Saturday, September 26, 2015

"Are You Serious?" Awards - Volume LXVI: The Why We Must Not Be Quiet Edition

The stories shared here each weekend have a way of creating a visceral response in the readers.  Too many of them are heartbreaking, leaving us concerned about the well-being of those we love and wondering about the character of our culture.

It is a natural response to want to cover our eyes and ears to such stories, or at the very least, to turn the other way, tuning them out.

Yet, here are two examples of why we MUST NOT be quiet...

Our first story harkens to January of 2014.  A 17 month old boy born with Down Syndrome was murdered by poisoning him with hand sanitizer.  The perpetrator?  His own mother.  It turns out this poor boy had been previously poisoned by his mother with perfume in 2012.

Are You SERIOUS?!  
Image courtesy of nixxphotography via
Just this week, the mother pleaded guilty to manslaughter in her son's death.  She was sentenced to 40 years in jail.  Her claim was that she merely wanted to end her son's suffering.  

Our second story takes place this week in the Chicago public schools.  The mother of a non-verbal 5 year old with epilepsy arrived at her son's classroom and found him dressed in a garbage bag "poncho," seated apart from the other children in his class.  When she challenged the teacher, she was told that the teacher was concerned the boy might get sick from a shirt wet with drool.  Despite the fact that the mother sent the boy to school with both bibs and a change of clothes, she learned the next day that he was once again dressed in a garbage bag, completely disregarding her original complaint.

Photo image courtesy of WGN-TV
This child's case has not only been made known to the principal, it is now under investigation by CPS.

There are two common threads in both of these stories that lead to such repugnant depravity:

  1. Ignorance
  2. A lack of value for life
THESE are the things that compel us to shun the notion of being silent at times where we would rather look away.  Until people gain a better understanding that a life with special needs is a wonderful, albeit different, life; until people increase in compassion; until humans recognize that they are all just one emergency room visit away from having a family with a disabled member; until educators, doctors, neighbors, insurance companies, and government workers all come to embrace the notion that every life is worthy of dignity and respect, WE MUST NOT BE QUIET.  

God's call on our lives is to shine His light in the darkness.  His glory is on magnificent display through the lives of our complex kids.  It is our duty to build awareness, opening the eyes of others to a more accurate view of our remarkable children.

This means that we step up to be a voice for the voiceless, decrying injustice, and proclaiming the infinite worth of our sons and daughters............  Even when we would rather tune it all out and  turn the other way.   

~ Barb Dittrich



  1. We have a mandate- and it's not to live comfortable happy lives. Your last sentence is profound, Barb! "We are to be a voice for the voiceless, decrying injustice, and proclaiming the infinite worth of our sons and daughters---EVEN when we would rather tune it all out and turn the other way!" Amen, sister!

    1. Thanks, Cindy. It is difficult and painful to even acknowledge these stories. But that pain is God's unique platform to tell His story to the world.