(Part 1 can be read here.)

The breaking story of Andrea Friedman defending herself against the FB attack by Sarah Palin and follow up by noting Sarah Palin’s inability to take a joke, recognize the correct subject of a joke, and rebuff the claim of Sarah being spokesperson for all physically and/or mentally challenged people everywhere can be read in detail on The Immoral Minority and on Palingates.

In a nutshell, Andrea likens Sarah’s carting her son around on the campaign/book-signing trails to carrying him around like a loaf of French bread, clarifying her parents would never have done this to her. Andrea had loving, committed parents who provided her with hands-on, quality care and guidance.

Most parents of special needs kids instinctively enjoy that common ground; putting their child’s needs first. As a matter of fact, raising a special needs kid actually increases the instance of divorce among special needs parents because one or the other can dive so deep into commitment of care, they stop tending to the needs of their marriage.  Inevitably, this pushes the neglected spouse out the door.

But when parents can work together, becoming their own support system and balancing the care of their special needs child with other, familial and personal needs, it’s magic. And the resulting, well-nourished, well-rounded, intelligent child shows it.

Andrea Friedman is a finished-product of such magic. She is a lovely human being. She’s well-mannered, educated, poised, talented and warm. She’s independent, drives a car, works and manages her own income. On the subject of special needs, while Sarah can only give lip service, Andrea can actually speak. And she does. She travels the US guest-lecturing at fundraising events aimed at educating the general public about and raising funds for Down’s Syndrome charities. She does it for love of the cause, not media attention.

Some of Sarah’s supporters (comments can be read here – scroll down to update #3) have begun negating Andrea’s letter to the editor, inferring anyone with DS could not possibly have written the email received and published by Huffington Post in Andrea’s name. Why? It was coherent. It was legible. It was thoughtful.

It does my head in to realize there are still such ignorant people out there – adults who believe all mentally challenged people are blithering idiots. Well to be fair, I suppose when your idol is the Word Salad Czar it would be difficult to digest the possibility of anyone less genetically-endowed to be more eloquent, gracious or morally superior.

It takes a whole village to raise a child. But whether the child is a special needs kid or just a kid, that village needs to include full-time parents. Parents who play a key role in the nurturing process, not ones who just make guest appearances when the cameras are rolling.

I had another thought. But the microwave dinged and as I ran to the kitchen to retrieve my cuppa, in frantic effort to silence the annoying sound, the thought fell out of my head and now I can’t seem to find it anywhere.

Keep an eye out will you? And if you happen to spot my errant thought please leave a comment telling me where to look . (Stop laughing. Someday you’ll be this old too!)

To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title: It Takes a Whole Village to Raise a Child (Part 2) and click the word comments just beneath. Thanks, OzMud

 

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