Wednesday, June 25, 2008

News That Shouldn't Be

Some days when I am researching news stories about people with disabilities, I have a really tough time finding anything. Then there are days like today when many stories just seem to jump off the page, all vying for the ‘Un-freaking-believable” award. Here are today’s stories, and I stopped looking for more after just 5 minutes…

Seems a mother and her son with autism were kicked off a plane in North Carolina. The little boy, just two and a half years old, didn’t like the flight attendant continually making his seatbelt tighter and then yelling at him. I’m with you, little Jarrett, I would have, as the flight attendant so eloquently put it, pitched a raging fit also.

And, plane horror stories are not confined just to the United States. A young mother traveling alone with her two seven year old physically disabled twins was abandoned on a plane in Mallorca. The mom was being considerate and decided to let all the other passengers disembark before trying to get her sons off the plane. The flight crew said they would be back to help her carry the boys. Seems they forgot….

Next I ran across a story in the UK Guardian about children with deafblindness not receiving the services to which they are entitled. Even though this story focused on the UK, the words ‘United States’ could easily and correctly be substituted.

And, I don’t mean to be picking on the UK today, but I don’t make these stories up. A young girl whose family is from Gambia was brought to the UK to have cochlear implants. Soon after the surgery, the UK government told the girl and her family that they could not stay in the UK, and would have to return to Gambia. The girl’s family said, “Wait, you can’t just implant these things and send us on our merry way. They require regular attention to help a person realize their benefits.” That is, of course, very true as any family that has gone through cochlear implant placement for their child well knows. This reminds me of my blog post from last week titled,Pimp My Ride.

And finally, a story that is today making headlines across the US, the Supreme Court has decided that child rapists cannot be executed if convicted of that crime. While I don’t want to get into a debate on whether the death penalty is right or wrong, I can imagine that the eight year old girl that was raped in Louisiana by her stepfather (the man whose case was appealed to the Supreme Court) and who was described by the prosecution as suffering internal injuries and bleeding, requiring extensive surgery, as well as suffering severe emotional trauma, will at some time in her life wish her stepfather had killed her.

So there it is - all the news that should never have happened...

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