Some people support corporal punishment in schools. These people think physical discipline is the only discipline that works on some children. However, virtually everyone can agree physical discipline should not be used against disabled children.
The larger society may be moving forward in its understanding and inclusion of people with disabilities. But the above stories reported in a study of more than 400 parents of children with special needs illustrates how far behind many religious congregations are in this effort.
My son Henry, who has Down syndrome, goes to a school dedicated to inclusion, where students of many levels of ability learn together, and learning how to get along is considered an essential part of their education.
When my son and daughter were both born with Down syndrome, I knew the likelihood of receiving even one college acceptance letter may not be a reality. But the day John received his letter of acceptance from the Special Olympics I experienced the equivalent.
As a parent of a child with an intellectual disability, I have seen so many of my peers go down a road of despair and disappointment as they contemplate the future. The Special Olympics allowed me to choose a path filled with hope and potential.
You would never know this kid struggles with heart problems and has been through three eye surgeries. Sitting on our set, clapping her hands and bobbing to Pharrell's "Happy," she was the picture of pure glee.
My son wasn't very old when we realized that one of his greatest talents was to be able to make people feel loved and happy. When that is combined with people who like to see Jack feel loved and happy, magic happens.
Jack was fragile. He would require open heart surgery by the time he was 6-months-old. Any of us would have done anything to make him well, but there was nothing we could do. As I recalled our five months together, I realized that there were no regrets. That was the first lesson Jack taught me.
When the doctors said the words "Down syndrome," you wondered if she would be beautiful. You wondered if people would pity your family. You wondered if you would be able to sustain your ferocious love for her.
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.