Success Stories: Positive Outcomes
A Bully Called This Mom's Son Ugly.
No child should EVER be called ugly, no matter what they look like!! says proud mom Megan Davies Mennes, who writes on her blog "Define Crazy" what its like to be a mom to a child who has Down Syndrome.
A Bully Called This Mom's Son Ugly. Her Reply Shocked The World.
No child should EVER be called ugly, no matter what they look like!! This story was originally reported by The Huffington Post.
The video about this story
A mom posted a photo of her beautiful son who had Down Syndrome on Instagram. An internet bully responded with one word: Ugly.
Here is the reply that the child’s mom wrote:
Since I started blogging about my son Quinn and his disability, I knew this day would come. There’s no shortage of trolls on the Internet who hide behind the anonymity of a screen name with the intent to be cruel, and I’ve seen their hostility many times before. In fact, in the wake of a recent robbery at the Down Syndrome Association of Houston’s headquarters, in which $10,000 worth of technology was stolen, there was no shortage of ignorant comments on the news story reporting the incident. One user asked, “how will they learn to count to potato?” Another claimed that wasting computers on “retards” was stupid anyway and that the organization deserved to be robbed. These comments, while offensive, simply serve to showcase people’s hate-fueled ignorance and aren’t worth my time. I grimace when I read them, but realize there’s little to be done about such stupidity. But last Saturday, you targeted my son personally and instead of being angry, I’d like to give you some advice: Don’t be a d*ck. It will come back to haunt you. I don’t want to make assumptions about you, but I can only guess that you know little about the helplessness that parents feel when caring for a sick infant with respiratory issues. Quinn was sick last week, but was feeling much better by Friday. We decided to sit in the backyard and soak up the sun after school. There aren’t many things in this world more beautiful than seeing your recently-ill child light up in a smile, and I snapped a few photos to celebrate his recovery, then posted them on Instagram with the hashtag “#downsyndrome.” I love to look through those photos myself in my spare time, because damn if those kiddos aren’t adorable. Of course, you feel differently because you, JusesCrustHD, found this photo and left a comment with one simple word:
The fact that you find my child ugly is one thing. You are entitled to your opinion. But the fact that you intentionally search #downsyndrome to find pictures to insult (sadly, Quinn is not the only victim of your behavior; I came across many other inflammatory responses) is both childish and sad. Your profile is also full of offensive posts and crude statements. In one such photo, featuring two kids with Down syndrome and the word “wiitard,” you get bent out of shape because many, MANY people called you on your prejudice. You claim it was a joke and that people should lighten up. But what about purposefully seeking out pictures of our children? What about the fact that a beautiful photograph of my son was tarnished by your hatred? That’s not a joke. That’s cyberbullying. Needless to say, I reported your profile.
This will not be the last time someone discounts my son because he is different. It will not be the last time someone makes a joke at his expense, but to actively seek out actual people to tease goes beyond cruel. It’s inhuman.
I recognize that you want to see me get worked up about your little “joke.” I’ll be honest; it’s hard not to be angry about it, but I can’t allow myself to carry that weight on my shoulders. I can’t allow myself to feel anything but sorry for an individual with so little tact. Because in end, you will be the one to face the consequences of your choices someday. There are few people in this world who tolerate that kind of backwards thinking, and you’ll eventually mouth off to the wrong person. My guess is that you already have, which is why you hide behind a screen name.
God knows there were plenty of cruel adolescent boys in my time: boys who took pleasure in pranks and jokes at others’ expense. There were even a few of them that were directed at me, but it gave me tough skin and I grew from the experience of facing such mistreatment. Maybe that’s why I’m willing to let this one go; I know where most of those boys ended up, and it’s nowhere I’d want to be. And as a teacher, I’ve seen kids like you crash and burn. Go outside. Read a book. Compliment someone. Most importantly, enlighten yourself; there’s already enough cruelty in this world, and anyone worth their salt should be striving to make this place better, not worse.
I simply hope my own children learn to look past ignorant comments and actions and treat others with respect and dignity. We all deserve it, even you.
A Proud Mama
Has Quinn Changed your Perspective on Down Syndrome?
I'll be the first to admit, I was devastated upon receiving Quinn's diagnosis because I was harboring old stereotypes and misinformation about what Down syndrome meant. If you read the post I wrote immediately after our doctor made the call about Quinn's designer genes, you can see this clearly in my writing. I assumed my life would never be "normal" again. I assumed my child would be unable to perform even simple tasks like walking, speaking, or reading. And even though I pride myself in being an educated person with progressive thoughts, I was truly ignorant about the realities of Ds until Quinn came along. And I've learned that I was not alone in this attitude. I've had students ask me if Quinn will ever be able to learn, and strangers question whether or not I intend to "put him in a home" when he's older. Their innocent questions, while cringe-worthy, are steeped in the same ignorance I had before Down syndrome became a part of my reality, hence my desire to raise awareness about what Down syndrome really is. There's nothing like experience and education to put things into perspective. Down syndrome is no longer the scary thing I thought it would be two years ago and I see Quinn's similarities to other kids his age far more than I see his differences, and I hope that I've conveyed that message to you.
So I'm curious, in the time that I've been blogging and sharing my experiences in raising Quinn, has it changed your perspective on Down syndrome? Have I raised awareness about what my son is capable of becoming in the future? And is there anything that I should add to my posts to help you better understand what Ds is all about? I'd love to read your comments below!
Full disclosure: I totally stole this idea from a friend's Facebook profile, but I figure the more of us who ask, the more we'll know (cue shooting star graphic and inspirational jingle)
Megan is an English teacher, writer, and crossword-puzzle fanatic from Texas. Her blog, Define Crazy, honestly (and with a healthy dose of self-deprecating humor) chronicles her adventures at home, in the classroom, and as an advocate for her son Quinn, who was born in 2012 with Down Syndrome. She resides in West Houston with her husband, two kids, and an assortment of slightly obnoxious pets.
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