Neighbor Sends Hate Letter Suggesting Autistic Teen be Euthanized

Image via City News via @LennonandMaisy
Image via City News via @LennonandMaisy

A grandmother in Newcastle, Ontario got the shock of her life when she received a disturbing anonymous letter sent to her house regarding  her 13-year-old autistic teen grandson, Max Begley, by one of her neighbors. As a result, Max's mother, Karla Begley, is frightened for her son's safety.

Max is guilty of nothing. He is simply a special needs child who didn't ask to have this wrath imposed on him.

{ MORE: Living with Autism }

The disturbing letter targeting the teen with autism has shaken the boy's family and brought the local community together in their defense. The letter was signed “One Pissed off Mother” refers to Max as a neighborhood “nuisance”, “retarded” and “dreadful.” The coward who wrote the letter also suggested the family do the neighborhood a favor and euthanize the child.

“Personally, they should take whatever non retarded [sic] body parts he possesses and donate it to science. What the hell else good is he to anyone!!!” the letter reads. “Do the right thing and move or euthanize him!! Either way we are ALL better off!!!”

I don’t even know where to begin I am so flabbergasted. I thought that the trolls on the Internet were bad, but apparently any person who can hide behind anonymity takes that as a license to be cruel and inhumane.

Max is guilty of nothing. He is simply a special needs child who didn't ask to have this wrath imposed on him. His parents and grandmother have done nothing wrong, they have loved him and are treating him like any other child. The only nuisance in this story is the obviously “One Pissed off Mother” who lacks compassion, though I highly doubt that the person who really wrote this letter is a “mother”. I can’t believe that any human who has had a child and knows a mother’s unconditional love could ever speak so callously and cruelly about another person's child.

The author of this letter is a heartless human being. Where is the tolerance, the compassion and the humanity? 

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What would you do if someone were harassing your child like this?

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Neighbor Sends Hate Letter Suggesting Autistic Teen be Euthanized

Deborah Cruz, @TruthfulMommy, is the creator of The TRUTH about Motherhood, an often humorous and brutally honest look at motherhood. She's a writer, a wife, and a work-at-home Mommy who's trying to do it all well. She live in the Midwest with her 2 little girls and her husband. She has a lot of degrees from a bunch of schools but mostly spends her days shuttling people under the age of 7, while trying to maintain her sanity and she wouldn't have it any other way. She talks a lot. She ... More

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165 comments

  1. Karen says:

    PS: My mother would have patrolled the neighborhood till she found the writer and would have needed someone there to pull her off that idiot.

  2. Karen says:

    We actually do not have enough information from the article. Just how autistic is this child? Can he understand and use words, or are his only communications ‘animal-like noises’? Had he in fact at one time been institutionalized and now reacted with loudness because that was always how he got attention. How long did he stay out at a time, and did he have/need supervision? My roommate and I had an autistic young man stay with us for his senior year–his sister went south and he wanted to stay and graduate with his class. He had Ausberger’s, which meant he was functional and only rarely did ‘odd’ things (like dumping dinner for 6 on his plate before anyone got served. He didn’t understand the concept of a second helping. He felt hungry, so why get up a second time.) There were a few emotional upsets, as he just let out whatever was in him at the time: joy, anger,rage, frustration; but we worked it out and gave him to his sister along with his diploma. (Special ed, but still. Half his class didn’t graduate at all; they flunked their exams.) On the other hand, I spent one summer as a camp counselor in a camp for the ‘retarded’, both mentally and physically. You can see how long ago that was just by the wording, and the fact that I was the only counselor there who had had any training at all, and mine was only as a camp counselor. We had people there who should not hve been–the 47 year old woman who’d disappear and be found running house to house, screaming, breaking windows and trying to force open doors. The police brought her back to us 3 nights out of 4. Now, the writer of that hate mail–and we do have laws about hate mail; so does Canada–may be one of the sort that’s frightened of anyone ‘different’ and any noise from him would send her flying for the locks on the doors. Or she might have been justifiably angry about hours of various noises and screaming, and expressed herself poorly. I do wonder what she thought of the bikers that rallied around that young man, and if she had anything further to say. I can assure you that whoever signed that letter is indeed a mother…just left off the appropriate word after mother!

  3. Candice says:

    i can understand being frustrated if the child is being left outside very early in the morning or is screaming for hours but i doubt this is what is really happening. I believe this is a cruel joke being put on by another teen. If this is an actual adult who is send this type of letter and doesn’t have the guts to approach the family in a understanding manner this person has some bad stuff going on in there own household.

  4. Simona says:

    people should mind them own life and family we don’t ask to be born but when we are is up to God the way we are nobody is perfect if she think she’s perfect with her family then look again in the mirror and after talk about other people and them family. Head up be proud that God bless u with the child doesn’t matter how he is because one day God will give to that mother what she deserve

  5. MommyMarcoux says:

    This is shocking and disturbing. There is something dreadful living in that neighborhood, but it has nothing to do with that poor special needs child.

  6. LoLo says:

    OMG! That is soooooooo cruel messed up! That person should be euthanized!!! It’s a sad world. Pretty sure a man or another teen wrote that! All I can say is wow.

  7. Rachel says:

    What a vile letter!
    I live next door to a family who have an eleven year old with severe autism and yes sometime the little one is rowdy but what child isn’t at times?
    Yes children with autism can be a little more so but they are also some of the nicest children I’ve met too (I worked with children with autism for a while myself).
    It’s horrible that someone could do this.
    No child is perfect but they all deserve love and compassion.
    This person clearly doesn’t have much of either to offer..
    I pity their children.

  8. Season says:

    While i certainly won’t condone the harshness of this insensitive, heartless letter. I will say that i used to have a very nice neighbor who had three very nice autistic pre-teens. The parents did their best, the kids did their best, and we did our best to understand. But when all three of them would be out in the alley between our houses screaming, as early as 6am and sometimes for hours at a time, it got old fast.

    • Kyesha says:

      It might have gotten old fast but they did not ask to be in that situation. They cant help how they were born and their actions.

      • Danielle says:

        but she shouldn’t have to suffer for it either. though I think the note to the neighbor was wrong I get being pissed with your neighbors to the point of wanting to pull your hair out. If the lady is putting a 13 yr old autistic boy outside alone to scream for hours on end anyone with any sense would be pissed annoyed or late enough exhausted from lack of sleep. I hate apartment buildings frankly because no matter what your in a small proximity to a bunch of people there is going to be something that drives you crazy whether it that annoying neighbor with the dog that barks all night long, the neighbor who for the life of her can’t figure out how the alarm works on her car or the neighbor who sits in front of your building blasting horrible music. My best advice is to deal with it, I have all of these neighbors but I don’t cry about it I work and provide for my family and I’m in the process of saving to get my very own home that we can enjoy.

  9. Heather says:

    What a thoughtless, disgusting and vile human being….

  10. Ariel says:

    I keep seeing people make the comment that this woman could not possibly be a mother because of what they wrote, but unfortunately she very well may be. I am the older sister to an autistic child and I am always shocked by how cruel so many people can be, even those with children themselves. Living with and raising even a high functioning autistic is difficult on the good days and can be absolutely debilitating if they are further on the ASD scale. People staring and judging you as they have a sensory overload meltdown in the middle of the store, making rude comments when they only communicate through gestures and grunts instead of words, the list goes on. I even had a coworker tell me to my face AFTER I explained autism to them that all autistics should be institutionalized or put down if they are going to be a problem, and they didn’t even notice or understand why this had upset me. I will never be able to understand the people like this woman that wrote such a horrible letter to this family that is already struggling with a condition that may never be understood, but I do know that they are a vast minority and should never be listened to (though if this had happened with my brother, you had better believe there would be cops involved).

  11. Susan says:

    This seems too unbelievable—it can’t have been written by a mother. I wonder if it was some neighborhood kid/kids who just wanted to bully and/or cause a big stir.

  12. Jackie says:

    SMDH….Lost for words why? Cause there isn’t anything to say.

  13. Amber says:

    I’d dust the letter for finger prints and press charges! Seriously! This woman is crazy and heartless! If u don’t like who is in ur neighborhood then u need to move! Not the people u don t like or judge!

  14. Ami says:

    That woman is an idiot and shouldn’t be given the attention she so desperately craves.

  15. stellah says:

    Leave her to God…..she will be bitterly punished.

  16. Felicia says:

    ohmygoodness. i am so sorry you received this letter. i cannot believe someone who considers themselves human could even think let alone send these words to you and your family. i do not understand what it is like to live 24hrs a day with a handicap child but i do volunteer my time in classes to helptng handicap children. they are angels from above, and sometimes i ask “johnny” why cant my son be more like him. he smiles all the time, he is just the light of the room. even when he is upset its just cute bc he is like everyone else. and you talk to him like you talk to your own kids. you ask what is the matter now and you give him the look where you tilt your head and crack a smile? and he just looks at you and there is that smile. so i dont understand when people say they are not normal, they are normal, in their own way. the problem in this neighborhood is not this precious child but the neighbor who has this hate…i feel for her kids. and even tho i dont know them GOD does and i will say a prayer for them

  17. Schazaura says:

    This makes me sad to live on this planet. People like this need to learn to either keep there mouth shut, move away, or learn some compassion. Autistic people are human beings and deserve to be treated as such. The noise might have been a problem, but couldn’t they have gone and talked to their neighbors about it?

  18. I can’t say I’d handle this well. I can see both sides, but this person who wrote this letter is a heartless monster AND a coward. Don’t hide behind the keyboard!! How could you say such awful things about anyone? Especially a child. To even be able to THINK this way, you have to be a sick a$$hole. It upsets me that such people are even blessed with children.

    Honestly, I probably would have been so upset I would have been knocking in doors and punching people. I think my calm shell would have not only cracked, but shattered in a violent rage. Hey, not proud of it.. But I’m just saying…

  19. lynnee says:

    It’s possibly a neighbor who pretends to be all nice when the family is present.

  20. Sara says:

    Obviously the person who wrote this letter is a heartless being. But I do understand the frustration of having to deal with a disabled neighbor. I’m not saying that the poor boy deserves the hostility, but his family should deal with the fact that a special needs child requires just that–special needs. I know personally that no matter how sorry you feel and how understanding you try to be, no one wants to be disturbed so frequently. The parents would have done justice to live in a more secluded area or, as the neighbor so cruelly suggested, take him to a park. Letting an autistic child disturb a neighborhood isn’t very responsible.

    • Bianca says:

      Who’s to say that the child is even that bad? The trash neighbor probably overly exaggerated how the child actually is. My boyfriend’s youngest nephew is autistic and is still learning to verbally communicate. All he does is make noise, but for the most part he’s normally playing and keeping to himself. He’s not overly loud, he is very mannered for the most part when they are out in public. Its almost the same as any child his age 7 or 8 that would be talking, laughing and playing as children SHOULD, it’s just not in a verbal manner that we can understand.

    • katherine says:

      Because a child is yelling and noises, as their way of communicating, a family needs to be more responsible on their choice of location? Maybe people should educate their cjildren on different kids and disabilities so they dont stare or be afraid. To the family stay where u r n god bless

      • Danielle says:

        How will that help the situation? Telling the family to stay where they are? Obviously the women that sent the note is off her rocker they should move for the safety of their child!

  21. gladys says:

    Omg how could a mom say that about a child. She has to benot all there her self. Any one else would have gone and been more understanding n open with what was going on. And if she feels like she was correct then why didn’t she put her name n address like a normal person. She seemed so full of hate n anger and that is bad.

  22. china says:

    I bet this woman who wrote the letter is one of the few heartless psychos who would have a fetus terminated if the tests came back positive for downs syndrome or some form of mental incapacities. I promise u would have cased the neighborhood until I found the cow that did it and then I would have euthenized her. The sad truth is that her kids probably don’t even know they have a voice cause I’d say she probably beats them for making any kind off noise. People like her should have to have I license to fornicate.

    • Sara says:

      I don’t think you’re in a position to judge a parent who chooses not to raise a child with a disability. Abortion is the right that any woman should practice if she chooses. I personally would rather terminate a pregnancy if I felt like I wouldn’t be able to provide a good life for my disabled child, and so would many other women. We all have limits to our abilities and what we’re willing to do. It’s best not to have a child than to have one and not be able to deal with his/her special needs.

      • sandy says:

        When God blesses you with a child you have been waiting on he doesn’t give them to you for you to kill them. Read the Bible you should not kill. My family has a special needs child in it and our lives are better because he is in it. No baby should ever be killed if you don’t want a child do not have sex ever.

      • Octavia says:

        How can someone feel that way ? Better yet a mother feel that way ? All children are a gift from above no matter if he/she has a disability or not ! There are many, MANY women who can’t even get pregnant and you have other women who can and aboard their baby just because he/she isn’t “normal” . If you feel you couldn’t take care of a special needs child then there are plenty of agencies who will take that baby in and give them the love and knowledge they need. That’s what would be best. Not abortion. My mom never thought she would be taking care of a special needs child until her 7th pregnancy. She was blessed with a baby girl who was diagnosed with autism. My mom does everything in her will to take care of her and to make sure she gets all of the right therapy, attention, learning, and most of all love she needs while still taking care of the 6 other ones! As a SINGLE mother. If that isn’t strong then I don’t know what is. You just have to have faith and support. No unborn baby deserves to have their beating heart taking away from them.

        • Danielle says:

          wow! So in your view a crack head living on the street that doesn’t care about anything but herself finds out she’s pregnant with a child with disabilities and she should what? raise it? really you think shes suddenly going to care about someone else. Lets just say in theory this happens she does drugs gets her mentally handicap child taken from her and he or she is put in a foster care where he gets to live the rest of his life because no one will adopt him and since his mother did not care for him properly he has an even harder time getting along with the other kids. so the moral of the story he dies alone and unloved all because your religion says hey no one should abort. yeah…makes sense to me.

        • Stacy says:

          There are no unborn babies, there are unborn fetuses. A fetus becomes a baby, once it is born and can sustain life independently. A woman has a right to do with her body, what she sees fit. Please do not enforce your religious or ethical beliefs on others. I do not know what I would do if I found out I was pregnant with a special need child (and I have had many fertility issues, and have a niece with DS), but I do know I am glad I have a choice.

          Back to the matter at hand, this letter was a cowardly attempt at a scare tactic towards a parent/grandparent in a difficult situation. A lesson in compassion and acceptance is in need

  23. Karina says:

    mentally delayed kids are different which can be frightening and some do vocalize differently which can also be scary. so i understand where they’re coming from but I guess she didnt have to be so harsh. she should of just talked to them & have them bring dude to the park to play bc I wouldnt want to hear that all the time either especially if it’s scaring my own kids. // & ppl can take this cruel too but why do i have to live annoyed & my kids scared everyday bc of ONE person. home is somewhere you relax not be stressed 24/7

    • Sara says:

      I agree! Yes, the parents have it hard enough caring for an autistic child. But in the end, he is the responsibility of his FAMILY, not the entire neighborhood.

    • Jasmine says:

      People with autism have no control over what they do. If you had an autistic child you wouldn’t be saying things like this. They don’t do it to purposely annoy you or scare your children. Read up, it helps.

    • Trina says:

      Educate yourself and educate your kids about special needs children and count your blessings.

      • Felicia says:

        exactly people should be educated. this child and his family have every right to live in this neighborhood. and just because he is special needs does not mean he should be secluded. it is discrimination in every sense of the work. and i also agree parents who do not have a special needs child should very much count their blessings bc had the tables been turned im sure the author of this letter would not have been happy to receive this letter.

  24. Judy says:

    I think that if we judge “one pissed off mother”, we are essentially doing the same thing she is doing; judging. If we look at it through the lens of both parties, we can come to understand both. It seems cruel for her to write this. But obviously she has problems she needs to deal with internally. Either way, I think that everyone is entitled to reasonable peace and quiet in their neighborhood just like a special needs child is entitled to live wherever the parents want to live without getting nasty messages. There could have been some compromise between the two if they would have talked about their concerns. Instead, one now looks cruel when she may in fact be a genuinely nice person. Everyone is guilty of sinning and judging others…Whoever is not, then please throw the first stone.

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