Last week I read a post on Facebook from a mum with child with autism. This is not unusual as I belong to several groups who trade ideas, equipment and tips all to do with the Autistic Spectrum. This post in particular was a complaint that she couldn’t go on holiday because she’d been refused charity funding (I think, the details are hazy now as the original message got somewhat lost.)
When I read the post I’ll admit I raised an eyebrow, when I say it was a complaint, it was more of a moan or a whine even. I understand she was frustrated but she went on to use fairly negative language to describe the charity who had refused her.
This funding is discretionary, it’s not a right. It is not and should not be the case that we have a child with a disability so people have to give us free stuff every time we ask. I am waiting with mixed feelings to see if I’ll be granted driving lessons, this would change our lives dramatically. A holiday for many people (myself included) is a luxury, an escape from the day to day troubles that everyone feels. I can understand her disappointment…well I did until the post continued, and became quite nasty.
One mum joined in commenting that she should be happy her child “only has meltdowns and isn’t dying.” When you put it like that her whole argument sounded trivial and insignificant. However, is this really the point we’ve reached? Parents, who are meant to be supporting each other, slamming one another because their child isn’t as poorly as the next? Maybe mum number two had a really bad day, maybe she doesn’t understand the real extent of a “meltdown” but lets just say the Autism mums brigade came out strong.
I eventually left the conversation to itself as I found it all fairly distasteful. I suppose this is what it’s like when parents of typically developing children dig at each other about how exceptionally gifted their children are. I don’t like that either but I think it’s better than wanting your child to “seem” the most ill, affected or disabled.
Come on parents, lets support each other like we usually do so well. Let’s not get greedy with funding, if they offer my driving lessons to a parent who needs them more than me I will be disappointed but I won’t be reaching for my Facebook shaped soapbox to rant about it and disgrace the charity. And don’t use your children as weapons, I cannot imagine the heartbreak of having a child with a life threatening illness but please don’t use that to diminish the struggles anyone else goes through.
Peace and love 😉