This week, we lost another precious butterfly in our network. Beautiful Mikaela Lynch wandered away from her family in a moment, and was found days later, dead. I would love to say that in a nicer way, but there is a part of me so bothered and troubled, that I feel the need to say it plain and honest.
Because no one else is.
When I say no one else, I am referring to the media. I an honored today to join an outpouring of support from other bloggers to embrace Mikaela’s surviving family with love. Because they are in our hearts. We mourn with them, alongside them. It could’ve been any of us. It could have been me or you, waiting for news, hoping hoping hoping.
The thing about Special Needs parents is that we are quick to support. We are a tribe, holding one another up in times of need. Because we know there are those who will always be quick to tear us down on the slightest provocation. All of us wish we were closer, to help this mom and family out, whether it would be by doing a load of laundry or two, bringing the proverbial casserole or just being there with a listening ear and a warm cuppa. Our support in cases like this is unwavering. Whether we are virtual neighbors or right next door.
What is disturbing me, beyond the sensationalist blame game that always seems to pop up around situations like this, is the real lack of media coverage. When a typical lil white girl goes missing, FB is plastered with it, it’s all over the news, we see her face again and again and again.
I mostly saw Mikaela’s face on FB pages of other special needs families. When I was talking to our ABA therapist the day she was found, our therapist hadn’t even heard the story. And we live right here in CA. While not local, it SHOULD have been more present in our local news, IMO.
We need to change our ideals, y’all. We need to stop following the hype of sensationalist nonsense like someone’s pregnant feet and start paying attention to the things that matter. We all need our hearts to stop and our love and prayers to fill the universe when one of our lil butterflies goes missing, special needs or typical. And we need to take seriously the dangers that surround the wandering issues of Autistic children. Special Needs amber alerts, Big Red Safety tool boxes, GPS tracking systems, tools for law enforcement–ALL OF IT. We need parents of typical kids to stop ignoring this because it doesn’t apply to their kids–BECAUSE IT DOES. If we cannot protect those that need our help the most, how can we help those next in line? We cannot ignore this problem away.
Please take a moment to send love–pure and simple–from your heart to the family of Mikaela Lynch. And then take a moment to send out more love to the family of Drew Howell, and Owen Black, both discovered just this weekend, having wandered away only to be found dead, both in bodies of water. This should be evidence enough that this is a real and legitimate problem in our community, and we need the communities around us to take it as seriously as we do. Please. I am begging you. Pay more attention to the news that matters and not what some knucklehead has to say about nothing that matters.
And then hug your kids. And go over safety issues with them. Again. Even if they roll their eyes at you. And then talk to your neighbors. Community building. We needs it.
Rest in peace you sweet butterflies.