“long haired freaky people need not apply”

Instead of three days, the referral service called back within twenty-four hours.

“We did an exhaustive search. No child care centers in your area will accept your autistic son.”

Rejected unseen with diaper changes and wordless communication only a mother could love.

76 thoughts on ““long haired freaky people need not apply”

  1. my heart literally hurts for you, for him, for us as a community of people.
    These are the kind of signs we need to tear down.

    (I am so sorry)

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  2. You say so much in these 42 words. Our culture has a long way to go when it comes to disability- related issues. It sucks that you have to fight the good fight every day. I think all of the writing you do helps to raise awareness about Autism, and in turn that will help make change happen.

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    1. This is the first time someone has literally said my son cannot be accepted. Other times, people show that’s the way they feel. All I can do is keep writing and hoping the world will change.

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  3. Girl, I don’t know how Mother’s like you bite your tongues and refrain from swinging fists. Every child deserves a chance. End of discussion. Much love Momma. Great job with this prompt.

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  4. You have a gorgeous, amazing child. I’m sorry his neurodiversity wasn’t honored nor his gifts and talents acknowledged. Best wishes finding child care and schooling responsive to his strengths and challenges.

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  5. That happened to me as well. Openings mysteriously disappeared. However, a few years later I had a daycare in my home. I accepted a young boy who had severe ADHD. I had to let him go because I could not keep him safe. Or in another way of looking at it, he required so much of my attention to keepbhim safe, that I couldnt watch the rest of the children. I could see both sides. Still, it is disappointing that they won’t even try.

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    1. I think what bothers me was the categorical rejection without taking the time to get all the details. If they had met my son, maybe talked to me some more and THEN said they couldn’t handle him, I would have more respect. I admire that you took a chance and then acknowledged when you could not serve that boy and the other children in your daycare.

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  6. As a mom of a kid on the spectrum this just hits me right in the gut……and, like Lance, it makes me think some of those centers deserve a good swift kick in the ass. Grrr. Very powerful 42 words.

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    1. As I mentioned above, the child care isn’t a necessity at this point since my husband stays at home. However, this tells us that the chances of finding child care so that my husband can find work outside the home are not good.

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    1. The short answer is that they can’t do that, at least not according to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The law allows them to turn us down, but only if they have fully explored whether they can accommodate him or not. I gave only basic info about Philip’s needs to the referral service, which was what made the response so disappointing.

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    1. That’s part of our problem. If we would just move we had access to better schools and more services. That’s what an acquaintance was told. Cheaper to move than to put up a legal fight.

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  7. I’m not at all wise on this subject, but I’d think more and more daycares would be accommodating to children on the spectrum. Your entry is a wake-up call for me. It also makes me think I should start up a daycare program.

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    1. I’ll admit I live in a rural, less populated area of my state, so it’s not as if there are a bunch of daycare options as it is. Alas, I think the knee-jerk response is “I can’t handle this” because people don’t really appreciate that autism is a spectrum and manifests itself in many different ways. Or else they by into the rhetoric of how terrible autism is.

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  8. Aww, Cynk (is it ok if I call you “cynk”?). It’s a sad statement that so many can relate to this piece of reality. Even sadder that things still haven’t changed — four decades ago, my brother was bounced around a lot of places, made worse when institutions were shut down (ironically…they were horrible places but sending all those people out into the street…I don’t know which was worse). Thanks for communicating this so vividly.

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  9. The thing that shows their ignorance is the fact that they didn’t even bother to have a conversation about what his needs might be. It’s sad, and yes, an opportunity missed for all involved, but it’s not surprising.

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