You’d be furious, too, if people treated your child like this.
Alistair and Lesley Buchanan share a 2-year-old daughter, Maisie, who was born with an extreme case of infant psoriasis. The rare diagnosis means that Maisie’s skin regularly flares up red and turns “scaly.”
But more than just appalled looks on strangers’ faces when they see the young girl, random people have accused Alistair and Lesley of neglect, or worse, actually scalding their child.
“People assume the worst and that she’s been scalded,” explains Lesley. “Others have asked if I left her out in the sun too long or forgot to put her sun hat on. They will ask me ‘what’s wrong with her?’ like I’m a neglectful parent.”
It has to be infuriating after a while, considering her condition comes and goes. “Maisie’s skin is very flushed, it can go lobster red, and if she’s flaking she looks different. People pick up on that and it’s very hurtful,” says Lesley. “With adults common sense seems to go out the window. I’ve had people look at her and ask if she’s contagious and move their children away with a look of passive disgust on her face.”
Lesley adds, “It really hurts that people think like that, it’s like a knife to the heart.”
Still, you can’t change people, only the way you react to people. When confronted with thoughtless strangers, Lesley says, “I always respond ‘there’s nothing wrong with her, she’s a happy sweet little girl with a skin condition.'”
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