Rosa Monckton is the mother of a teenage daughter with Down syndrome. Her emotionally involving documentary When a Mother's Love is Not Enough isn't just about the struggles and triumphs of her experience, but the plights facing all parents of disabled children, as well as the need for improved support services and resources.
Based out of Great Britain, Monckton has made it her mission to advocate for the rights of disabled children and their families. She understands the seemingly insurmountable challenges of raising such a child, and the feelings of helplessness and defeat that frequently overwhelm a parent's ability to cope. It's an oftentimes long and arduous journey to reach a place where acceptance is possible, especially in those moments when all the love in the world can't overcome a barrage of daily obstacles.
We're introduced to other families dealing with similar circumstances, including a teenage boy who suffers from a severe case of Asperger syndrome. Innocently eccentric behavior has recently given way to violent outbursts, curse-riddled rages, and physical aggression. The parents don't recognize their own son at times, and their efforts to seek professional help have been met with crushing rejection at every turn.
Apathy comes from a lack of understanding, but the film defeats this by allowing us to experience what it's like to walk in the shoes of these families in crisis. In the most extreme and high-profile cases, a few parents have taken their child's life in an attempt to put an end to the stress and turmoil. This is one grim conclusion to a system that doesn't recognize its role in supporting the families of disabled children.
Through Monckton's impassioned advocacy, we made aware of fundamental failings in government to provide proper public education and greater support to social servants and caregivers. After all, these children can all contribute greatly to society if given a chance to thrive under loving patience and proper care.
But in the end, we all have a responsibility to show compassion to those in need. At the most basic level, When a Mother's Love is Not Enough reminds us that we're all in this together.
Directed by: Stephan Atkinson