Thursday, February 11, 2010

Disturbing comments on down syndrome

Yesterday, I was visiting one of the local online forums. The forum has plenty of categories from cooking to books to pets to almost anything that I could think of. So, I was just curious if they have a separate category for ‘kids with special needs’. I searched for it and couldn’t find any.

I tried to search for ‘down syndrome’ in specific. The topics that came up were mostly on ‘amino test’ showing positive result and doing away with the pregnancy. And, one specific topic was so disturbing. A lady whose results has come positive for down syndrome had written how she wanted to go for the child but her husband did not want it. So, she had asked for people’s advice. Going through those advices was plainly pathetic. Save a few people, who had represented both the positive as well as negative side, most of them had spoken about ‘burden on the family’ to ‘embarrassment to the siblings’ to every horrible thing they could come up with. Some even said, how they have got rid of one or more of such pregnancies and later had a a ‘normal child’ and were now happy. A lot of people showed a total ignorance and respect to kids/people with down syndrome and other disabilities.

I don’t believe in abortions and I personally believe there can be no excuse for killing a life. At the same time, if someone thinks they aren’t strong enough to go through parenting a kid with special needs, I wouldn’t comment on them. However, it so bothers me that despite not being able to appreciating diversity, some of these people just stoop so low and pass derogatory remarks or demean people with disabilities. Its such a sickening attitude. And, the words that they had used to describe the disabled kids were so hurtful and completely unbearable.

Anyway, the lady had posted her question on September,2009. I was curious and was hoping that she went ahead with the pregnancy. I wanted to write to her and share my story. And, share other stories of so many wonderful kids that I have met online through their parent’s blog. I wanted to tell her that this particular journey is definitely harder but it is rewarding too. That we loved our son dearly. And, my son having Down Syndrome has in no way taken out the happiness in our lives. After his birth, we are even more happier and are able to appreciate every step in our journey. Of course, its for the lady to decide her journey but she has to at least know that opting for the child is a worthy choice .

Anyway, to know what she finally decided, I was going through every page and found more and more insulting remarks. So, finally I found her response and she had decided to do away with her pregnancy.

Before reading these topics, I was planning to write to the moderator and request her to create a sub-forum for kids with special needs where we can discuss about therapy and other things. But, after reading this, I totally gave up. I’m afraid of insensitive remarks. Of course, I would fight them. I could even have the moderate delete the offensive post. But, the scar that it would leave in my heart is something that cannot be done away with. To them, it is just a random remark. To me, its about my son.


  1. Your son is such a doll and it is terrible to think that there are people in the world that are so ignorant. Kids with special needs give so much to those around them. Most people miss out on so much because they don't give anyone that is different a chance.

  2. I think that being "online" allows many people to be more brutally candid and swift with responses opposed to be face to face with someone and to have to gauge what to say.

    Most times, I feel as if I've suffered a physical blow when I read these ignorant comments online, so I tend to really protect myself from reading. So, I understand how you're affected. It's hard to let go of it, too.

    Just know that your strength will increase as Vignesh flourishes. It's still hard to read those kinds of comments, but YOU KNOW the value of your son. And this is most important.

  3. I feel kicked in the gut when I read such comments. There is such a cavalier attitude about life and "perfection" prevelant in our world. I'm so glad that we have these children to teach us and only hope I can be a worthy advocate for them.

  4. It's always easier to hide behind a computer screen and make the most hurtful and uneducated of remarks. I am so thankful that I have my daughter to teach me everyday how to appreciate my world, they will never know this joy or happiness. Their loss really, all we can do is continue advocating for DS and for our little angels. These people sicken me, they are entitled to their opinions but opinions on such an issue should be made based on ones experience, not out of ignorance!

  5. Dear Sumithra,

    This is too beautiful to not share it with you.
    Poignant, grips your heart and refuses to let go..

    I love you!

  6. many hugs
    what a painful experience