Faith

Dear One Pissed Off Mother….

letter

I first saw this letter three hours ago when a friend shared it on their Facebook page. When I first viewed the letter it had been shared almost 5,000 times – now I see it’s nearly at 10,000 shares. It seems that this heartless response to a woman who keeps her two autistic grandchildren several times a week has struck a cord. Note: The author of the letter assumes the child is the woman’s son, but in the original FB post comments, it’s actually a grandmother babysitting.

It certainly struck a cord with me, specifically because I work with a lot of families who deal with significantly special needs children. This letter is just a written example of what many of them experience in daily life with their kids due to abnormal behaviors that aren’t understood by a large percentage of the population. But, really, at what point can any mother say to another kill your child? I have no words to describe the sadness that this brings me. I also can’t imagine the heartbreak that this grandmother must have felt when reading these words.

Here’s how I would respond:

Dear “One Pissed Off Mother” –

It’s always nice to hear from a neighbor, especially when they have a problem. You see, I love to help others. This is why I keep my two grandsons who are autistic. When I take my grandsons outside to play, it’s far from an act of selfishness nor is it a nuisance for me to allow him to experience the joy of childhood, a sense of freedom and fun. I’m deeply sorry that you consider his dreadful sounds of joy a pollution. The real toxicity here appears to be your attitude toward this situation and that scares the hell out of me for your normal children. Can I ask you how they are ever going to learn to care for others? To appreciate that life should be celebrated, even if to you it seems a little flawed. And, by the way, there’s nothing flawed about my grandson. One more question, what are you going to do if one of your normal children grows up and becomes the parent of a special needs child? Will you banish your child/grandchild from your life because they are too much of a nuisance? I hope not.

You see, one day should you ever find yourself as a grandmother to a grandchild like mine, I hope that you won’t see him as a hindrance but as a blessing. That you’ll care for him, as I do my grandson, and teach him that he’s worth investing in and loving. I hope that you’ll dream of the day that despite his challenges – and they are many – he can experience the joy of achievement and the unconditional love of true friends. It’s clear you’ve heard him scream, but I’d like to invite you over for milk and cookies so that you can also feel the warmth of his hug and see the sweetness of his smile. Milk, cookies and sunny play outside is how to properly deal with any child, even my very special grandson. I know you’re a hard working person and would welcome the opportunity to share a meal, or even a small snack, with you, share my family with you and treat you special.

As to your desire that I move, I’m deeply sorry that I can’t oblige. I love our close proximity community because I love people, value people and have made a home here. I also have friends among the community whom I would miss greatly.

I try my best to do the right thing every day. To care for my home, to care for my family and to love my neighbors. I invite you to do the same.

Sincerely,

The lady living at this address 

Society, we must do better than this. Each of us has influence over someone – let’s use our collective influence to teach others that this type of behavior is not okay.

Together, let’s make a positive impact and use this opportunity to raise our collective voices to say that every life is valuable, every person worth celebrating and EVERY child is special – no matter what. 

UPDATE: Since my original post, this story has made the local news in the area where the family lives. Click here to watch the news segment.

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  • Edward_H

    Is there any evidence confirming this letter is real and not a hoax?

    • http://pamparish.com Pam Parish

      I looked and it seems to be authentic. I sure would love to hear that it’s a hoax. Although, for every family with an autistic child, it would be a very cruel hoax.

  • Raymond Hubbard

    It’s legit!

  • Kyle

    Totally fake. This letter resurfaces every couple of months. Some fool mucking up false outrage.

    • http://pamparish.com Pam Parish

      I can’t seem to find it anywhere before the original FB post from the woman claiming that her neighbor received it. I do hope it’s fake.

  • Karen Stapp

    They just did a news story on it last night. The entire community is rallying around this boy. It was nice to see. They are trying to hone in on who wrote the letter and plan on pressing charges.

    http://www.citynews.ca/2013/08/18/family-in-shock-after-hate-letter-targets-teen-with-autism/

    • http://pamparish.com Pam Parish

      Thanks Karen! I’m so glad the news has picked up this story and that the authorities are involved. Watching the pain in this family made me cry. So thankful for the community around them.

  • Karen Stapp

    The original posting on FB is close to 17,000 shares in a day and a half (below). This thing is BLAZING on the internet. It has hit a nerve with a lot of people. I do not want to be that woman when they find out who she is. People are absolutely furious.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153153862335455&set=a.10151568936510455.842474.591730454&type=1&theater

    • http://pamparish.com Pam Parish

      I’m glad. As a society, we have to do better and hold one another accountable to decency. I do hope the woman realizes her error and genuinely makes amends in some way.

  • Laura

    Sadly, it’s genuine! Cannot believe how insensitive some people can be!!

    http://www.citynews.ca/2013/08/18/family-in-shock-after-hate-letter-targets-teen-with-autism/

  • Miranda

    It is real. It is not, as Kyle states, “Totally fake. This letter resurfaces every couple of months. Some fool mucking up false outrage.”

    Kyle, you have no clue what you’re talking about. The letter is real. The only reason this has become as big as it is, is because of the supportive friends this family has, and the connections those friends have. This person picked the wrong person to mess with.
    And the police believe the letter was more than likely written by an older male, not a woman. Based on the verbiage alone.

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  • http://www.lovinadoptin.com Tracy Whitt

    As the mother of an Autistic son, I couldn’t finish reading the letter. My heart broke for the boys and the hatefulness that exists in our society. My son goes outside. My son cries, and my neighbors can even hear him crying when we are INSIDE our home. Your response was dead on, do we deny a child with special needs to privilege of enjoying childhood because they are unhappy at times and tend to make more noise than other children? No.