Feeling Helpless

We all see and hear of things around us that leave us feeling angry, sad, helpless. Today's report on the "Mental Institutions" in Serbia has left me feeling that way. I am pretty speechless actually. Here is the link from NBC, story.

Here is the NYTIMES article. Children with special needs are seen as throw aways, having no value at all. They report rows and rows of children with Down syndrome, that are mobile but not given the opportunity to move around, confined to metal coffins (small cribs). It is unconscionable.

There are so many things wrong with this story that there is really just too much to comment on. However, I cannot overlook one thing because it just jumped off the page at me and frankly really irritated me. The journalist is telling of one young man who appears to be 7 or 8 but is really 21 and has not been removed from his crib in the 11 years he has been institutionalized, in fact he has been tied down! The journalist then notes that, "the boy, who suffers from Down syndrome and can hardly communicate, is visited by his mother." I'm sorry but he is not suffering from Down syndrome, he is suffering from 11 years of abuse and neglect.

This is an old picture of Wil that I thought I would share. It was taken in our Florida home around the time that Wil started to really get the hang of 4 point crawling, we were all so proud of him. Today he put something else together. While listening to James on the phone he said "dada, dada" while signing daddy. He did it repeatedly so we know he made the connection and he knew it too, he was really proud of himself. Children with Down syndrome, like every other child, need input. They may need a little more in one area or another but the bottom line is that they need to be loved. And they will love you back in ways that are unlike anything else you have known. The thought of children like this little guy being tied to cribs to sit in their own waste. . . well, I just don't know what to do with it. Jesus said that "what you have done to the least of these, you have done to me."


Kelly said...

Stacy, I am with you. I didn't see the article, but I know of the atrocities in orphanages from OT school. I did a report on orphanages in Romania for my senior project. The saddest thing was that when the camera crew entered the orphanage, there was no crying! The kids had learned that no one would come, so they stopped putting forth the effort. It broke my heart!

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