Posted in Autism, Family, Parenting, Uncategorized

Autism to The Max

I’m not shocked when I Imagehear a story of a cruel and ignorant letter about a child with Autism (this one because the child was allegedly making noise outside playing, isn’t that what we want, children outside playing?). I am a Mom of a child with Autism. You wouldn’t believe what some people will say to or about a child with special needs.

Somehow people seem to think they have the right to comment to or about your child because the child has special needs. People you know, strangers, it’s not limited; they comment on your child’s behaviour, their appearance, your parenting, etc. Image

In stores, at school, in the park, at a Children’s Museum, all over the place, adults and children think they can maltreat special needs people.

My child has been called ‘defective’, ‘stupid’, ‘retarded’, ‘loser’, ‘idiot’, etc. He has been hit, pushed, slapped, had his head smashed against a wall, called names, mocked, teased, tormented, his personal belongings stolen and/or destroyed and more. It’s astonishing. It’s ignorant. It’s rude. It’s audacious. It’s vulgar. Yet people somehow feel they have the right to do and say horrible things.

Why?                                                                                                                                                   Because they are bullies. ImageThis is not a majority of people. The majority of people are caring, empathetic, helpful, polite, or just nicely pretend they don’t notice. This letter, while upsetting is just one person expressing ignorance, lack of intelligence, lack of empathy, and just basically being vile.

I always consider the source of rudeness. I have always told my child this as well. The behaviour says much more about the person who wrote the letter than the people that received it.autism8

I do get a little concerned when I hear these stories, obviously because of the loathsome behaviour, but also because the fundraising that seems to go along with these type of stories. I do hope the police look into everyone who could have written this letter. Maybe they can’t do anything officially, but maybe some mediation could be offered to help those in the neighbourhood come together.

Although people get angry and incensed about incidents like these it doesn’t change the fact that help for children with special needs is difficult to come by and these children are high maintenance.

I’ve been asked if I would like a normal child instead of my child. It’s a ridiculous question. I love my child. I don’t look at my child and see labels. I don’t see a disability. I see his smile. I hear his boisterous laughter. I look at his angelic face when he’s sleeping and my heart shudders because the love I feel for him is so deep. I’m frightened for him when there is Imageso much hate for him in this world, merely because he has an illness.

Managing his various illnesses is difficult, but they aren’t him, just challenges to overcome. They don’t make me ignore his brilliance, his cleverness, his humour, and his amazing way of thinking.

Would I like it to be easier for him, yes.

Would I like it be easier for me, honestly, yes.

But what is normal? Maybe if people got to know people as individuals they wouldn’t just see the differences or the labels. They’d see the person. They’d see a friend, a brother, a sister, a Mom, a Dad, a neighbour, a teacher, a minister, a postal worker, a store clerk, a genius, an aunt, an uncle, a cousin…a person.

This letter touches people because it’s so obviously horrible, but even the subtle prejudice that runs through society can be damaging.