When I saw this story yesterday, I immediately became disgusted! How can anyone from anywhere send a letter like this to a family with a child with autism? The anonymous letter was sent to 13-year-old Max’s grandmother’s house in Newcastle, Ontario, last Friday. Signed, “One pissed off mother,” the letter refers to Max as a neighborhood “nuisance,” “retarded” and a “dreadful” noise polluter.
This part of the letter was the most disturbing. One part of the letter read, “Personally, they should take whatever non retarded [sic] 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!!!” What hurtful and disgusting language! Who would want to euthanize a kid or adult with a disability? It’s almost like asking me to commit suicide because I have Asperger’s Syndrome, which I do have! Here’s the original story from City News Toronto.
Worried for their safety, the family told City News Toronto that the police have been contacted, and they would like to press charges if possible. Yes, some people commenting online have said that maybe the mother or grandmother wrote this letter as a sign of desperation. But I really don’t think that happened in this case. I really believe someone in the neighborhood wrote this letter to scare the family with the boy with autism. But here is the good news, the neighborhood has rallied around Max, making a special effort to make him feel welcome in the community. Thankfully not everyone has a disgusting and wrong view around people with autism or other disabilities. If you are up to it, here is the letter for you to read.
Maxwell is a 13-year-old boy who has autism. He loves the movie Grease, jumping on the trampoline with the sprinkler on, and go-karts. He loves most things, even the attention that has come with the letter. Thankfully the family has not shown or told Maxwell about this hateful letter. Maxwell’s mother says he was diagnosed with autism when he was 20 months old. He knows the alphabet. He can type on a computer, but he doesn’t use a pen. He always gets his point across, his mom says. He’ll say a few words, and when he is understood, he’ll smile.
No surprise, several TV crews have come to their house to do a story about this letter. So what does Maxwell does when a TV crew arrives? He does his happy dance! Plus, people from the neighborhood comes out to support Maxwell! I am glad Maxwell has the support from most people, autism is not a disability that can be prevented. The family is enjoying every moment with Maxwell even though he makes some happy sounds and voices. No one should attack an individual because he or she is different. And sadly, it’s a problem down here in Alabama.
Some people have made it their mission to demonize anyone who is different in Alabama. And it’s not just people with disabilities. People who are gay or homosexual are sometimes attacked and criticized by some people in Alabama because they are not in “God’s way of life.” Sadly, I have met a couple of people who are either gay or supports people who are gay. And they have told me the stories from some people who have attacked or criticized them. It does not stop with people who are gay. Some people will also attack and criticize people who are disabled. People with mental disabilities like Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome are sometimes criticized by some people as people who needs to grow up and act their age. Now I know that’s not right.
The above image is a picture of me saying “I am not afraid of this world, I just want to make an difference. I am autistic.” I have had my own share of some people criticizing me for being different in my last 26 years of life. I was often a bully target while in school. Several employers and co-workers took advantage of my disability by not paying me fair wages or overworking me. And I often don’t get much credit when I volunteer my time at TV stations, events, or other media sources while helping out. Yep, I have gotten used to that.
I want people to understand that people with disabilities are great people who should not be taken advantage of! Yes, we might struggle with talking or doing things. We might be clumsy and break things. And we might struggle with certain tasks that normal people can do easily. I have found my niche by writing the Geek Alabama blog, taking photos, taking videos, and being a big player on social media. I just want to show people that having a disability is not a death sentence in life. I am getting tired of job searching, filling out over 425 job applications can discourage you. Maxwell up in Canada will find his niche in something great. Too bad some people have to act like immature bozos. I hope Maxwell has a great and successful life! Don’t let this hurtful letter put you down. And yes, I hope the cops finds the person who wrote this letter and throws that person in jail.
- Family says more tolerance required, in light of hate-filled letter (globalnews.ca)
- Letter Telling Family to Euthanize Autistic Child Ruled Out as a Hate Crime (thestir.cafemom.com)
- As a Mother, My Heart Dropped: Family Of Boy With Autism Receives Shockingly Offensive Letter (foundationofstars.org)
- Calgary comedian to autism letter writer: We love you, too (beaconnews.ca)
- Music Thursdays: Drake’s Jodeci Freestyle Autism Controversy (geekalabama.com)
- Autism advocate reacts to hateful letter sent in Oshawa (lfpress.com)