Have #SpecialNeeds #Kids? Shut Them Up! #Malaysia #TCK #Autism


If you have special needs kids, that’s not my problem, shut them up and shut them down, put them where I can’t see them, nor hear them. They’re a NUISANCE.

Bangsa Ria Special needs kids

Bangsa Ria Day Care Center

This is essentially what two Malaysian citizens have to say about a day care center for special needs in their neighborhood, they have filed a case against the school and want it removed from their locality.

To quote them from the article linked above:

“The applicants have suffered nuisance throughout the day from 8.30 am to 5pm, Monday to Friday as a result of intolerable noise made by the special children as well as their attendants and carers. (The applicants have suffered) nuisance of experiencing the uncomfortable sensation of seeing the disabilities and sufferings of all the special children, the whole day, day in day out.”

What is it to me, and why am I writing about this?

My friend helps run the Bangsa Ria Day Care Center , and her son is one of the students.

But that is not the point.

I have been to this school. Watching the smiles of the people who work there, and the special kids they share their day with, is an incredibly joyous experience.

But that is not the point either.

That’s not my day care center, my son doesn’t go there, heck, I’m not even a mother. That’s not my neighborhood, Kuala lumpur is not my city, Malaysia is not my country. What business is it of mine if this little daycare thingie gets shut down? I can make a few sympathetic, clucking noises to my friend, and move on with life.

But here comes my point: I’ve had it Upto Here with people telling me to shut up. With people telling other people to shut up when all they want is to be accepted for being who they are, with no intention of harming anyone at all. Growing up in India as a child, and later as a woman, I have often been told that I should be seen, and not heard. That I should not poke in my nose where it doesn’t belong.

That is where it all begins, in that silence, that apathy.

That, right there, is the starting point for a Society that moves from being liberal and a Hub of the Arts to becoming a Host to Concentration Camps, in small, everyday steps. That is from where a Society starts where women are ultimately reduced to becoming pieces of property, or children are handed guns or sold as slaves.

The beginning of the end is when those without power are shorn of their Voice. When the rest of the Society thinks of it as a small thing. What is it after all, but a Voice unheard?

Who cares, no big deal, two crazies filing a stupid case. Right? Wrong.

Forgive me, dear neighbors of Bangsa Ria, who find these smiling, laughing children (and adults) a nuisance and want to take away their right to have a Voice, to exist.

I don’t give a damn if it is not my country, or my neighborhood. If  people without the power to make their voice heard are being asked to shut up and shut down, then it is sure as hell my business, because I’ve been there. I know first hand what having my voice strangled feels like.

Most of the kids can’t really make a noise, and a lot of them can’t speak at all. So, I’m going to shout and scream and yell and bang tables instead. I’m going to laugh and sing right along. I’m going to be downright NOISY.

If any of this speaks to you folks reading this,  if you believe that sometimes silence equals aiding and abetting, that these kids have the right to exist and be themselves just as much as anyone of us,  Join Me in Making Some Noise.

——-

Have you had experience with special needs kids? Do you think the Bangsa Ria Care Center deserves to shut down? Would you join in making some NOISE? Would you like to go show some of the brave folk running Bangsa Ria some love?

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138 thoughts on “Have #SpecialNeeds #Kids? Shut Them Up! #Malaysia #TCK #Autism

  1. As the saying goes ‘God Only Gives Special Children to Special People’, it can be used in the context of a society as well. Now, is the time to prove that we live in a “Special Society”.

  2. Pingback: Reblog of “Have #Special Needs #Kids” by Damyanti | JMGajda

  3. Dear Ms. Damyanti,

    I hope it’s alright with you that I posted a link to your article on my blog (crediting you of course). I tried to Reblog it but for some reason that option wasn’t working. If you’d like me to take the post down I’ll be happy to comply. I just wanted to hopefully get the final number of signatures needed for the petition.

    Thanks again for the article!

    Sincerely,
    JM

  4. Your words were so powerful and so moving the hairs on my arms literally stood up while I was reading it.

    “That is where it all begins, in that silence, that apathy.

    That, right there, is the starting point for a Society that moves from being liberal and a Hub of the Arts to becoming a Host to Concentration Camps, in small, everyday steps. ”

    So beautifully, wonderfully, loudly said!

    My oldest daughter was on the spectrum for awhile (thankfully, she’s doing so well you’d never know she started off having such a difficult time) and my stomach clenched when I read:

    “(The applicants have suffered) nuisance of experiencing the uncomfortable sensation of seeing the disabilities and sufferings of all the special children, the whole day, day in day out.”

    What a horrible, ugly, insensitive statement. ‘The applicants’ are lucky that they don’t know first hand what it’s like to watch your child suffer or be excluded.

    Thank you so much for bringing attention to this matter! It IS all of our concern. We do have a responsibility to say something.

  5. Reblogged this on InspireMe and commented:
    I think this needs some attention. Apparently, special needs kids, kids with Autism are a nuisance and a problem to the eye-sight. Putting an end to people who think like this is one of the reasons nursing appealed to me. Make it right, sign the petition so they don’t close the learning center in Malaysia.

  6. When I first read the title of this post I got angry because I thought it was something you supported. Well, good thing it caught my eye and I started reading and I will say I really appreciate you writing about this. I am a nurse and I witness such things frequently, from the media to bystanders looking in amazement at patients. I support your wish to make noise and I hope cause for this concern only grows. I am also an Indian woman and have always been the rebel (I clearly do not stand for the demoralizing of females in our culture) and I try to explain that to my mom, who finds it difficult to understand. Every child is gift, regardless of what ailment they have, they have a life and deserve equal rights like the rest of us. I only hope those people can understand that, if looking at the students in the school hurts their eyes then they can easily turn around or wear a blind fold… cause they clearly cannot see a life worth living in front of them. I wish you the best and I hope to read more about this… I’m right there with you!

  7. I suspect that these kids make no more noise than a similar group but the neighbors are intolerant and using “special needs” as the excuse. Like bullying – this is a post close to my heart
    We were not really sure that my son had ADHD when he was a child; we just knew that he was precocious, hyperactive and noisy. This annoyed some people – and I think 15 years ago people were even less tolerant than they are now. He was constantly punished and made fun of in school. He grew up to be a caring (if talkative!) adult, but is only beginning to overcome being social stigmatized in his youth. Recently James was also diagnosed with mild Aspergers which explains why he has always had trouble reading social signals, but can do higher math in his head and remember phone numbers and trivia from 20 years. If people had been kinder when he was young it would have made a difference in his self-confidence and well-being – even today.

  8. Hi Damyanti,
    Powerful opinion voiced from you, deserves all the support it can – I’ve signed, Tweet-ed, Face-booked, Re-Blogged and will share more when I get to FB again.
    I’m one of those who is lucky enough in life not to have been affected by any more than having to wear glasses, plus a fear of wide expanses of water. They’re not really disadvantages when you look at these children.
    The people with the real problem are the b…..s that are complaining. Fortunately I don’t live over there or I’d be inclined to demonstrate my opinion …
    Take care,

  9. Damyanti

    Thank you for recently following my blog and commenting on my book, ONE PERCENT SOLUTION. Like you, I believe that words can enact change, and in my small way that is what I am trying to do as well. If those of us with a voice do not speak up for the voiceless, then we deserve the world we get.

    I’ve been to KL and what struck me most was seeing a church across the street from a mosque, across the street from a synagogue, across the street from a temple, across the street from a shrine, across the street from . . . etc. But this does not simply happen. There will always be those who seek to stifle the voices, and words, and beliefs, and lives of others—and there will always be those of us who fight against that. Good luck with your fight to save Bangsa Ria.

    I leave you with this quote from the anthropologist Margaret Mead, which is the last line of my book, and I think says it all. . . .

    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ― Margaret Mead [1901-1978]

  10. Hey Damyanti! Great job yaa. It’s a matter of immense shame that people are being so insensitive. Well! The world is global and we need to do our bit and voice out concern to make the world a better place.
    Cheerz

  11. There are no words to convey how sad and annoyed this makes me. I’ve worked with special needs kids. They were sweet and no different to regular kids when it came to their noise level. This is just ignorance on behalf of the people who can’t except individuals for who they are.

  12. Jesus Christ! That’s horrible. I can’t understand why so many people have so little compassion and so much hatred. It’s so sad and painful to hear about. I love working with special needs kids. The innocence, it’s a rewarding experience and I certainly don’t want to “shut them up”. They need people to help them speak. Have you seen the TV show Touch. It’s about this very connected, special, mute, autistic boy who communicates and connects people in the world through numbers. It’s the greatest show, seriously and it’s on Netflix. It only lasted 2 seasons sadly but Kiefer Sutherland is one of the main characters if that’s any incentive for anyone (24). Thanks for this post. You’re totally right about all of it, and I’m glad you’re able to speak for them.

  13. “All that is needed for evil to prosper, is for good men (and women) to do nothing”…I can never remember who said that (probably should Google it) but it is a sentence that always stayed with me…this feels like one of this time where people need to realise that doing nothing can be as harmful as doing bad things…Good on you to “scream and shout and let it all out” as Will.I.Am says. Blind intolerance (even open eyed one) gets my blood boiling.

  14. Pingback: Have #SpecialNeeds #Kids? Shut Them Up! #Malaysia #TCK #Autism | Hopes and Dreams: My Writing and My Sons

  15. Speaking for me, who has been on the receiving end of the pure love of a special needs individual, my heart hurt reading this! I just feel a mixture of mad and sad about the level of ignorance displayed by these neighbors,

    I am a legal guardian for a special needs adult.
    She has taught me more about joy for life than I could have ever imagined possible…..

    These people just lost the best neighbors they could ever hope for.and gained a black spot on their souls…

  16. Good day Damyanti. ^^/

    Thank you for writing this article.

    I went to an SEN school for 13 years and it eventually closed. I was ok as I was mentally prepared to leave but my classmates and the rest of the students were not. I know from first hand experience that closing schools can be very unwelcome, especially SEN schools.

    A lot of SEN schools are closing these days, at least in Britain, so I will help out and spread the word in anyway I can.^^

  17. Pingback: Have #SpecialNeeds #Kids? Shut Them Up! #Malaysia #TCK #Autism | I LIve to Love to InspIre

  18. Pingback: Have #SpecialNeeds #Kids? Shut Them Up! #Malaysia #TCK #Autism | Naif D Mubarak's journal

  19. Reblogged this on The Dragon's Lair and commented:
    This post deserves some attention. Apparently, a day care center for special needs kids is being asked to shut down by some local neighbors because they feel uncomfortable. Those of you that have been reading the Dragon’s Lair for a while know that my son has autism. Unlike many of these kids, he is able to make noise for himself and, as his mother, though I understand how special kids can make someone feel uncomfortable, rather than making the center go away, unhappy neighbors, why not do something for them so that you feel like it’s YOUR daycare center. Make that happy place more fun because it’s in your neighborhood. Anyway, my friend, Damyanti whose post this is, has asked for some noise. I’ll give you my son’s voice. He’s nice and loud and special kids have rights, too!

  20. This is important because the pendulum that had started to swing towards emancipation for all, in the united states and the world over, has now begun to swing the other way. Greedy oligarchs; people who are uncaring or who have never experienced any misfortune are too quick to shout NIMBY (not in my back yard) and overlook the fact that we are all ONE. Whether we follow other faiths, live in different countries, or have different abilities, we are living, breathing creatures who should have access to the same fundamental rights as everyone else! These people who are disturbed by the sounds of happy children are truly warped! Are they so cossetted and entitled that they have forgotten that there are many, many different ways of life upon this planet and we all have to share? God has given us the most perfect model in His Son, Jesus Christ and we should be grateful for those happy sounds. It is immoral in my view to want to shut down such a place! Shame on the neighbors of this day-care center!

  21. Pingback: Have #SpecialNeeds #Kids? Shut Them Up! #Malaysia #TCK #Autism | On Purpose Magazine

  22. I will also go on to say that it’s usually the voices of children playing just outside my window that give me the inspiration to write stories. Their laughter and voices give me the strength and courage to tell my stories and give life to the characters that dwell therein.

    It doesn’t matter if the children say silly things like “I’m batman/spider-man/wolverine/deadpool”. I think it’s what makes listening to them so soothing. The best way I can describe it is their imagination powers MY imagination somehow.

  23. What terrible people.

    I dearly hope that people of that sort don’t grow in number or that those mentioned in this article eventually learn the error of their ways.

    Based on the works of authors like C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien (especially The Hobbit films) it’s not really the big acts of good and evil that make a difference. It’s usually the small things that we do and say on a regular basis that we should pay attention to.

    And being intolerant towards the less fortunate people of the world is most certainly a step in the WRONG direction.

    Thank you for posting this ma’am as these are some of the major points I often want to make with others. As of late, laws in my country also want to silence the voice of the people but I will not be turned so easily.

    • Demons indeed.

      A lot of people agree that the Nazis were evil people but what a lot of people miss is that the Nazis were or at least started as common citizens of Germany. The mentality mentioned above is where they seem to have started.

  24. I join you, Damyanti, in clamouring against this outrageous injustice. Children with special needs are special people; the fact that they can make noise freely and happily is a clear indication that they are cared for and cherished. Would it satisfy these aberrant complainers if the children were rather abandoned and lonely, shivering desolately in the cold, and quiet as dead? Would they be any happier if the institution was removed from the vicinity or if it did not exist at all? What then are the ‘special’ needs if the young ones cannot express themselves boisterously and unreservedly? Will this society ever stop to hate, discriminate, and judge based on conditions of which the victim has absolutely no control? To terrify the helpless, to torture them, to make a victim of the needy, to threaten the defenceless — what manner of evil is this? — what people, what God, what love, what demons approve of this? Let us all be kind to these children. They need acceptance, as we all.

    • Demons indeed.

      A lot of people agree that the Nazis were evil people but what a lot of people miss is that the Nazis were or at least started as common citizens of Germany. The mentality mentioned above is where they seem to have started. So no, you don’t even need to be German or Axis-associated to be a Nazi…

      All you need is the idea that less fortunate people aren’t human and that they’re a nuisance. THAT’s where it begins.

  25. Reblogged this on Joyful 阅 and commented:
    My brother is mentally-retarded. One day, he came home from school and never wanted to go to school again. My parents and I suspect he was being bullied at school.
    Let’s make some noise, let’s show them the care and love. They need a healthy and happy environment like us.

  26. Pathetic, self – centered, crass… but I won’t go on with such non-sense instead I will pray and see how I can help or be of service for the center and children involved.

  27. I’ve signed the petition.
    This resonated with me… and made me sad… really sad…
    These kids are such happy children… genuine and loving and giving…
    Thank you for bringing this to our attention Damyanti. God bless you.

I love comments, and I always visit back. Blogging is all about being a part of a community, and communities are about communication! Tweet me up @damyantig !

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