I just feel the need to share this amazing story I came across online a month or so ago.
Carly Fleishmann. You may not remember her name after reading this, but you won’t soon forget her story. She’s a teenager living with autism. The reason we have this rare glimpse inside the mind of a person with autism is because she’s learned to type on the computer. She can explain things that before, experts could only guess at from behavioral clues, etc.
Here’s a video of her story.
Isn’t her story amazing? She’s just like any other teenager her age mentally! Only, she’s trapped inside her body in a way. Yes, I can only imagine the difficulties. But whose life is easy? She hasn’t committed suicide, she doesn’t appear to be depressed or to hate her life or be bitter! So she’s already got a leg up on many others in the world! So what her life isn’t within the parameters others set for “normal” or “acceptable.” Who the heck is normal these days?!
Now read some of these comments from that blog.
“…if there was a sure way to know if your fetus has Autism/Asperger’s, I do believe I would abort.”
“I don’t want to devote my life to a child who will never know a normal life.”
“Holding the child in my arms would not affect my opinion because I have the ability to look into the long term and be rational instead of letting my emotions take over.” [in regards to having a child with special needs.)
“I would get one [abortion] if I knew my child would have autism. For me… It’s about quality of life.”
Now, I can understand saying that you don’t think you can see yourself being able to care for a special needs child or that you wouldn’t want to go through that or that you’d grieve (which is what I say) if you discovered your child was special needs. I’m not naive and I understand the extreme difficulty involved in raising a child with special needs.
How sad it would be to know your child will miss out on some of the best things about life. Saying those things, thinking & feeling those things are not wrong.
What is wrong is when someone decides that it is unacceptable for a human to be born because they are “special needs.” When they feel death is the penalty for being created different from the norm. Because it would inconvenience them, drastically change their life, etc. Why not adopt that child out to a family who can & will love your child for who they are, “flaws” and all? Here’s a comment from that blog to illustrate this feeling: “I have another friend who adopted two boys and he knew going in that one of them is Autistic. Now that is Selfless, that is a man who felt so strongly for fatherhood that he accepted an otherwise outcast child into his heart and home with truly unconditional love.” How awesome is that?!
I wonder how Carly would feel knowing that there are people who, if she had been gifted (born) to them to raise, they would prefer she’d never have been born because she wasn’t good enough for them. It breaks my heart to think that there are people out there who would sooner kill a child who doesn’t fit the mold than to adjust their idea of an acceptable person to raise or to even allow to be born.