Disability and hate crime

By | June 11, 2012

“Hate” is such a strong word, isn’t it? I always try to encourage T and D not to say “hate” – I’d rather they used “don’t like” instead.

The definition of hate in the dictionary is:
Dislike intensely, intense dislike; person or thing hated. Hateful: causing or deserving hate.

Does that definition automatically make you think it should apply to a special needs child, or their family? Thought not…

The front page of our local paper carried an example of ” Disability Hate Crime” this week. A mum was catching a bus with her son – who has cerebral palsy – in a wheelchair. According to her, she was sneered at by another mum and shouted at and asked how much she “bribed the NHS to give her the wheelchair”. Shocking and then the poor woman presumably had to endure the stares and tuts from the perpetrator throughout the journey.

I use a SN buggy for D otherwise, to put it bluntly, we wouldn’t get anywhere. I don’t drive and her anxieties around other people being close to her mean that it is not mentally possible for her to walk to school/to the shops/to the bus stop. Quite simply, the buggy is our lifeline. I know there are probably people who think “let her walk, no matter how long it takes, force her” and then you risk her hanging onto a lamppost, howling with anguish because she is so scared.

Hubbie makes a joke that once we are somewhere she is comfortable, say the coffee shop, she hops out to get to a table and it’s a bit like Andy in Little Britain, she’s walking! Because she is settled, she knows where she is, she’s relaxed. It does get stares but you develop a thick(ish) skin and ignore it.

If any of those people walked past our back garden and saw her bouncing on the trampoline, they’d wonder and again, it’s because she’s in her own, safe environment.

The thought of disability hate crime increasing – especially as more cuts come in – worries me and the red-top tabloids take great delight in catching benefit frauds. A DLA award is not for life, it’s renewed every three years and in the majority of fraud cases, it’s injuries that have got better not children who are registered disabled, with a life-long learning disability that can be managed in time, but not cured.

So, what is the answer? More awareness but people have to want and be receptive to making themselves aware. Unfortunately in the vast majority of cases,it takes a diagnosis in the family for this to happen.

So, awareness goes on….are you with me?


Thanks for reading, comments/RTs as ever welcome Jx 😘

Facebook Comments


claire on 12th June 2012 at 3:14 pm.

I’ve just had my sons DLA award finalised, after 14 years of struggling for a diagnosis, and having to leave jobs to pick him up from school at an hours notice. I’ve had to fake smile at the local bullies, and explain that Posh is ‘a little different’, so give him a break, and I’ve had to sleep with one eye open for most of those 14 years to catch him a wandering at night. I’m now his full time carer, but at many points prior to this, we all went without and got behind with rent etc, because I had to change jobs to work round him. Life’s hard enough without idiots passing judgement and cruel remarks. What does it matter to them? Are they sat up til 12am waiting for them to drop off to sleep or going to face the whole of their childs school life in school meetings and adapted timetables? Are they going to feed them and clothe them? Nope. they may, and I say this with love, stick it up their bum..


AutismMumma on 12th June 2012 at 8:10 pm.

Exactly!! Until they have experienced parenting a SN child, how can they possibly know?


claire on 12th June 2012 at 8:42 pm.

I’m feeling a little bolder now about the situation after finding this and the other blogs…not so alone. Out of around 300 friends/acquaintances mayne 3 have a child with special needs. I think we were all in denial for a long time. I feel quite cross about the wasted years. I’m a woman not to be messed with, but I realise other people aren’t that strong (or angry) It’s why blogs like this should be shouted from the rooftops x


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