Life, Autism, Disability, and More

Tag Archives: public judgment

Murder is Bad

Do I really need to say this? Apparently, the answer is yes!

I don’t believe I have to write about this.

Again.

Another parent has murdered their child.

Again.

Another person (this time an award-winning autism blogger) questioned “how much a parent who has ‘reached the point of desperation’ can be blamed.”

Again.

I don’t want to be picky about this, but I’m going to have to be.

If you’ve reached your breaking point, get help. If you have to abandon your child to the state and face charges for it, then take that option.

Murder is not an option.

I don’t care that the blogger said that “you have to wonder what happens that an otherwise loving mother can feel like this is the only option or that this is the best option.”

No, you don’t have to wonder. You know – she’s feeling beyond overwhelmed, and she probably has some sort of mental breakdown. I get that. It happens. But even then, it’s murder. And in this case, the murder seems to have been at least partially planned. The mother, on YouTube, said that she was thinking of “pulling a Thelma and Louise” before she tossed her kid off the bridge.

It also doesn’t help when “experts” like Dee Shepherd-Look (a psych professor at California State University) make statements like, “quite frankly, I am surprised this doesn’t happen more often…these children are really unable to be in a reciprocal relationship and the moms don’t really experience the love that comes back from a child.”

What. The. Fuck.

Now, I know that I may be in the lucky group. Simon loves hugs, he loves attention, he interacts (albeit in very limited ways). But even when that interaction and communication was more limited than it is now, I would never consider murder as an option.

Do we also consider murder as an option when someone is deaf? Blind? In any other way impaired? I mean, what is the deciding line for it, in the opinion of this “expert”? Who gets a free pass to kill a child? Because if it’s just when you hit a certain level of frustration, I think every child would probably be dead before the end of their teens.

Murder is not an option.

Autism is not – and should not – be a death sentence.

Oh, and go sign this petition!

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Diner Life! by Seeman via morgueFile

Diner Life! by Seeman via morgueFile

There’s a restaurant that we love going to, but it has a sign on the door, stating that parents should keep their children seated [under control] for the sake of other patrons.  It’s a nice restaurant.  Good food.  Fancy food.  Thai food.  We like going there.  But we can only go there at night because we know that, during the day, we’d bring Simon, and he would not stay in his seat, and he would not care about the other patrons.  But…cell phones and noisy drunks are allowed.

Now, I’m not trying to say anything bad about this restaurant.  Simon wouldn’t like their food, anyway, and I believe that restaurants can choose to avoid loud, noisy children – even if we have and love kids, we all need to get away sooner or later.

So instead of going to a restaurant like that when we feel the urge to eat out, we go to a decidedly family (and cheap or cheap-ish) restaurant like Denny’s.

Ah, Denny’s!  Home of the $2/$4/$6 menu, shot glasses of syrup, and friers using the fat from their opening day!

Not that I’m complaining.  I like Denny’s.  My husband likes Denny’s.  And, most importantly, Simon likes Denny’s.

When we go there, though, we start thinking about how to minimize Simon’s impact on tables around us.  We try to keep him from touching people in the next booth.  We remind him to use his inside voice.  We distract him with drawing and writing.  Anything we can think of to avoid the dreaded stares that, of course, I always want to respond to by shouting, “It’s Denny’s!  It’s not a 5-star restaurant!  It’s not a library!”  (But I don’t.)  (I just stare back.)

We went to Denny’s on New Year’s Day for a late lunch and special treat for Simon since I had to fly out the next day for a residency for school.

At first, we were seated by ourselves – empty booths on both sides – and a large, loud table full of a big family nearby.  All going swimmingly.  Until they sat an older couple in the booth behind us.  Simon had been sitting with his arm over the booth, which we convinced him to move, but since our food hadn’t arrived yet, he was busily repeating an episode of some TV show – but just his favorite scene, of course, completely out of context, and over and over and over again like a record with a scratch in it.

I was waiting for one of them to complain.  They just had the right vibe of “how dare a child be a child in public!” (yeah, you know that vibe, right?).  But they didn’t.  And then it happened.  The guy’s cell phone went off.

“HELLO? HELLO!  YES, WE’RE AT DENNY’S…”

And I’m sure there was more to the conversation, but I tuned it out, the same way I tune out loud children or annoying noise. 

But it made me wonder.  Which is worse – people who talk loudly on cell phones in public or echolalia?

In both cases, you’re only hearing one side of a conversation.  In both cases, you may have absolutely no idea what’s actually going on.  And in both cases, the person talking is oblivious (or mostly oblivious) to the effect he/she is having on those in the vicinity.

There is one difference, though.  With echolalia, it’s not on purpose.  It may not even be controllable.  It just happens.  No rudeness or annoyance intended.

So stop giving nasty looks to the kid reciting Blue’s Clues and hold those looks for the loud cell phone users or drunks.  Cause they deserve it a whole lot more.