An Open Letter to the Parents of Special Needs Children

I don’t live near you, or at least, if I do, I don’t know about it. My neighborhood is pretty quiet and not a lot goes on here. Every now and then, someone has an outdoor party in the summer. Big deal, right?

I’m not writing here to talk about that. I’m here to tell you that I have seen some of the most horrible things that I have ever seen said about a special needs child posted to the internet today. Some woman in Canada wrote a letter to a grandmother who babysits her autistic grandson during the summers and on behalf of the parents of “normal” (what the hell does that mean anyway? No one is “normal”, not if they’re being honest with themselves) kids everywhere, I just wanted to say that I am so sorry.

If I did live near you, I would probably ask you the questions that you get so sick of answering, but I wouldn’t ask them out of some twisted curiosity. I would ask them because I want to understand. I know that I cannot put myself in your shoes, having never been the parent of a special needs child, but I would make the effort to learn! If your child made noise outside? So what? That’s what kids do, make noise!

If my kids were scared of your child because of the noises he made outside, I would take them over to meet you and your kid! I would teach them about his unique way of looking at the world and help them to see that it takes all kinds to make this world beautiful! I would tell them that families take on all sorts of shapes and sizes, but the one thing that truly binds a family together, is LOVE. I would not teach them to fear your child or to hate your child. There is no merit in sending that message to my children. There is no benefit of that behavior that will help them later in life. Only through acceptance and understanding, can we truly appreciate the world around us! I would hope that my kids would try to see the world through his eyes.

If I wanted to live in a place where kids didn’t make noise, I’d go find a trailer in the woods where my nearest neighbor was a mile away. I wouldn’t live in suburbia. If I wanted to live someplace where my neighbors didn’t do things that occasionally annoyed me, I wouldn’t have neighbors! The point of living in a neighborhood is to have a sense of community, to feel that there are others around you, other people that you would never otherwise be able to meet! I would welcome you to our community with open arms and encourage other neighbors to do so as well.

Please do not even think on this horrible woman’s advice in her letter, which I will not link to because it doesn’t even deserve that kind of notoriety. You are making a wonderful home and a wonderful life for your child the best way you know how. Your child is loved! Keep on loving him! So few children are blessed with loving families and with parents who teach their kids messages about kindness and acceptance. Please be the example that allows someone like me, a parent of so-called “normal” kids, to have the opportunity to learn from you.


One outraged mother.