One of the things I love most about this site, is my ability to share my voice and having a place to be heard. Sometimes, I don’t even care if it gets heard. I just feel better having an outlet. I realize that there will be some that do not agree with me, and that could run the risk of losing a reader, but in the hopes that I make an impact for one person or someone else feels validated, I will take the risk.
These last 24 hours have been an emotional roller coaster. The High School 2 of my kids attend had a shooting threat that went to our local Police/ FBI and Homeland Security. These threats were done on Snapchat and were made available for many to see, through social media. These threats and words were incredibly in depth, incredibly violent, and incredibly frightening. I hardly slept and had such fear for all of us.
My daughter, a Senior, became immediately worried about the kids at school with special needs, she wanted to be sure their families knew what was happening as many kids with special needs are not on social media and would have no way of knowing of the threats. She “gets it” as she is the eyes and ears for her 15 year old brother with Autism.
I’m going to fast forward to finding out that the individual was caught and through the social media chain, we hear he was arrested with pending charges.
As the day progresses, again through social media, a post is made by someone that shared, “the individual has been arrested and has severe autism”. I lost it.
I know that the word “severe” is one that everyone may use in a different way. I don’t consider my son to be “severe” as he is verbal and I realize that is a gift. I can categorize him as “severe” in the sense that he would walk away and hold a strangers hand, think nothing of it, and I could never see him again, but that’s for another blog post for me to share.
I’m angered by the fact that many in the community would be so quick to share that information because they have no idea what it is like to be special-needs parents, they also have no idea, that for the most part, any child that has severe autism would in no way, shape, or form be able to articulate the texts /messages and threats that were sent. These messages had a clear plan, with vulgar language and very thought out detail. A child with “SEVERE” autism would not possess the ability to formulate a plan in that capacity. I realize that there are some on the spectrum that MAY be able to do that, but they would NOT be “SEVERE”.
It seems to me that with all of the violence that has taken over in our schools in the last few months, it almost becomes an easy out for others to label the individual as a special needs child. As a parent of a child with special needs, I think it is CRITICAL to think before you speak, think before you post, have your facts together and DO NOT throw out labels that do not fit! Our lives are hard enough, we do not need to add this to our lives and instill unnecessary fears about our children!
I’m the first to say if a child needs help then let’s get them help but let’s not throw around labels that we don’t know or understand because that is very frightening !
Here’s to all of our babies and us and being able to send them to school with a little less fear and a little more laughter.