By Lisa Ackerman
A Facebook post, a Twitter feed, an unoriginal remark to a friend with the words retard or autistic is something that occurs far too often. Sadly, the TACA blog has covered this topic many times (1.) I don’t ever want to have to write these words on a title again.
Recently, a disturbing letter sent to a family living with autism in Ontario, Canada topped all levels of cruelty and hate (2.) An anonymous letter, the ultimate cowardly form, was sent to Max’s grandmother’s house. Max has autism. The letter described Max as “retarded”, a “nuisance” and the creator of “dreadful noises”. What’s worse is that the letter continued to flood this family with insults ending with a recommendation to “euthanize him!” Now, let’s let that sink in. A neighbor suggests that a child’s life should end?
The level of hate defined in this anonymous letter has reached an all time high. Who is to decide who should be allowed to live in a community? Who is to decide that hate is a fine way to interact with neighbors who have disabled children?
The CDC reports autism now affects 1 in every 88 children and in one of their most recent surveys, it was reported that the statistic is as high as 1 in every 50 school-aged children in the U.S. (3.) The outrage should not be about how many individuals have autism, but rather about what is causing this dramatic increase. The outrage should be guided towards finding answers for our future generation.
We cannot afford to waste time and efforts. The coward who wrote this letter does not deserve our attention. Let’s direct our full attention to the cause, cure and treatment for individuals who need our help. We don’t need this level of hate guided towards an innocent child and family struggling to find answers and treatment.
1) https://tacanowblog.com/2013/07/23/retard-autistic-part-3/ , https://www.tacanow.org/blog/retard-autistic-part-ii/ , http://www.tacanow.org/blog/retard-autistic/