There have been some awful examples of discrimination and ignorance on twitter recently.
I think the worst has happened to a lovely lady I follow overseas. Her children have been called awful names on a social networking site, with a photograph of her SN child. What makes one person set out to purposefully do that? Do they not consider the hurt it will cause? Do they care? If it was for a joke, it’s done in the most mean-spirited way possible.
And then another one this morning: another follower being targeted by other parents at her child’s school, questioning her child’s inclusion at that school. Why? What does it achieve? You can’t CATCH a special needs condition. It’s prejudice. Okay, the child may not be aware but the mother certainly is. What are they aiming to do? Drive the child out of school? We’re meant to be in a civilised society here, but I do wonder…
Hubbie was shocked by someone he’d known all his life at the weekend. He was explaining to someone else about our ongoing NHS battle and why the support is needed for D. This person could not have been more dis-interested if they tried and the inference was that it was bad parenting. How ignorant but maybe a typical reaction from someone who knows no-one with autism and doesn’t want to know. Not in my backyard…
Okay, these are (hopefully) extreme situations I’ve used but, as SN parents, it’s something that we encounter every day. Looks, stares, comments. Judgements made in a micro-second without knowledge or awareness.
The recent programmes on TV (Undateables and Louis Theroux’s documentary) have raised some awareness but if you looked at the twitter feeds there was a lot of jokes around someone’s habits or sayings or, in the case of the Louis Theroux documentary, the fact that a SN mother sat on her son during a meltdown – presumably applying the deep pressure that would calm him. There were a lot of positive comments too, which was encouraging.
So…what is the answer? More awareness of a disability that you can’t see/touch/smell etc.
The question is how….