Intolerance…injustice…in society (what can we do?)

By | April 23, 2012

There have been some awful examples of discrimination and ignorance on twitter recently.

I think the worst has happened to a lovely lady I follow overseas. Her children have been called awful names on a social networking site, with a photograph of her SN child. What makes one person set out to purposefully do that? Do they not consider the hurt it will cause? Do they care? If it was for a joke, it’s done in the most mean-spirited way possible.

And then another one this morning: another follower being targeted by other parents at her child’s school, questioning her child’s inclusion at that school. Why? What does it achieve? You can’t CATCH a special needs condition. It’s prejudice. Okay, the child may not be aware but the mother certainly is. What are they aiming to do? Drive the child out of school? We’re meant to be in a civilised society here, but I do wonder…

Hubbie was shocked by someone he’d known all his life at the weekend. He was explaining to someone else about our ongoing NHS battle and why the support is needed for D. This person could not have been more dis-interested if they tried and the inference was that it was bad parenting. How ignorant but maybe a typical reaction from someone who knows no-one with autism and doesn’t want to know. Not in my backyard…

Okay, these are (hopefully) extreme situations I’ve used but, as SN parents, it’s something that we encounter every day. Looks, stares, comments. Judgements made in a micro-second without knowledge or awareness.

The recent programmes on TV (Undateables and Louis Theroux’s documentary) have raised some awareness but if you looked at the twitter feeds there was a lot of jokes around someone’s habits or sayings or, in the case of the Louis Theroux documentary, the fact that a SN mother sat on her son during a meltdown – presumably applying the deep pressure that would calm him. There were a lot of positive comments too, which was encouraging.

So…what is the answer? More awareness of a disability that you can’t see/touch/smell etc.

The question is how….

Facebook Comments


Deb at aspie in the family on 23rd April 2012 at 4:31 pm.

If ever I need motivation to continue to write and blog about special needs, its now. Its clear to me that many people do not understand hidden disabilities such as autism and aspergers and no doubt many other disabilities as well. But where to start? We carry on writing and blogging and sharing our experiences. We carry on working together as a group pushing for local, national and global change. Not one individual can do this; we should all contribute and stop the subject becoming taboo. If it gets pushed underground then the ignorant will never learn and the politicians and those in power will never know what policies to create. They need to hear our stories and hopefully, one day, we will get a change in public perception that means our twitter friends do not get harrassed like this. Deb xx


AutismMumma on 23rd April 2012 at 4:44 pm.

Thank you Deb. The instances came in thick & fast over the last 24 hours and it needed to be said. I did a post “united we stand, divided we fall” which, if i remember echoes your comments. I don’t know the answer but together we are a voice x


Sian on 23rd April 2012 at 9:11 pm.

My daughters both have ADHD, one is being diagnosed with Aspergers. Yesterday at the St George’s Day Parade, my daughter was shouted at by 2 Guide leaders, because she couldn’t stand still. I am a Leader myself, and was trying to keep my daughter occupied, but it was a long speech and she couldn’t see. Obviously they felt i wasn’t being strict enough, and felt they had to express their disdain at my slack parenting. They know about my daughters diagnosis. I find the most upsetting aspect of bringing up children with SEN is other peoples attitudes, ignorance and inability to mind their own business. i hate it when an organisation professes to be inclusive, but thats only if your child doesnt display any behaviours that differ from the norm. My dd’s teacher called me in today, he said that he was struggling to get her to concentrate in class and that she was falling behind. He asked me if there was anything he could do to help. Yes, teach her, support her, take her SEN into account and stop expecting her to perform the same as all the children who haven’t got a diagnosis. She currently receives no support, and he seemed to want me to tell him what to do. So fed up and frustrated. Sorry for ranting! xx


AutismMumma on 23rd April 2012 at 9:17 pm.

Rant away! It’s by sharing our experiences that we’re going to help get awareness out there (fingers, toes, everything crossed). I’m not surprised you are fed up. X


Kelly Barrett on 23rd April 2012 at 9:36 pm.

I think children need to be made more aware in schools of these conditions at a young age. I’ve always found the vast majority of primary school children empathetic when disabilities are explained to them. Most prejudices are born out of ignorance and most people do not have regular contact with people with disabilities. It must be really frustrating when people imply it is down to bad parenting.


Deb at aspie in the family on 24th April 2012 at 9:32 am.

Hi Sian, sorry to hear you’re going through this. I have a 10 year old daughter with aspergers (plus a son with ASD) and she’s had a tough time at her mainstream school. Its been a nightmare getting the school to support her and too often they’ve been too quick to blame me. Now she’s out of school as she can no longer cope (we wonder if she’s depressed) and the LA is now providing some home tuition whilst she’s being assessed for a statement but where we go from there I haven’t a clue. Deb


AutismMumma on 24th April 2012 at 9:58 am.

So true….when I was childminding regularly a girl of D’s age plus one a year older, I explained to them both that D had a little bit of “missing puzzle” in her brain and that caused her to act like she did sometimes. They totally look that on board and accepted, tolerated and included her – when she wanted to be included.
Although it was inevitable that comparisons would be made (which makes you sad), it was nice to see.


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