Saturday, February 2, 2008

Dear Parents of Kids with Disabilities;

Please do not describe your child as a monster. I am sure the father's intent on this podcast is not meant to be hurtful but it is. I don't even know you and it hurt me. I know you did not ask for my opinion, yet you are wanting to help other parents of kids with disabilities. Think twice about saying things like 'my wife hid in the attic to get away from him' and how distorted his face is. Also, don't attribute every disorder to cerebral palsy... you described Matt's behavior changing including violence and short-term memory loss happening around age 18. Just because he has C.P. doesn't mean he cannot have secondary conditions. Be careful, be open, and thank you for sharing your story.


drsbisrael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
drsbisrael said...

Hi Shelly,

I am responding to your comments to our podcast on the Open Your Mind to Healthy Living archive site. First of all, we really appreciate you. You took the time to listen to our show and respond. Thank you for your comments.

Our intention is to enlighten and not to offend. The stories that we present on our show are true life experiences of how people adjusted their lifestyle when faced with a challenge. During our interviews we encourage our guests to share their innermost feelings. John and his wife had thoughts, feelings, and emotions about their son’s behavior as well as the effect that this behavior had on their lives. John’s reference to his son becoming a monster was about his son’s behavior. He had a very violent temper and was a danger to himself, to others, and to property. What he was describing when he shared the fact that his wife was hiding in the attic was his wife’s fear of being physically hurt by their son. It was this type of behavior that John St. John was referring to as monstrous. To our knowledge, John never used the word "monster" as a pejorative when speaking to his son. His description of the way they raised their son revealed their desire for Matt to be self-sufficient and independent, to never use his disability as a reason for not doing and being his best. John knows that his son is a child of God and did everything in his power to help Matt be all that he could be (and succeeded).

What did you think of the story of Matt’s improvement – in his short term memory, in his behavior, in his quality of life, and even in his physical contractures?