It's not their fault. They didnt ask to be born early or have tons of problems...not fair! Hang in there!