AliceAnn Meyer documents the ups and downs of special needs parenting on her blog, “Jameson’s Journey,” and she recently discovered internet bullies used a photo of her son and made a cruel meme mocking his appearance.
“What compels a person to do such a thing I will never understand,” she wrote on her blog. “There is no way for me to know who did this, but for every post and share of this meme I will do everything in my power to get it taken down.”
Meyer filed reports on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in an attempt to have the meme removed, and she wrote that she was appalled at how long it took Facebook to respond. The meme, which compared her son to a pug, had received thousands of likes when she first discovered it.
Jameson has Pfeiffer syndrome, a rare genetic disorder characterized by premature fusion of certain skull bones (craniosynostosis), according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). About one in 100,000 babies are born with Pfeiffer syndrome, and in addition to different facial features, those with more severe forms may have malformations of the limbs as well.
“These kids undergo multiple major surgeries early in their lives and they are never really able to ‘just be kids,’” Meyer wrote on her blog. “These are the kids you are making fun of.”
NORD’s Vice President of Educational Initiatives, Mary Dunkle, applauded Meyer for taking action. “Good for Jameson’s mother for turning her moment of pain into a teaching moment for others!” Dunkle told The Mighty. “It’s hard to believe anyone could be so cruel as to make fun of a child with any type of disability, but we hear about it all too frequently. This story is a good reminder of how important it is for all of us to stand up and speak out when this type of bullying occurs.”
Meyer had some words for fellow parents taking a stand against cyber bullies. “There is a line,” she told The Mighty. “People are entitled to their opinion, and I can’t stop them from making comments. But when you take someone’s photo of their child, that’s the line for me.”
“My message, I hope, is that it does make a difference to say something and stand up for something online that you think crosses the line,” she continued. “I will always remember reading complete strangers comments standing up for Jameson. That made a difference to me. You don’t need to stoop to their level to make a difference or be heard. I can attest to that because so many people have heard our story!”
In her blog post Meyer thanked everyone who stood up for her son, adding that the best way to help is to report any instances of the meme on social media and send her a link to it so she can file a claim for copyright violation.
To read Meyer’s complete post, click here.