I know it's hard to know what to say to someone whose child has a genetic disorder that results in severe cognitive disability. Before I had such a kid, I would have had no idea what to say. It would have been terribly awkward, I'm sure, and I worry that I would have been less inclined to hold the child, play with him, coo over him.
(Before I go any further, the absolute best thing you can do is listen to the mom as she rants about how everything sucks and all the family's lives are over, and in the next breath brags about how completely awesome her disabled child is. The friends who have let me blather are the best, and have saved my sanity. You know who you are.)
So I understand awkward. Really I do. But there are some things that go beyond awkward and into a different, less pleasant place. Please do not say the following:
"Everything happens for a reason." Unless the reason you have in mind is that sometimes random genetic mutations happen, keep that reason to yourself. I do not want to hear anything about how giving a child a disability makes the world somehow better.
"They're all so sweet." Really? You've met all of them? Were you that patronizing when you met them, too?
"Sometimes the doctors are wrong." Yes. This is true. However, when you have this disorder, things do not suddenly just turn out okay - which is what people who say this seem to mean. The doctors are not wrong about that.
"Miracles sometimes happen, if you pray." A cruel God, who would withhold wellness from an innocent child unless his parents implored Him properly.
"If I were you, I would be too freaked out to have another child." Dear Lord.
"With everything that people eat and drink these days, it's no wonder these things are increasing."
"Don't forget to think about your older son." Oh, that's right! I had completely forgotten about him! He must be on the ledge playing with matches again as he cries that mommy never plays with him anymore.
"Every child has special needs." I'm not sure what this one is about. I think sometimes it's that people think that parents who say their kids have special needs are thinking of autism, and thinking that autism is BS. Other times it seems to be a your-child-is-really-no-different-from-any-other. Either way, it comes off as dismissive.
"They can do so much these days." This is fine if it's a genuine discussion about therapy or what have you. But if it's a way of saying something chipper (i.e., that my kid will be just fine) to change the subject, annoying.
Sorry. Bit of a rant I had to get off my chest. Done now.
Even Rush - Rush says Trump is caving on his border wall.
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