Legendary singer and performer Toni Braxton recently started a firestorm within the autism community while promoting her memoirs. Toni revealed that when her son, Diezel was diagnosed with autism she believed that it was a punishment from God because she had an abortion years ago.
Yes Toni’s words are alarming to me as a parent of a child with autism and as a Christian. However, I have decided not to participate in what has become a witch hunt of the singer. I know many parents who had irrational thoughts when their child was diagnosed with autism. No I did not think that my son’s diagnosis was punishment from God but I did wonder if I did something during my pregnancy to cause his diagnosis. I did not know any better back then. I know better now.
Instead of embarking on a celebrity witch hunt, I prefer to be outraged about the families who are going through tough times without any support. Don’t get me wrong, I did a double take when I read what Toni said. I just don’t have the emotional strength to get worked up about it any more. If she still feels that way, then that is between her, her son, and God.
I am becoming weary of the collective outrage of social media when it comes to what celebrities and public figures say. (I am guilty of it also.) Toni is out there selling her books and making her money. Her son probably gets the top therapies and interventions. Let us worry about our own kids. We know we love them. Toni loves her son, too. We know they are not a punishment from God. Yes she is a celebrity and her words go far but maybe we play a part in that happening. Our collective outrage carries her words to a place they would not have gone without our efforts. I think it is time for us to move on.
Let me know your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you.