I would like to veer off from my regular mental health advice to address the internet sensation that is the letter sent to Karley Begley, the mother of an autistic child. You can check it out here: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/dailybrew/ontario-police-aware-hateful-le... I will not give the author of the letter the satisfaction of reprinting any of his/her reprehensible, hate-filled words. Instead, I would like to offer solace to Ms. Begley, and all those parents of autistic children out there.
Let me begin by saying, raising a child in and of itself is a very difficult and sometimes trying experience. Raising a child with medical or mental health issues compounds this difficulty exponentially. Parents of these children oftentimes have very little time to care for themselves, to nurture their relationships with others, and to move forward with their own lives. They cannot leave the home without planning for the child’s needs and may have to curtail trips due to the child’s needs.
As aware as the parents must be of the child’s needs, they must be even more cued into the environment and how others interact with the child. They are trying to shield their child from the uneducated and ignorant views of others as well as trying to nurture some form of normalcy within the child’s life and friendship, which are typically far too few. These children and their families need our compassion and love, not our empty-headed anger.
Please, if you were touched by the issues raised by the plight of Ms. Begley and her son educate yourself, your children, and your family to be more sympathetic to the needs of others, especially those impacted by medical or mental health issues. Look into sites such as Autism Speaks and NIMH, the National Institute for Mental Health. Volunteer to help mentor others through the Boys and Girls Clubs, Bigger Brothers/Sisters, your local YMCA, or your church. Many universities have programs that allow people to mentor others in the community who are experiencing mental health or medical difficulties. Let your outrage fuel you to find a solution. You can make a difference and help to erase the hate. Finally, if you know of a family that is struggling, offer your aid. A simple gesture like a conversation, a casserole, or an offer of help can be the bridge for an entire community.
The information in this article is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.
Please consult your health care provider before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical or mental health condition, or contact Bell Mental Health Associates, LLC. to schedule an appointment. Dawn DePasquale, LMHC, and Bell Mental Health Associates, LLC, expressly disclaims responsibility, and shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information