So, I know this guy, who knows this guy, who knows this guy, who knows this guy, who went to a seminar recently where a speaker unwittingly insulted people with special needs by implying that their diagnoses could be changed through diet, exercise, and positive mental attitude. No harm was intended. Still, the speaker, who was singing the praises of a new methodology, didn't see that he was subtly blaming these participants for their own disabilities. At least that's how these dear attendees heard his comments.
Haven't most of us with energetic children been subjected to the old, "Have you tried cutting sugar out of her diet?" or "You should try going gluten-free," or "I heard that food with dye can make kids like that." Fellow church-goers have been known to utter, "Maybe you need to consider that you're dealing with a sin problem here." (Hmmm. Maybe those types should consider whose sin is REALLY the problem.)
Then there are are the curious questions where people don't realize what they are implying. "Did you know he could have that before you had him?" "What does your doctor say?" "Have you gone to that therapist I recommended to you?" "Have you tried having your child anointed?"
Not to be outdone by those living the typical life, there is the great vaccine debate in the autism community. It's not bad enough that we have people outside the special needs community hurling hurt at us. No, no. Instead, we need to start in at each other. People who are anti-vaccine will scold me and get angry if I share any resource, no matter how good, from Autism Speaks, because Autism Speaks refutes immunizations as the cause of autism. Then there are the people who shake their heads in disgust at those who are anti-vacs people, never quite being able to offer them the comfort of explaining why their child completely changed after receiving shots.
|Photo Image courtesy of Natasa Mandic via 123rf.com|
BLAME is spelled B-LAME. Instead of fixing the blame, how about fixing the problem? It's always easier to point a finger than to give a hand. How many of those who shoot their mouths off, make subtle judgments about others, or offer their idea of a quick fix ever make any attempt at SERVING those who suffer like Jesus did? I would dare say, the proportion is very small.
Furthermore, people seem to forget, EVERYONE IS 1 EMERGENCY ROOM VISIT AWAY FROM BEING US.
If only these people knew how many hours a mother like me has spent in a rocking chair with an infant, beating herself up with self-blame, maybe they would soften. If only the careless and ignorant knew who how inadequate parents like me feel, despite the fact that we have literally become medical, psychological, and educational experts in our own home, maybe they would pipe down. If only they walked a mile in my shoes...
I don't begrudge any parent... ANY PARENT... a methodology of treatment that works best for their child. Neither am I so arrogant to believe that my way is the only way to do things. When it comes to caring for a child with special needs or chronic illness, probably the biggest lesson I have learned is that ONE SIZE NEVER FITS ALL. This means that I have no right to look down my nose at those who have chosen an approach different from mine. If gluten-free improves your child's life, more power to you. But don't sneer at me because I don't do it. You haven't been in my home, watching my child starve because they refuse to eat that sort of thing. You haven't undergone the stress of having a husband between jobs 6 times in 16 years, thereby rendering organic foods out of our price range. You likely haven't had the success that I have had using other methods of therapy or treatment.
Parents, let's resolve NOW to stop doing the work of "the accuser", and refuse to let others dump that toxicity on us as well. Rather, grow in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and pour it out on everyone around you, including the ignorant. Since He ascended to heaven, there's not been a perfect human on this earth. Every heart out there needs the mercy and tenderness of His grace shared through our mutual kindness.
~ Barb Dittrich