What’s WRONG with him?

If there was ever a question I absolutely abhor hearing, that would be the one. [Notice, I used abhor, not hate, not dislike, but abhor – extreme repugnance or aversion; to detest utterly; loathe – get the idea?] This one simple question can cause so much damage and most don’t even know it.

Let me first make clear, I don’t care what other people think or have to say about my kid. It doesn’t make US treat him any differently, love him any less, or change his plan of care. Kids, however, are another story. Sure, he’s not old enough now to understand the inquisitive eyes, but one day he’ll see just how cruel the world is and wonder what’s really going on. We took Braxton out a few times over the weekend after his surgery, and you would NOT believe the ugly looks he got. While I may just be mostly venting here, maybe you can take away a lesson in tact and teaching yourself or your children how to really be tolerant of people who are different. Be it a different race, different religion, or different abilities, everyone deserves to be treated equally.

At first glance, most wouldn’t know that Braxton has any kind of special needs. Add on a g-tube extension, some hearing aids and some bandages covering his hands up to his elbows and voila, Braxton is a freak of nature. At least that’s what so many make it seem like when we take Braxton out. The stares, the judgmental eyes, the gaping jaws, the whispering conversation that ceases the second inadvertent eye contact is made; they are all silently questioning “What’s wrong with that kid?” For the brave few who actually ask, my skin just crawls and I literally want to punch them in the face or at the very least give them the verbal lashing they deserve for asking such a loaded question. Sure, it seems innocent enough, but do you know what the question entails? “What’s WRONG with him?” There it is, that glaring, nasty word…WRONG. It has such a negative connotation and carries with it so much judgment.

Dictionary.com defines “Wrong:”

Wrong: adjective 1. not in accordance with what is morally right or good 2. deviating from truth or fact; erroneous 3. not correct in action, judgment, opinion, method, etc., as a person; 4. not proper or usual; not in accordance with requirements or recommended practice 5. out of order; awry; amiss — noun 8. that which is wrong, or not in accordance with morality, goodness, or truth; evil

Synonyms include: bad, evil, wicked, sinful, immoral, iniquitous, reprehensible, crooked, inaccurate, incorrect, false, untrue, mistaken. improper, unsuitable. misdoing, wickedness, sin, vice, maltreat, abuse, oppress, cheat, defraud, dishonor.

While some may have good intentions, there is nothing thoughtful about any part of that definition. Particularly, the parts about not being in accordance with what is morally right or good. So, to ask “What’s WRONG?” [whether aloud or with questioning eyes] implies that there is something NOT right about my son, something that defies morality and a particular way of life. Implies that there IS in fact a “right” way to be and my son isn’t it. WRONG: it’s such a harsh and judgmental word that has no business being used in the same sentence with my son, or with anyone who is “different” for that matter. Special needs children are NOT freaks of nature. There is no need to stare, point, snicker, whisper, or degrade them simply because they are not what you would consider “normal.” What’s “normal” anyway? It’s a preconceived notion that may differ for everyone based on life experience. Your “normal” is not at all my “normal” and NEITHER of them is more right than the other. We should all learn to be tolerant of one another. Just because you don’t understand another’s way of life or disability doesn’t mean you should belittle them or treat them with complete disrespect, they are PEOPLE. People with the exact same feelings and emotions that you have, and you probably wouldn’t like it very much if someone went around looking at you crazy or questioning whether or not your existence was in accordance with morality.

*steps off soapbox* Carry on.

Does it look like there is anything “Wrong” with him? Didn’t think so.

9 Comments

Filed under Family, Kids and Family, Life, Special Needs Child

9 responses to “What’s WRONG with him?

  1. He looks like an angel!!! Some people are so afraid to step out of the small box they live in, they can’t fathom a world different from their own being normal.

  2. Some people are so scared to step outside the small world they have created and cannot fathom the idea of normal outside of their classification. I feel sorry for them because I see an adorable little boy 🙂

  3. Awww thanks Nikki! 😀

  4. Natalie M.

    That’s such a shame that people are so quick to judge. When I see little Braxton I see hope, enthusiasm and the drive for life that I could only dream to have! Hes such an amazing kiddo! 🙂

    • Braxton could definitely teach us all about determination and the will to succeed. So can a lot of people who are “different” if they were only given the chance. I wish people weren’t so close-minded.

  5. mick

    What a precious son you have. People are cruel without meaning to be, and that never helps when all I feel is the hurt. I’m so blessed, and your saga reminds me to keep my eyes on my creator, the only real intelligence I know. Peace to you and all your family and friends.

  6. I dont see nothing wrong with him I see a handsome boy that always smiles and loves his mom and dad dont listen what people say they r just people that dont see him for what he is and that is a healthy cute boy they r going to talk crap regardless they did that with my son and his surgery cause he had to havd patches over his eyes but I let people talk cause I know I have a great kid no matter his disabilitys im not going to show people it bothers me even though it dose I just be strong for my son cause he is worth it and so is urs dont let it get to u at least u can say that ur a good mom and dad. God bless yal
    Paulina villarreal

  7. Pingback: Farewell 2012! | Undiagnosed

  8. Reblogged this on Undiagnosed and commented:

    So today is “Spread the Word to End the Word” What word might that be? The “r-word,” you know, “retard.” Although this post doesn’t specifically deal with the “r-word,” it’s about how words can hurt and ultimately has the same underlying goal: RESPECT! People of ALL abilities deserve respect no matter what. I will probably write more on the “r-word” later, but for now re-read this post I wrote last year about respect and tolerance for children with disabilities.

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