Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The attention they deserve…

Let’s jump right on in, shall we?


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.

Pause…sip coffee…continue.

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 

5 comments:

Rileysdtr said...

So LAN says special needs children are like kittens?

Pamela Merritt said...

Basically.

Mark L said...

Preach it sister, preach! As a 24-year-old disabled guy, I aged out of my "cute" phase long ago, and like you, I am aggravated at the hypocrisy of politicians who claim to adore special-needs kids, but then don't support funding or real political action when push comes to shove.

And like you, I'm tired of the "attention", such as it is, being focused solely on children. Even my perusal of scientific sources on my disability- Cerebral Palsy- indicates that the majority of the scientific research for the condition has been done almost exclusively on children. Picture it: my research for how this condition will affect my life and my body as I age produced almost nothing. Special-needs kids become special-needs adults. Where is the funding, housing and jobs for us? Disabled people are still massively underemployed. Forgive me for being disgruntled, Pam, but why else would I have to be sitting on my butt in my parents' house living off them and Social Security? After all, I'm the kind that capitalists, in every other respect, LURVE to employ (White, middle-class male with a master's degree). Sigh.

Anonymous said...

out here in san diego north county th cops just whaled on a down syndrome young adult cause he didnt respond quickly enough .makes me wonder who the "handicapped" one was (sorry no link)

knowlege is power said...

Great post, love the attitude! Why is it assumed that family with a potentially special needs child will readily jump to abort their child? There are millions of parents that are handling the challenges; no one said it was easy.

So, side note, what about this man in Alabama that kidnapped the five year old boy with autism. What was he thinking about, shooting the bus driver to snatch the child off the bus? What are his motives, and how did this little boy fit in them? His parents have got to be losing their minds, remember now he is special needs too, all of which are being met through a pipe in the ground from the side of the bunker? Really!

We have few extremes here, both are nuts; however, only one of these groups people have a choice in the matter.