What is the best way to handle that lady at the supermarket?
If your the parent or guardian of an Autistic child then yes you know what Im talking about!
That lady that is behind huffing and puffing and then out of the blue says “Will you control your child” OR the ever so famous “If you would discipline him then he wouldn’t act like that.”
At first you try and calm your child down because you understand that the person is frustrated just as much as you are.
And then they start in with the “Whats wrong with him” or they are mumbling to a friend or someone else in line that your must be a horrible parent because your child obviously isn’t listening to you.So you calmly try to ignore the chatter behind you and you feel that bubble that wants to burst, but you still remain cool and calm.
So this blog is dedicated to the parents who have dealt with the ugly comments, criticism and stereotyping that we get.
First off, I want to say I apologize first off for any vulgar language. But you know what I am talking about when you are just so frustrated and try your best to keep that cool and calm attitude. Then that person just continues to push your buttons to back you want to turn and knock them on their ass. You wish that you could make them understand what your dealing with on a day to day basis. Unfortunately in their pig headed mind they could never ever understand or walk in your shoes. Especially if they are too dumb to keep their rude comments to themselves. Now because Autism is an invisible disability and doesn’t affect a persons looks that person cant simply understand that child has nothing wrong. Of course there are down syndrome children that also have Autism, or cerebral palsy. And honestly those children are seen to be disabled by their looks or because they are wheel chair ridden. However those with classic autism and no other disabilities get the cold shoulder a lot.
So what in the world do you say to this person instead of turning around and screaming at them like a crazy person?
Well you can always resort to violence but then that would land you in jail for battery and honestly us autism parents are warriors and no one else can take care of our energizer bunnies quite like we do. So with that said please don’t resort to violence!
If you can deal with a kid on the spectrum you can deal with the idiot behind you in line. I know at first you want to hurt them for even talking about your child. Take that deep breathe just like you would when your dealing with a middle of the night meltdown or tantrum. Ask yourself first “Does this person know what autism is?” So you would turn around and say I am sorry that your bothered by my child. He is autistic and is having some sensory problems right now. Sometimes its a little overwhelming for him to be out in public”
Don’t ever apologize for your child’s behavior or your ability to parent.
That’s why I said to tell the person Sorry THEY are bothered by your child’s behavior. Because neither you nor your child has done anything wrong.
If they have the so called “Autism isn’t real and you just need to bust their ass”
Thats when you tell them that yes they are entitled to their opinion just like you are however, I live with my child every single day and I know that he cannot control this behavior with an ass busting because its not a tantrum it is something sensory related that is bothering him. If they seem uninterested to learn then dont teach them. If they keep on with the “whatever” or “learn to parent your child better”
THEN JUST WALK AWAY!
That person isn’t worth the energy anyways because they are set in their ways and aren’t gonna change for anyone. However, you do come across some very good people who want to learn more about Autism and some may have some really mean comments at first but are listening and eager to learn. I have walked into this situation many times and I’m glad I kept my cool in the beginning because now 1 more person knows about Autism and can hopefully teach someone else that was just as pigheaded as they were and be able to handle it in a different way.
So what do you say when you have their attention?
Just explain to them what Autism is, Its a pervasive neurological disorder. Pervasive means it affects the entire body and neurological means brain. Tell them that Autism is kinda like a different type of learning, communicating and feeling and that sometimes the way our brain would normally process information that theirs takes a different route to get to the brain and sometimes is processed to high or not enough or not at all.
Tell them that not all autistic children are alike and some are more capable of things than others. Some may be verbal, some may not have any language skills but be able to read from a book word for word. This is whats called Echolalia and its when a child can only repeat things they see or hear. But everything reaches the brain differently to each person affected by autism. Tell them about your child and brag about how smart they are and that although they cannot use words to communicate, that they can use sign, PECS, AAC or an app on an IPAD to express things they want.
If you get completely stumped then refer them here to my page..LOL.. I do plan on making a page that explains autism, sensory processing disorder and all the other loveliness that comes with our awesome kiddos.
Trust me it does get frustrating explaining yourself to every Tom,Mike and Mary
But when you do remember that you passed on a very special gift for your child and all other autistic people because now 1 more person is not only more aware of what autism is but is more accepting and that makes it easier for all Autistics to be accepted instead of used as stereotyping and ugly statements.
So this is my novel for today and I hope you enjoyed it. If you want to talk about a certain subject or ask any questions please feel free to do so in the comments section. I will make sure I mention them or talk about them in the next blog. Also dont forget to check out our awesome vlog on youtube .
TOODLES FOR NOW ~ CHRISTINA