Grace College graduates, Darren (’97) and Stacey (’98) Gagnon were interviewed recently on the Today Show after a blog post she wrote about how here son, who has special needs, was treated on a visit to a new church. A portion of the story appears below. Click here for the complete article and to view the interview.
Parents of kids with special needs urge others: Teach your child compassion
Stacey and Darren Gagnon have six children, four of them with special needs. When they encourage other parents to teach their kids about kindness, they speak from the heart — and personal experience.
Over the summer, the family attended a new church where children stared or pointed at Joel, their 9-year-old son who was born without an ear.
“We push and push our kids to achieve in athletics and academics and all areas of life, but we’re not teaching them the most important lesson in life and that’s compassion,” Stacey said Wednesday on Megyn Kelly TODAY.
Stacey described the incident in a heartbreaking Facebook post over the summer that went on to be shared more than 28K times.
“Joel was born with a cranio-facial impairment. He is missing an ear and some bone structure. I know he looks different, but today hurt,” she wrote. “I stood at the door and watched every child look with eyes wide and mouths open at my child.”
Joel then fled to the back of the room to hide, she continued.
“He had buried his head in his arms because you cannot hide in plain sight.”
Click here for the complete article and to view the interview.