Tuesday, June 30, 2015

2013 Grandmother Receives Anonymous Letter About Autistic Grandson

From Daily Mail 2013

The grandmother of autistic child received anonymous letter:

'I wish people would be more understanding': Mother of autistic boy who received hate-filled letter from angry neighbor telling her to 'euthanize' her son issues touching response

  • Karla Begley, 44, was interviewed by a blog about special needs children 
  • On August 16, Max Begley's grandmother got a vile letter complaining about the noise the 13-year-old autistic boy was making 
  • The self-described 'pissed off mother' who penned the letter suggested that Max be euthanized

A Toronto mother who had received a shocking anonymous letter last week urging her to have her 13-year-old autistic son euthanized has issued a forceful response, highlighting the importance of tolerance. 
Karla Begley and her family were left reeling after receiving a disturbing, hate-filled missive from a neighbor in Newcastle, Canada, informing her that the noise her special needs son, Max, was making while playing outside terrified her 'normal' children. 
On Wednesday, Miss Begley, whose 15-year-old son, Jack, is also on the autistic spectrum, and she herself is wheelchair-bound due to multiple sclerosis, gave an interview to a blog about special needs children called Love That Max to address the controversy in a constructive way. 
Eloquent answer; Karla Begley, pictured here with her son Max in 2010, took to a blog about special needs children to deliver a response to a vile letter a neighbor had sent her complaining about the boy's sounds
Eloquent answer: Karla Begley, pictured here with her son Max in 2010, took to a blog about special needs children to deliver a response to a vile letter a neighbor had sent her complaining about the boy's sounds 
Begley
Begley
Words of wisdom: Mrs Begley (left) urged people to be more understanding towards special needs children like her son (right), whom she called a blessing 

‘I will not stoop to an insulting level,’ she said. ‘What I have to say is about tolerance, acceptance and respect for kids with special needs.’
Begley addressed the noise complaints cited in the callous letter she had received, saying that all children make noise, not just ones with special needs. In the case of her son, the sounds he emits is the only way he can express himself. 

‘If Max's sounds bother someone, I'd hope that person would let us know in a respectful way,’ Begley said. ‘Give us a chance to handle it instead of being cowardly about it.’

The 44-year-old mother went on to say that she prefers when people openly address her son’s disability, like kids in the neighborhood who come up to her and ask why Max talks ‘funny.’ 
‘The parents are embarrassed. But if the mom isn't going to talk properly to a child, or teach him that kids with autism are not contagious, I will!’ she told the blog. ‘It's important to help kids understand and not be fearful from a young age.
‘I'll tell children, "He has autism and he has trouble with speech, but you can say 'hi' to him." And then I'll have Max say 'hi' back and it's OK. I'd rather kids ask than grow up to be the sort of people who write nasty letters about autism!’
The mother further explained that just because her son cannot express himself in words like most people, or take part in activities like other children his age, he still understands everything and enjoys life.
Nothing good to say: An anonymous neighborhood mother wrote this letter to the grandmother of a severely autistic teen in Newcastle, Canada
Nothing good to say: An anonymous neighborhood mother wrote this letter to the grandmother of a severely autistic teen in Newcastle, Canada
Sadness and anger: Max's mother Karla Begley was in tears as she read the hateful letter directed at her son
Sadness and anger: Max's mother Karla Begley was in tears as she read the hateful letter directed at her son
‘People with special needs are people first. They have every right others do,’ she argued. ‘Instead of glares, I wish people would give smiles. Instead of anger toward parents, I wish people would be more understanding. 
‘Trust me, if there's behavior ruining someone else's day, it's ruining mine and I want to deal with it!’
In the disgusting missive the Begleys had received, the cowardly author called Max a useless burden to his family. But his mother has insisted that in fact her son has been a blessing to her.
‘I think I'm lucky: How many mothers still have their 13-year-old son wanting to sit on the couch, have mommy time and cuddles, and not be afraid to show love and affection?’ Karla Begley said. 
The mother added that while her son’s future is uncertain due to his disability, she and the rest of the family are unfazed by the possibility that Max may never have a wife or a job.  
‘Everyone has a place in the world,’ she said in her eloquent response. ‘Some people are meant to hold big jobs. Some people make you happy and smile.’
During the summer, 13-year-old Max spends his mornings with his grandmother Brenda Millson in Newcastle. 
She says she was shaking after receiving a letter August 16 from an anonymous neighbor complaining that the noise Max makes outside is 'DREADFUL!'  and that it 'scares the hell out of my normal children!'Mrs Millson shared the whole letter with CityNewsToronto
The woman's anonymous letter went beyond the offensive noise complaint into even more repugnant territory, writing that Max is a 'hindrance'.
'Who the hell is going to care for him? No employer will ever hire him, no normal girl is going to marry/love him and you are not going to live forever!'
Then she recommended something truly atrocious.  
'Personally, they should take whatever non retarded body parts he possesses and donate it to science. What the hell else good is he to anyone!'
'Do the right thing and move or euthanize him! Either way, we are ALL better off.' 
'Who says that about a child?' Max's mother Karla Begley asked City News.
She started to cry as she explained that her secondary progressive multiple sclerosis keeps her from walking and running with her son. 
13-year-old Max was diagnosed with severe autism when he was two and he spends his summer mornings at his grandmother's house, usually playing in the backyard
13-year-old Max was diagnosed with severe autism when he was two and he spends his summer mornings at his grandmother's house, usually playing in the backyard
13-year-old Max was diagnosed with severe autism when he was two and he spends his summer mornings at his grandmother's house, usually playing in the backyard 
On his side: The neighborhood came out in support of Max after hearing about the abhorrent letter
On his side: The neighborhood came out in support of Max after hearing about the abhorrent letter
Since learning about the letter, neighbors of Max's grandmother have come out in a public display of support for the boy in an attempt to out the letter's author. 
Max's father is worried that the letter might lead to violence against his son. 
'A person that's that crazy or demented who would fabricate something like that...it leads me to believe that they're very dangerous,' Jim Begley said, 'and right now I'm scared for my son's safety. 
If the writer is identified, Max's family plans to press charges. 
**********************************************************

An interview with the mother:

Kerry Magro: Hi Karla. We appreciate your time today to help answer a few questions. So Karla, can you tell us a little about your son?

Karla Begley: Oh Max. Well, he’s 13, has autism and loves life. He’s my little angel. He’s very smart. We always kind of joke around. Our oldest son Jackson, he’s 15 and he has high functioning autism. Max has a lot more common sense about the world but loves to have fun. He can be so silly at times and he loves physical activity. He’s just always moving around; it’s hard to keep up with him at times.

KM: Can you tell us a bit more about what happened?

KBAbout two-and a-half weeks ago, Max was at my Mom’s house about two towns over from where we live. My mom was checking her mail and found the letter and was completely disgusted by what she saw.
She was completely mortified and disgusted by the wording of the letter. She didn’t like the wording especially the term “euthanize”. Max I would say spends about 20 percent of his time at my mother’s house and this was a complete and total shock.

KM: Do you have any idea who wrote the letter?

KB: We don’t but the police are looking into it, and taking my mom’s fingerprints to see if they can see any other prints on the letter. A detective was just at our house the other day. From what they said, it seems to me that they are on the right track. One thing they are doing is sending forms to everyone in the neighborhood to get more information from them if they know of anything.

the Questionnaire distributed 

KM: What was your immediate reaction to the letter?

KBOne thing many people don’t talk about is that the incident didn’t happen at my house. Although it happened at my mother’s house it was targeted at Max because he’s always the one there and going around the neighborhood. So I finally found out about it that day from my husband. He said that there was a nasty letter written about Max. The neighbors in my mom’s neighborhood got a hold of it and started posting it.

My immediate reaction was that it made me sick, sick to my stomach. I didn’t know what to think about what would happen next until it got posted online. Even though I’m disgusted about it, there’s been so much support from everyone both locally and nationally. It’s made things good from getting it out there but also a little overwhelming with all the attention our family has been receiving.

KM: What was the reaction from your neighbors?

KBMy Mom’s neighbors have been up in arms and proactive about the entire situation. They have stood behind Max and what’s going on.
My neighbors have also been really good about it. We moved to our neighborhood in Oshawa, Canada in March 2000 and Max was born in April 2000 so he’s spent his entire life here. Our community has been very warm towards him and all of his transitioning to this point. I can remember times when Max would throw clothes and CDs into other people’s yards but all the neighbors would always collect them and bring them back. And they were very understanding.  

KM: Has life changed for you since your mother received the letter?

KB: My life hasn’t that much but Max’s absolutely has. People have been so warm to Max, saying hi to him when he’s out. For me, I haven’t had that much time to get out but friends have been visiting and sending their best wishes.

KM: What do you think is the most importation lesson to be learned?

KB: It’s all about acceptance. There are a lot of us (families affected by autism) out there in the world. People stare and give off rude expressions. I just think it’s important to treat people as people. There’s always going to be that one person that is going to be ignorant but hopefully they can change because we aren’t going anywhere. Our voices are just getting louder and louder.

KM: If there was one message you could share with our community about the incident what would it be?

KB: We have to keep pushing out there and have a thick skin towards our community. We’ve fought for everything we’ve done for Max. We won’t give up and we hope these types of people get quieter as we get louder and spread acceptance and awareness. Life is short. Anything can happen. Be careful how you treat people because it can happen to you. Max is a blessing. Don’t get me wrong but ignorant people need a dose of reality. They need a day in our shoes.

KM: How is your son doing now?

KB: Well, my son doesn’t know about the letter but he’s been more vibrant and more sure of himself because people have been coming up to him and saying hi.  His positivity has skyrocketed. He’s actually smiling at me right now.

KM: Karla, thank you so much for speaking with us! We send our support and stand with you on this and look forward to speaking with you again soon!

13 comments:

Jen Ow said...

I'm reposting this here from the other thread. It contains an interesting quote from the boy's father.

I find it hard to believe that letter came from a neighbor. It is WAY overboard for someone who's primary complaint is a noise disturbance! The writer goes into deeply personal territory, speculating on the boy's future place in society, his 'usefulness', and what will happen in the future when the mother is gone, as well as claiming that 'WE' would be better off if he were euthanized.

A stranger complaining about noise would have no reason to muse over the boy's future, and his fate once his primary caregiver is gone. It seems to me that whoever wrote it is intimately involved in the boy's life, and possibly wrestling with these negative thoughts about the future. 

(The mother is suffering from progressive MS, is she depressed, and struggling with thoughts about her mortality, and her reduced ability to care for her son?)

This quote from the boy's father is telling:

"A person that's that crazy or demented who would fabricate something like that...it leads me to believe that they're very dangerous,' Jim Begley said, 'and right now I'm scared for my son's safety."

- He chose the word 'fabricate' to describe the creation of the note! 

- Why would he fear for his son's safety from an anonymous letter writing stranger, who appears to not even know the family's name(s)? How would this person gain access to his 13 yo, non verbal, autistic son? (Particularly after receiving a letter like this, they would not likely be leaving their son alone, with a neighbor, or with anyone they don't know.) It also would seem easy enough to remove him from the supposed danger. If this was the Grandmother's home that was targeted, then don't send him there again...threat eliminated.

On the other hand, if he thought there was a possibility that the boy's mother, (or Grandmother?) 'fabricated' the letter, he should be highly concerned for the boy's safety.

stop_playing_dumb said...

Thank you for posting this article.

stop_playing_dumb said...

The main complaint is NOISE. It may be a MAN (pink paper, really?) who hates kids anyway and needs his sleep. To the LADY who lives at this address....I believe a MAN wrote this.

JC said...

Off Topic

Question.

Can we discern hoax 911 calls, as apposed to deception from a caller, whom is, or has, some involvement in a crime.

Although this is after the fact, and has been recognized as a hoax call. I think there are still red flags within the call that point to it being a hoax. As in extraneous information. I will italicize what i believe shows the call to be a hoax, even though this is a snippet from the full call.

PARMA, Ohio – Investigators have released audio of a hoax 911 call in which a man told police that he shot his father and was holding his mother and sister hostage.

The man called police at 8:20 p.m. and told a dispatcher that he was holding his family members hostage at a home in the 3100 block of West Ridgewood Drive. Parma officers and the department's SWAT team surrounded the home but discovered that the call was a hoax, Lt. Kevin Riley said.

"I just shot my dad in the stomach with a 12-gauge shotgun," the man said during the call. "He's in the bathroom right now. My mom's in the bathroom and so is my sister. They're all tied up."

Investigators released audio of the call Monday and are asking the public to help identify the caller, Riley said.

Parma hostage hoax 911 call
The caller told the dispatcher that he would shoot officers who arrived at the home. He also threatened to shoot his mother and sister.

Officers made contact with a 58-year-old man and 55-year-old woman who were inside the home and instructed them to walk outside. Investigators searched the home and several nearby homes to confirm the call was a hoax.

The caller hung up when the man and the woman walked outside, police said.

Investigators believe the incident was an example of a trend called "swatting," which involves reporting life-threatening emergencies in the hopes of bringing in a SWAT team and a large contingent of first responders.

"This is not just a prank. It's a very dangerous situation," Riley said. "We're taking this as a very serious matter, and we're going to make every effort to identify the caller and prosecute to the fullest extent."

Anyone with information about the caller is being asked to contact the Parma Police Crime Tip Line at 440-887-7340.

An edited version of the call is included in this post. The audio has been edited to remove the address of the West Ridgewood Drive home.

http://www.cleveland.com/parma/index.ssf/2015/06/parma_police_release_911_call.html

JC said...

Full 911 call

http://www.cleveland.com/parma/index.ssf/2015/06/parma_police_release_911_call.html

just sayin' said...

I agree with Jen Ow - the concerns expressed are those that effect the boys' long term caregivers, and go far above and beyond a complaint about noise.

The writer may have addressed the letter to "the lady" in an calculated attempt to distance the writer and appear anonymous (pretending the writer does not know the homeowner's name).

The letter is lengthy - much longer than needed to simply ask for quiet - which suggests the writer is a female.

IMHO - The writer intended the letter to be published, and the outrageous statements it contains were intended to garner awareness, sympahthy, and support from those outside the family.

Sarah Highcove said...

Mom and Dad are behind the letter and the purpose was to bring attention to their son, that much is clear. Otherwise it doesn't add up, the grandmother receives the letter and he's only there twenty percent of the time at all? Someone living near his grandmother was so upset that they wrote the most hateful and vitriolic note? Funny how the note seems to be positioned to cause outrage. Also funny that the mother says the community has been extremely supportive (aside from this one instance).

Anonymous said...

Off Topic


PCSO releases recording of 911 call on missing couple

Please note the caller reports "missing persons". The dispatcher doesn't pick up on this, instead assumes it is a missing "person" (singular)

Dispatch: Is there a particular reason why you’re trying to report him missing?

Male: Uh, because I’m worried about him and I’m wanting … Yeah, their phones are off. Uh, you know, they’ve been gone for 12 hours now, you know …

(The Dispatcher still hasn't got on to the fact that he is reporting missing "persons"

Dispatch: Any weapons or injuries involved with this that you know of?
Male: No.
*************************
Dispatch: Your father, did he leave in any sort of vehicle?
Male: Yeah, he left in a 2008 Honda Accord.
Dispatch: What color?
Male: Uh, grayish, yeah, dark gray. I have the VIN number, too, if you need that.
Dispatch: You don’t have the actual plate for it, though?
Male: No, I do not.
************************
Dispatch: Did he leave with anyone?

Now he asks "did he leave with anyone?"

Why, when he reported missing "persons" did the caller not jump in and correct the dispatcher, whom assumed (negligence in listening) that he was reporting one person missing?

It is not until the caller is prompted by the (deaf dispatcher, lol) does he then say his dad was with "his wife". Which tells us that, it is not his Mum.


..........

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office released the redacted recording of the 911 call the teenage son of Michael Careccia made to report his father and stepmother Tina Careccia missing on June 22. Their car was found later that night. Their whereabouts are still unknown.

Redacted transcript of 911 call:

Male: I’m filing a missing persons report.
Dispatch: Where is the person missing from?
Male: Um ********* West Mayer Boulevard, 85139
Dispatch: ********** West Mayer Boulevard in the city of Maricopa?
Male: Yes, well, it’s in Thunderbird Farms.
Dispatch: In the area, I should say, of Maricopa.
Male: Yeah.
Dispatch: Um, how old’s the person that’s missing?
Male: He’s 40-uh-4
Dispatch: 44 years old. This is your father or...?
Male: Yes
Dispatch: And he’s missing since when?
Male: Uh, 5 o’clock this morning.

Dispatch: Is there a particular reason why you’re trying to report him missing?
Male: Uh, because I’m worried about him and I’m wanting … Yeah, their phones are off. Uh, you know, they’ve been gone for 12 hours now, you know …
Dispatch: Any weapons or injuries involved with this that you know of?
Male: No.
*************************
Dispatch: Your father, did he leave in any sort of vehicle?
Male: Yeah, he left in a 2008 Honda Accord.
Dispatch: What color?
Male: Uh, grayish, yeah, dark gray. I have the VIN number, too, if you need that.
Dispatch: You don’t have the actual plate for it, though?
Male: No, I do not.
************************
Dispatch: Did he leave with anyone?
(Pause, talking in background)
Dispatch: Sir?
Male: Yes.
Dispatch: Did he leave with anyone?
Male: Yes, he left with his wife.
Dispatch: Is he white, black or Hispanic?
Male: Uh, white.
Dispatch: Do you know what color shirt and pants he was wearing when he left?
Male: No, I do not
Dispatch: How tall and how much does your father weigh?
Male: He’s 5-10, 180 pounds.
Dispatch: What color hair and eyes does he have?
Male: Black hair, brown eyes.
Dispatch: Does he have any visable scars, marks or tattoos?
Male: Uh, no.
Dispatch: Give me just a moment.
Male: OK.

Anonymous said...

cont..

*************************
Dispatch: Is this your mother, or stepmother?
Male: Uh, stepmother.
Dispatch: What’s her name?
Male: **************
Dispatch: What’s her date of birth? Do you know it?
Male: No, I do not know her date of birth.
Dispatch: How old is she?
Male: (muffled)
Dispatch: I’m sorry?
Male: Yeah, yeah, I think she’s 42.
Dispatch: 42 years old? She white, black or Hispanic?
Male: Uh, white.
Dispatch: What color shirt and pants was she wearing? Do you know?
Male: No.
Dispatch: How tall and how much does she weigh?
Male: Uh, she’s 5-8, 140 pounds.
Dispatch: OK, and what color hair and eyes does she have?
Male: Uh, Blond hair, brown eyes.
Dispatch: Does she have any visible scars, marks or tattoos?
Male: No, she does not.
Dispatch: OK. I do have this in. We’re gonna have a deputy out to where you are…
Male: OK
Dispatch: Sit tight and wait for the deputy. If you get any more new information, of course, give us a call back.
Male: OK. And uh, you guys gonna send … ‘cause I think, he was headed to Chandler, I know that, so I’m sure he’s in that general area. So you know, somewhere …
***********************
Male: Are you guys gonna send out a description of the car to like Chandler Police Department and other, uh, police?
Dispatch: That’s up to the deputy and how they want to handle the situation…

http://www.inmaricopa.com/Article/2015/06/30/pcso-releases-911-call

Anonymous said...

A man wrote this... no mom in her right-mind would sign a letter calling herself a "mother"..she would have said... One pissed off MOM...

"trailer in the woods"..again this is not something a female would consider.

trustmeigetit said...

On the subject of the missing Arizona couple

The only thing that stood out to me was this part.

Dispatch: Did he leave with anyone?
(Pause, talking in background)
Dispatch: Sir?
Male: Yes.
Dispatch: Did he leave with anyone?
Male: Yes, he left with his wife.

He introduces his step mother initially as “his wife”. I think that is an improper social introduction?? Peter??
My dad remarried after him and my mom divorce. I really like her and always refer to her as “my stepmother”. To me that stood out that he did not.

It could just be that he doesn’t like her and that is the end of it. Not many people love their step parents…

Tori todd said...

I think she wrote it

Anonymous said...

Jen Ow; it is not possible to go too far overboard when someone within the neighborhood is causing constant and frequent noise and confusion to their neighbors that disrupts their sleep, rest and peace constantly and without provocation, and there is nothing you can do about it. Yes, even twenty percent of the time would blow the mind of someone who only wants to enjoy their peace and quiet but can't. If you have never been exposed to something like this then you have been very lucky.