A single mother of two boys, aged 12 and 7, made the difficult decision to place her 7-year-old son, who is severely disabled, in a residential facility.
The mother, who wishes to remain anonymous, has struggled to care for her younger son, who has a rare chromosome deletion that has left him with severe developmental delays and medical fragility.
The mother's husband passed away three years ago in a work accident, which she believes was a suicide, triggered by their son's condition.
The couple were told during the mother's pregnancy that their son would have Down Syndrome, but it turned out to be a much rarer disorder that left him with no awareness and total dependency on others for care. He is unable to respond to noise, touch, or pain, and is tube-fed and on oxygen.
The mother, who was starting law school when her son was born, has had to give up her dreams and plans for her children to care for him.
Her older son has also suffered as a result, with medical care for him being delayed and his ability to participate in activities and make friends being impacted by his brother's needs.
The final straw for the mother came when she heard her older son hitting and screaming at his younger brother, blaming him for the loss of their parents and the restrictions on his life.
Seeing that the younger son did not react at all to the abuse, the mother realized that he does not have the capacity to feel or experience life in any meaningful way.
The mother recognizes that her decision to place her son in a residential facility may be controversial, but she feels that it is the best decision for everyone involved.
She emphasizes that she is not upset because she has a child with special needs, but because her son is not a child at all, but a "genetic mistake" that takes up 200% of her time and gives nothing in return.
She also acknowledges that if her son does have awareness, he may be miserable and there is nothing she can do to help him
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