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Mother Receives Hateful Letter from Neighbor Advising Her to Euthanize Her Autistic Son
An especially difficult situation to live in is to raise special needs children, such as a child with severe autism who is nonverbal or otherwise has difficulty communicating, and acts inappropriately in public and at home. The parents of such children endure a level of stress and sometimes disappointment that is difficult for the parents of “normal” children to empathize with, sometimes, and often when they break the ice by offering cliché advice – “Just pray about it” … “ I hear autistic children like dark rooms” – the parents of special needs children realize just how alone they are in their unique plight. How much worse, nevertheless, when a neighbor of a special needs child not only lacks any empathy, even of the misguided sort, but in fact hates the children, and resents the parents for letting them live in their neighbor – for letting them live at all.
Nevertheless, this was the sentiment expressed in a letter sent anonymously to the grandmother of Max, a 13-year-old autistic boy. Signed “One pissed mother,” the letter voices her complaints that the wailing autistic child amounts to “noise polluting,” and that she finds it “DREADFUL! It Scares the hell out of my normal children!”
The letter then goes on to salt the wound that autistic people often live different lives than others, “No employee will hire him, no normal girl is going to marry/love him and you are not going to live forever!! Personally, they should take whatever non retarded body parts he possesses and donate it to science. What the hell else good is he to anyone….Do the right thing and move or euthanize him!! Either way we are ALL better off!!!”
With such heart-rending sentiments coming from the mother of “normal kids,” it’s a wonder what lessons in empathy they will pick up from their mother. Max’s mother, Karla Begley, meanwhile, cried as she read the section telling her to euthanize her child.
“The more you go, the worse it gets,” Begley told CityNews. “Who says that about a child?”
In fact, the mother was so shaken up by the letter that she contacted the police, who are taking the implicit threat of the letter “seriously.”
Meanwhile, the letter has been retweeted over 3,600 times as of Monday afternoon, with people calling it “a shame,” “evil,” and “hateful,” as the Huffington Post reported. It has also made its rounds on Facebook, and many have rallied in Begley’s community to ensure her that her family and son are welcome and that they feel consonant with her struggles – and also tender moments– as the mother of a special needs child.