***UPDATE*** David has a good update about the post I quoted below.
After reading a post on Catholic Pillow Fight I became aware of the horribly sad story of Ashley. I have sympathy for her parents, but I think what they did was wrong. I was Googling around to see what others had to say about this issue and came across many solid, academic treatments of the subject that made strong points and addressed the subject well.
But nothing quite compares to this post by David. An excerpt:
Ashley’s “parents” are afraid that their daughter would grow physically to be a young woman. I am a young man. I have a severe disability. I cannot sit up by myself, I cannot walk, I cannot go to the bathroom independently, I cannot prepare meals, I cannot use utensils very well. I cannot wipe my own butt. I drool. I weigh about 140 pounds, I am 5’9” tall. I am uncomfortable spending a lot of time in my wheelchair, I prefer to lay on the carpet. My mom can no longer lift me off the floor; my dad can barely lift me off the floor.
I have been disrespected and mistreated at times in my life. My parents have always gone to bat for me and now, with me. What strikes me tonight about the “Ashley Treatment” and has brought me to tears is that the very people in all of society whom this child should trust, have betrayed her. When you grow up so dependent, so vulnerable, you need someone to love you wholly and unconditionally. The rest of society may disrespect you and put you down and make you think less of yourself and make you think you are not a human being, but your parents?! Your parents?! I am my parents’ child, they know that I am a human being. Not an angel, not a pet. And, I learn from them that as a human, I have human dignity.
Go read the whole thing, it’s excellent (skip the comments if you’re easily offended by profanity). I’m thankful to have discovered David’s blog. His story and his coverage of these types of issues is thought-provoking and powerful.
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