Nothing frustrates me more than being at Wal-Mart with my son Christian and having people pretend they’re not staring. Just like the title of this blog, I would rather you asked. I don’t mind your curiosity about my son, after all it’s just human nature to be curious. I DO mind when you look then quickly look away, hoping I won’t speak to you. Believe it or not when I’m out shopping making a new friend isn’t high on my to do list either. I’m not going to disappear and my son isn’t going to stop being autistic so let’s find some middle ground shall we?

I’m all about awareness and maybe you’re unaware of autism. As an ASD(autism spectrum disorder) parent you may might think that’s not possible. The truth is there are some people who are not impacted by autism. Some people have heard the word but don’t have any clear idea what autism is and that’s ok. It’s ok because finding out is very easy to do. My son in particular is severe and he is also a dual diagnosis, adding severe mental retardation into the mix. He is nonverbal but that doesn’t mean he’s quiet! Lol actually he’s quite animated in noise making believe me. I can’t tell you how many times we have been walking through a store and the people around me cover their ears (I can’t help but laugh at least a little)! Imagine hearing that all the time is my typical response.

I think I can speak for most people when I say that I don’t mind being looked at. It’s your reaction after I notice you that either hurts or makes me feel ok. You could smile and let me know your not bothered by me and my amazing son. You could ask about my son. Heck bragging is fun for most moms!! When you behave like I’m an eyesore with my son or that my child is maimed, that’s what I hate!! I don’t bite and my son isn’t contagious. He isn’t contagious today, tomorrow, or any other day. So maybe, just maybe you could try not feigning as if you didn’t look at us when he made that strange sound, when he began rocking awkwardly in the shopping cart, or when he snatches food like a mad man off a shelf. I don’t expect you to take us home with you but can I get a bit more respect in your presence?

I refuse to hide him at home. I and many others will not allow state institutions and/or asylums to return. Lets face it guys we are not going away any time soon. The next time you see someone out with their kid and something seems “off”, try smiling at them or hey maybe just ask. We have to live together, so let’s make it easier on one another. Just a thought from an ASD parent, much love to all! :-)

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