Thursday, November 21, 2013

Too Bad, So Sad?

Fair doesn't mean everyone gets the same thing, it means everyone gets what they need.
(photo credit
Another Disney post made it's way around social media yesterday. I read it, but didn't pass it around, myself. I figured I'd beaten that horse to death, and I don't seek to be purposely annoying. People know my stance, and since all my (one-way) communications with Disney fell on deaf ears (hey, I'm not a super blogger that's going to tow the Disney line just because), I basically let it go...for now.

So, yeah, dead horse, except...something I read made me really angry. A comment made by another parent, who basically said if your kid can't access Disney like everyone else, then they just shouldn't go. I'm paraphrasing, here. There were really long comments, listing all the reasons why kids like mine shouldn't be allowed(?) to ever go to Disney, and that, sure, they'd miss out on certain experiences in life, but people with neurological or medical issues don't deserve special accommodations, so they just shouldn't go. It's just not fair to everyone else. Oh, and we are being irresponsible parents taking them, knowing it will be hard.

Now, I'm no shrinking violet, and in non-shrinking-violet form I responded. I wasn't especially nice in my comments back, for which I did feel a tad bit guilty, but I suppose when you know you're fighting a losing battle (kindness and compassion just can't be taught), you don't feel the need to play as nice as you would otherwise. I will admit I took the comments personally. Maybe they weren't meant to be taken as harshly as I read them, but the message was the same, whatever the tone.

I am sure a lot of people feel the same way as this commenter. That because my kids face certain challenges when visiting someplace like Disney, going there should be off the table for our family. Never mind that my kids, especially B, want to go, and ask to go, they just have to miss out because they aren't typical.

People being OK with any form of discrimination is bad. Teaching kids that everyone needs to receive the same exact thing, or life isn't fair, also bad. Sometimes there are individuals who need more help than others. Is it their lot to just hide away at home? Miss out on life? Live on the fringes of society, because they don't deserve to be accommodated?

This type of thinking goes against everything we say we want, when we talk about inclusion. It's separating people. Saying there are those who don't deserve happiness alongside their typical peers, because they access things differently. It's taking a group of people and seeing them as less. As not worthy. Only everything I'm trying to fight.

My kids work hard to fit into the world around them. Especially K. I mean, that girl works her tail off just to make it through the day, and I don't think it's wrong to expect others to work just a fraction of the amount to accommodate her, at times. I don't think I should feel guilty about wanting those accommodations. I don't think expecting human beings to show a little compassion for others is beyond reason.

So, to those who say I should just keep my kids home (unless I want to give this blog an over 18 rating, I can't say how I really feel), just know, we refuse to hide. I refuse to limit my children's lives. I refuse to give in to those who are mean-spirited, and who were actually born without an empathy gene.

All of this goes far beyond Disney, and it doesn't just have to do with autism. Every person on this earth deserves to be treated with respect, and dignity. Telling them to just stay home, well you might as well tell them to just not exist. None of us should stand for that.


  1. Lots of people are short sighted when disability hasn't touched their lives. People can be careless and thoughtless particularly since the Internet allows people to go on full tilt without accountability. Luckily not everyone thinks this way.

  2. I saw the comments you are referring to, and I agree with you 100%. It's one thing if you were forcing K to go to Disney and she didn't want to, but why should she miss out on experiences just because it may be a little more challenging for her? That's no reason to exclude her and make her stay home.