Sorry not sorry

When you have a significantly disabled child who isn't a wheelchair user, and who looks 'normal,' you step into a whole new realm of ignorance and intolerance. Basically, people can be judgmental arseholes. But we all knew that already right? Weight, parenting techniques, drinking habits, diet, haircuts, music taste, political preference.. you name it, people have probably judged it. The thing is, when it's aimed at a kid who is usually pretty vulnerable, and often can't speak out for themselves in the same way as an adult, it crosses a line.

I've heard countless friends from the disability community recount times where they were judged for the behaviour of their children, often loudly, in public and without boundary. These are some of those genuine gems:

'Did you know before he was born he was going to be like that? Why did you carry on with the pregnancy? It would have been fairer on everyone if he wasn't born, don't you think?'

*mid-meltdown, usually in public* '(tutting) Can't you control your child? Too many spoilt brats around these days!'

'Why is your child so retarded? I don't want his behaviour to influence my kids..'

'You have no control over your child, what poor parenting.'

'All they need is a good smack.'

*in reference to hat and sunglasses worn because of albinism* 'She won't be able to see a thing with all those accessories on...'


'You should keep him in a cage if he's going to behave like an animal.'

*prolonged staring and/or pointing*

I shit you not, these are all real things real human beings have said to other real human beings. Apparently considering yourself better than someone else is justification to speak poison. Whether the disability is obvious or hidden is pretty irrelevant- these are people, and the basic social rule of 'don't be a dick' very much applies.

In the moment of such an encounter there is such a level of shock that response is apologetic and accommodating, if it comes at all. Then a few minutes later comes the seething white hot rage; how could anyone be so ignorant? So callous? So fucking rude? You end up kicking yourself for not cracking out a witty put-down combining both education for the idiot concerned and smug self satisfaction at your own cutting satire.

So I thought I'd prepare a list. That way, you'll always be equipped with a witty comeback if the judging-Nazi come your way.

'You know what, I've been looking for an all-in-one therapist. Since you've proved so clearly to know my child better than me today, I'd love for you to send a CV my way and I'll be in touch to get you on the payroll ASAP.'

'My child has bonafide reasons for acting the way he does. What's your reason for acting like a fuckwit?'

'Didn't your mother ever tell you variety is the spice of life?'

'I'm sorry, do I have spinach in my teeth? Your staring is making me self-conscious.'

'If all my disabled child needs is a good smack, what exactly is the remedy for self-righteous arsehole-ism?'

'You're behaving like an anti-social intolerant Daily Mail reader; does that mean you should be kept in custody?'

'My child is not a product of poor parenting. Unfortunately you seem to be.'

'For the record, disability is not contagious. I'd far rather expose my child to a dose of reality than a dose of shitty attitude, which I've heard is pretty contagious.'

'Yep. Yep. I really should have thought about eugenics when opting to continue my pregnancy and have my beautiful child. My bad.'

'If you think you can do a better job of controlling my child, step right up and have a go.'

Or ultimately, if you can't beat them, join them. Not very classy, but 'Fuck you' is hella satisfying.

To those of you without special kids who may find this offensive, sorry not sorry. To the rest of you-happy retorting people! :D


  1. yes i have heard a lot of those! especially the 'Why is your child so retarded? I don't want his behaviour to influence my kids..' one! lol the fuck you response is highly satisfying! x


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