Currently there is no recognition, within ACEs, of the inherent challenges a child goes through after having been born with a disability such as a congenital facial difference, spina bifida, syndactyly, etc. We (speaking as someone from this group) are quite aware of the following...
1- prenatal test results (such as for Down syndrome) infer a societal disdain for children with congenital differences. How would you feel, knowing that scientists are busy at work designing tests so that if an expectant parent learned their 2 month old fetus had your condition, they’d be offered an abortion?
2- there’s a tacit view towards mother’s of children with disabilities as eternally giving, yet child abuse/neglect rates for such children are higher than for nondisabled peers. Do you know what it’s like growing up in a home where your birth is blamed for your family’s problems?
3- research on parent/child interactions between mothers and children with disabilities has looked at the stress of parenting, but nothing on how a child must adjust to living with a disability. Do you know anything re: the emotional journey children must take in figuring out that they will be forever different from others in some way?
It’s as though society is telling “my people”... “well, of course it’s stressful to your parents!” without even beginning the journey each of us has had to take in growing up within a society that has historically discarded and euthanized babies with differences rather than welcome them in to the world.
Are we the only vulnerable group whose child abuse/neglect and later PTSD and complex PTSD is of no interest?