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Voices: Tragedy to you, human beings to us

February 13, 2002

Mr. Ed Woeten, you started your attack in Sunday's paper by saying that many people may be offended by your letter regarding "drug babies." Well sir, I was one of those people.

Not all children who are disabled are "drug babies." Speaking as the mother of a 17-year-old son with autism, I can assure you that I didn't take so much as a Tylenol when I was pregnant with my son.

You should be ashamed of yourself! And you are an educator? If you truly feel this way about special ed children, you need to find another job. The "para-educator" as you called her is no better than you are for our kids.

I will agree with you on one point: babies born to women who used drugs throughout their pregnancies are a tragedy.


You shouldn't make statements about people unless you know them. You know nothing about me or any other of the people you attacked. You can not assume that all special ed. children are "drug babies."

This was very irresponsible of you. I feel, as do many other parents I have talked to, that you owe us all an apology!

Open your eyes and your heart and you will see that all of these kids have worth. They are not just a waste. I have had so many so-called "experts" tell me my son would never be anything. I even had a couple of doctors tell me I should put him away so my husband and I could have a life.

They were very wrong and so are you. My son has met and succeeded with many of his goals. He is a very loved person by his family and all that know him. His autism is not his fault.

You said you have traveled around the world and have had many experiences but you have never been the parent of a disabled child. It is the most heartbreaking yet rewarding experience you can ever have. If you have never had this experience, you cannot be expected to know what you are talking about.

So don't feel pity for our children. We don't want it. It is us who feel pity for you!


(Artie's mom and dad)

El Centro

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