An article posted by the anti-abortion website Live Action News caught my attention yesterday.
Maybe because I’m the younger sister of an adult with autism and I'm beyond fed up with people lavishing praise on how cute special needs kids are even as they fail to support funding for programs that would improve the lives of those oh so adorable children.
Or mayhap tis because the article seems to assume that people may have an abortion after testing indicates Downs Syndrome is because they think they may give birth to an unattractive infant.
No, I think it was the title of the article that caught my eye…Special-needs children receiving the attention they deserve.
Yep, that’s what stepped on my nerve and did a gig.
Speaking from personal experience…
Special needs children need the same attention that special needs adults require…programs, opportunity, health care, and support for their families so they can focus on meeting those special needs instead of going broke trying to pay for them.
Special needs children need funding…so that living in a rural area or having working poor parents doesn’t translate into a lack of access to services.
They need trained teachers who won’t drag them down the hallway.
They need respect, so that the pain of bullying doesn’t limit their lives.
As we know well in Missouri, special needs children need to be protected from religious exemptions that are used to deny coverage for...wait for it...health care that would actually meet their special needs.
And special needs kids need people to acknowledge that they will become special needs adults…maybe not as “cute”, but certainly in need of housing, jobs, health care, and protection from exploitation or bullying.
I wish special needs kids and adults with special needs were getting the attention they deserve. You know, maybe meeting their special needs instead of trying to make the case that they exist to help so-called “normal” people “look at life in a new way – a simpler way” while the sight of them magically instills “gratitude for the little things”.
But I guess they’ll have to make do with being fetishized in the service of anti-abortion politics for now.
Pause...sip more coffee...continue.
Anyhoo, I think two young brothers of sisters with special needs make a stronger case for respect here -> http://youtu.be/ObPoZCTTVeI