Why is it society’s problem when you have a disabled child?


This question was posed, & it made me pause.

I don’t expect support, funding or resources for my typical children so what makes my situation with Luke different?

It boils down to this –

“Society is only as healthy as its weakest link”

(Paraphrased from Maya Angelou, see quote in comments)

When we support families who have a child with intense needs we are eliminating the possibility of a few scenarios including:

The parents forfeiting their rights, & the child becomes a ward of the state which the state then pays for through foster care and/or adoption.

The caregiver’s life becomes overwhelming, & they lose hope which leads to negative ways to remedy the situation including harming themselves or their child (& then the state pays again through hospital &/or psychiatric care or worst case scenarios, funeral arrangements)

Caregivers living in unbearable situations with extreme behaviors like kicking, screaming, hitting, biting & breaking belongings which are ignored for far too long. By the time the government intervenes it’s no longer a few simple supports required but instead $500,000+ bill to pursue 24/7 residential care away from the family – often in a different state.

Numerous trips to the ER (often paid via Medicaid) with a child who exhibits extreme behaviors & sent home after a few days only for the caregivers to be left on their own with no resolution & back to square one.

Mom or dad can’t work a consistent job because there aren’t any respite opportunities, day programs, summer options, or after school care for their child & the government funds this family via unemployment, Medicaid, food stamps, etc, etc.

Doling out antidepressants (often paid by Medicaid) due to the stress of caring for a child with profound needs & zero support services.

Society WILL pay one way or another. Wouldn’t we rather have some simple supportive resources in place like respite, ABA, after school options, & day programs & support the concept of an intact, functioning, mentally healthy family unit rather than ignore the problems & pay astronomically later on & further weaken the link?

“Society is only as healthy as its weakest link”

Remember this when you look at families like mine and think “Why should society have to pay to raise your kid?”

As human beings we are at our best when we carry one another’s burdens; burdens like poverty, cancer, & families who need support.

The government provides funding for much more ridiculous things (that’s another post) so why shouldn’t it provide funding to strengthen society by supporting these families?

Just keep livin

Spread the love