Teacher, special-needs blogger and podcaster, mother
Tessa is a journalism teacher from Wellington, NZ, who lost her daughter, Eva, to complications of CHARGE Syndrome at 10 months old. She writes a blog called www.theoneinamillionbaby.com and produces a podcast of the same name.
This couple is not greedy or callous. They are not trying to hurt their daughter or wish her away. They are living in a country where they do not qualify for government assistance for Aria’s treatments. They are saying these things because the cost of raising a child with special needs and extra medical needs is huge.
This kind of extreme hate crime against people in the special needs and disabled community is not common. Thankfully, when we see this on the news, our hands fly to our faces in horror because it is so rare. We should be horrified. It is horrifying. But I don’t think we can be entirely surprised.
It's not okay to silence a group of people such as those in the disabled and special needs community or to speak for them and take away their voices. But likewise, it's not okay to silence the carers of those with special needs, who have their own challenges to share.
I’ve heard people talk in the way I used to talk. They say, “one step at a time”. They’ll correct themselves when it’s an issue of sexuality or ethnicity, but when it comes to special needs they give themselves a free pass.