Update 8/30: Karla Begley has written a response to the still anonymous person who wrote the hateful note to her son. On HuffPost blogger Ellen Seidman's site, Love That Max. In her post, Karla talks about her wishes that people would be open with their questions about her son, so she could have the chance to spread awareness about not only the struggles of Autism, but also the blessings. Here is an excerpt from her post:
If Max's sounds bother someone, I'd hope that person would let us know in a respectful way. Give us a chance to handle it instead of being cowardly about it. I'd rather people bring things out in the open. Sometimes, kids come up to me and ask "Why does he talk funny?" The parents are embarrassed. But if the mom isn't going to talk properly to a child, or teach him that kids with autism are not contagious, I will! ... I'd rather kids ask than grow up to be the sort of people who write nasty letters about autism!
Update 8/20: Huffington Post reports that the police are not treating the letter as a hate crime, since the definition does not include people with mental or physical disabilities and the letter was a private, not public, declaration. The investigation into who wrote the letter is still ongoing, though, and police say other criminal charges could be relevant if the family still decides to press charges.
Update 8/19: CityNews Toronto reports that the boy is 13-year-old Max Begley, son to mother Karla and father Jim. The video below shows that Max's neighborhood is rallying behind him at this time and making attempts to sniff out the person responsible for the message. The family is also working with police in an investigation and is considering pressing charges if the person is found.
Lennon and Maisy, the two girls who play the incredible singing sisters Maddie and Daphne Conrad on ABC’s Nashville, recently posted an image of a letter on their Twitter that has our stomach in knots. It was addressed to a friend of the girls’ who has an autistic son, and the amount of hate and ignorance in this letter is mind-blowing.
“A close family friend has an autistic boy and this was an anonymous letter slipped under her door. This is real,” read the tweet, which was posted late Sunday morning and has now gone viral.
Here are a few of the details of the letter that made us particularly sick to our stomachs and enraged at humanity:
- The dreadful woman who wrote the letter refers to the boy as a nuisance, a problem, an idiot, a retard, no good to anyone, and a “wild animal kid.”
- “No employer will hire him, no normal girl is going to marry/love him…”
- “Personally, they should take whatever non retarded boy parts he possesses and donate it to science.”
- “Do the right thing and move or euthanize him!!!”
We simply cannot imagine how a human being can write this hate-filled letter to a mother of an autistic child. She clearly doesn’t understand how difficult the mother already has it as she cares for a child with special needs, nor does she care that this letter is just one more straw on the camel’s already loaded back.
She complains about the noises the boy makes when he’s outside and how it scares the other “normal” children. So instead of utilizing that as a platform to teach tolerance and acceptance and explain how everyone is made differently, but they’re no less special, she chooses to ostracize a neighbor and her family.
We are livid. How do you feel about this note, moms?