Monday, April 14, 2014

Easier than Discrimination

Nowadays, it's not acceptable to discriminate and segregate.  There are laws in place.  They protect color, religion, disabilities, and really almost anything you can think of.

They don't, however, protect against mean.

You can pretend to help and allow a "them" to be "a part" of you.  You can say the right things, you can publicly posture, you can go through the motions.


You can make things too hard to be included.

"Sure, you can go to our *preschool, daycare, church, school, childcare, sports facility, day camp, and so on* except you will need to help us, help you with your *hard* kid.  We need a personal aid, all their medical information, all these safe-guards to help us *protect* you child, because we *just want to help.*"

So, to secure this opportunity, you obtain more paperwork than insurance, the IRS, and private school combined, to submit, so your kid can do what normal kids get to do for your name, address, and $5.  And they come back with new *reasonable requests.*  And this is literally added to the crazy sheaf they already asked you for, also, interestingly, it's illegal in many cases.  It violates The Americans with Disabilities Act.  If you ask, they usually give you some kind of rigmarole about protecting your kid or the others there, or it being a insurance/liability issue.

Here's the thing.

Sometimes we, as parents of kids with disabilities, will go along with it all to a point, so our sweet babies, can receive quality time with typical peers for their long-term benefit.  Sometimes we go along to a point, at which point, we realize that even if we win, our child will never be accepted...and they will in no way benefit from being let in, but not accepted.  Sometimes we call them to toe the line...more for shame, than expecting that this information will trigger long lost chivalry.

The problem is, if you choose not to force the issue, to protect your child from the exclusion, then they win and nothing will change.  If you do choose to force the issue, then you've forced your child to be on the front line of a civil rights war.  And do they really want to be a "point" as much as a kid with friends like everybody else? 

It's a rough line.  To make the world better for them, they literally have to be a part of the battle line.

That's a hard place to be.

Sometimes I am glad to fight.  Sometimes I get tired.  Sometimes, I tell myself that I am making life better for my daughter.  Sometimes, I wonder if it's worth fighting for people to take someone they so don't want. 

How do you change hearts?  You can make laws.  You can enforce those laws.  But until people realize that everyone has the same hearts, wants, dreams, and decides to get to know people as PEOPLE, then things won't change...  And the only way they will get to know someone, is to lock them up together...legally if need be...and friends, things will change.

That said, don't expect me to stop rattling cages...but since I am mother, it's also reasonable to expect that I will pick my battles...

But there will be battles.


  1. You can go with preschool for us in this post. . . dealing with issues right now :-/ I rattled a bunch of cages and they are listening but more out of legal fear. Like you, I have to pick my battles. "Sometimes, I wonder if it's worth fighting for people to take someone they so don't want."--this is sort of where I am at right now! Excellent post.

  2. I understand this completely. Fighting for your child to attend... whatever, when they really aren't wanted is scary. For you AND your child. You really do have to pick your battles. The fight affects so many lives.