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Oshawa family receives hate-filled letter directed at autistic son


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An Oshawa family is reeling after receiving a typed letter filled with vitriol that says the family should “euthanize” their autistic son.

The letter, rife with grammar and spelling mistakes, targets the autistic son of the family who, according to the author, “scares the hell out of [her] normal children.”

“You selfishly put your kid outside everyday and let him be a [sic] nothing but a nuisance and a problem to everyone else with that noise polluting whaling [sic] he constantly makes!!!” the anonymous letter reads. “That noise he makes when he is outside is DREADFUL!!!!!!!!!!”

Karla Begley, whose son Maxwell has moderate to severe autism, saw the letter on Saturday. It was delivered to her mother’s home in Newcastle Friday where Max plays in the backyard on his grandmother’s trampoline.

“You’d figure that his grandma’s backyard is his safe place. He goes there to relax,” Begley said in an interview Monday. “Ok, he can’t go to his favourite place. It’s heartbreaking.”

The hate-filled letter pleads with the family to “do the right thing” and either move or “euthanize” their son.

Begley said she was “floored” by the letter and thinks it tries to reduce her son to “a waste of space.” When he was younger, she said, it was difficult to take him out. But now that he is 13-years-old she said it’s getting easier for him to be sociable.

Durham police are investigating.

“We’re worried about our son’s safety and other kid’s safety,” Begley said. “A loose cannon like that, you never know what he could do.”

Sam Dacaria, a spokesperson for the Autism Canada Foundation finds the letter “disturbing.”

“This is not the way that the Greater Toronto Area should be going,” he said in an interview. “It should be going the other way to being more sympathetic, empathetic, more understanding, more tolerant to avoid an incident like this.”

The Autism Canada Foundation exists to disseminate information about what autism is and bridge gaps of understanding and tolerance. And while more people are understanding of the condition, a small minority of intolerant and ignorant people can lead to “pretty terrible eventualities,” Dacaria said.

“Autistic individuals typically present as otherwise normal individuals,” he said. “Imagine a young boy like Max flailing his arms in public. If those around him don’t understand it, the consequences can be very bad.”

Maxwell doesn’t know about the letter and Begley said they just want Maxwell to be treated the same as everyone else.

“Maxwell deserves every right to live in this wonderful community. He deserves his right to see his grandma. He deserves everything every other normal child can have. It’s tough on kids with special needs, making friends and stuff because they can’t get out the same way. But no one deserves to be treated like this.”

Full letter is viewable in the link. Some people are just unbelievable..even in this day and age.

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That is some fracked up crap. The person who wrote that should be euthanized.

Il always remember some Korean students who my dad taught over a decade ago were brought to tears because our busses " knelt down " for the disabled.

God bless this country. Shame on that fool

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Somebody on my Facebook posted that earlier and I thought it was fake. Maybe I'm an idealist but I'd still wager dollars to doughnuts (and judging by the amount of exclamation points) whomever wrote that suffers from a form of mental illness.... or it's a troll job done in completely poor taste.

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And this person thinks the autistic child is a waste and a threat? For someone to write such a hate filled letter demanding the death of a child with a mental illness seems far more unstable and threatening to me than a child who "makes noises outside". Pathetic. I hope the person who wrote the letter is found and apologizes. Then criminally charge the person and make a public example of them. Canada is to be the model for acceptance and diversity and not a safe ground for people to spew out hate letters demanding the death of a child.

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She says "Noone has the guts to tell you..." yet she does not have the decency or "guts" to put her own name in the signature of the letter, rather trying to remain in hiding.

Overall, truly disheartening situation. I can not even imagine just how difficult it must be to raise an autistic or child with any kind of disability.

I hope they find this "pissed off mother," for children of whom I feel truly sorry, as she is as close-minded as one can get.

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Is that letter a hate crime?

There are provisions in the Criminal Code of Canada and the Human Rights Act to charge persons with a form of discrimination usually described as hate speech or a hate crime.

Would there be a conviction if the person who wrote it was taken to court? I dont think it would fit the Gov. description of what constitutes a hate crime today.There is technically no actual threat in it. Suggesting you should euthanize your son is different from actually threatening to kill your son. The supreme court has ruled that a hate crime requires ongoing hate speech to be uttered or otherwise conveyed. So multiple letters. If hate speech is ongoing its use as a hate crime outweighs Freedom of speech. At least that is my understanding of how the law is being applied to hate speech.

Just charging the person openly would be enough. They obviously left the letter unsigned to hide their identity. They would be ostracized in their community.

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