News Article Details

Family would not trade special child

The North Platte Telegraph - 5/2/2017

Our family went out to lunch on Saturday, including 7-year-old Alek, who has autism. During lunch, two ladies and a gentleman at another table were glaring at little Alek and at his mother. One lady commented that we should not take kids like that out in public. The gentleman commented that the management should throw him out. The last lady said that in her day they kept these people at home.

Alek was acting no worse or better than the other kids in the restaurant. Alek is highly intelligent and he is the kindest, sweetest child I know. More importantly, he has no trouble with his hearing and he has feelings. His mom has hearing as well. They made her cry.

We try very hard to help Alek fit into a world that always challenges him and is often openly hostile. Just so they know, we will not lock him in a closet, nor will we hide him or be embarrassed by him. We will not beat the autism out of him. We do not want a new kid, nor do we want to change him or exchange him. For every one of Alek's challenges there are a dozen wonderful things about him.

Every time his parents leave the house they have to have the courage to face this, and this little innocent guy at the age of 7 has had to have the courage to stand politely against the smallness of others. If you haven't been there you have the advantage of never raising and protecting someone who will always be a particularly vulnerable child.

Please, as you go through life, don't add to the burdens that others face. It could have been you. It could have been your child and Alek is "Different Not Less." I submit this just so maybe we think before we judge or speak.

Scott L. Lucas

North Platte


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