The idea of a community is to have a group of people from varied backgrounds, experiences, and situations all come together to help one another and live in a way that is productive, shares ideas, thoughts, common values, and common spaces too. Unfortunately, as Slate shares on March 16, many communities are shunning those with special needs and would prefer they don't show how special they are in the public places of the shared community.
It's true that special needs children, such as my own autistic son, are often loud, act silly, can't sit still when excited, and don't follow the same rules and standards that "regular" people follow. There have been an increasing amount of stories all over America about how a boy with down syndrome would be told to "go be special somewhere else" or that autistic people that wonder, and most of them are wanderers, should be on leashes.
Most parents of special needs children recognize that their children are considered a burden to society and their "communities" do not want to deal with the children that are a little too loud at a restaurant table, make funny faces in their water glasses, or spin in circles while you pay for your check. This is why they try to make things as easy for everyone by taking their children to movies during the middle of the day that have been out for weeks, visit restaurants at 4 p.m. for dinner to distract as few people as possible, and they try taking their children to places that offer days and events specifically for their special needs children instead of infringing on "regular" folks' outings.
It is completely unreasonable to think that a child with special needs can be kept at home all the time because "regular" community members don't like that they behave differently. In fact, how can a person learn to behave in a correct manner if they are only allowed out to events where other special needs people will be in attendance? How will a parent ever teach a child with different challenges than a "regular" child to respect and appreciate everyone when others don't do the same?
It is a fair question to ask of all the "regular" community members that think special needs people should be special somewhere else. Being a parent is difficult enough without having to deal with special needs and challenges that their child will face for the rest of their life. It only makes things more difficult when the community makes a big deal of the fact that a child is different, or that they are unwilling to participate in a shared experience or environment with a child that has different challenges.