Autism cannot be cured with a “swift kick in the ass.”
A very good friend was out with her little boy today, and while waiting in line for lunch he began having a small issue. I imagine it was crowded, loud, the lights were harsh and the smells overpowering It was a mall food court after all…
This little boy was in no way out of control. He wasn’t having a meltdown or “freaking out” as I have heard it called. I can picture him covering his ears, and bouncing in place because we have been there. I can imagine the sounds he was making because I hear them regularly. They may be unusual to someone who doesn’t get it but they were nothing that warranted this mans angry tirade. There was nothing to justify this man laying his hands on a little boy or saying the hateful things he said to the boy’s mother.
I have come to the conclusion that some people revel in their ignorance. They eat, breath, sleep, and live it. They don’t care that their attitude only compounds the stress someone may be feeling. I’m not just talking about parents of SN kids. My friend said that this man was being just as rude to the person preparing his food. (Yeah, good luck with that!) I used to work in retail and was astounded by the attitudes of some.
I just read “Reasons you should think twice before messing with special needs moms and dads” on Always Unique Totally Intelligent Sometimes Mysterious’ Facebook page.
REASONS YOU SHOULD THINK TWICE BEFORE MESSING WITH SPECIAL NEEDS MOMS and DADS:
1. Some of us have given up on social skills and don’t care what we say or do.
2. We’re not afraid to have A serious “meltdown” of our own.
3. We are tired and all the patience we have is for our kids.
4. We have A far shorter fuse for nonsense as a result of our responsibilities but A FAR thicker skin.
5. We can get you in a hold/lockdown position in less than 3.5 secs.
6.We can shoot you a look that would make a linebacker tremble in his boots.
7.Chances are it’s been awhile since we’ve had a full night of sleep and that will give us a reason to plead insanity.
8. Our tolerance and patience is for our kids who didn’t choose to have special needs, not for someone who CHOOSES to behave inappropriately and is ABLE to control their actions.
9. We’re probably already on edge and it would be stupid to push us over.
10. We are sleep deprived and already defensive, and we spend all of our patience on our children, doctors, therapists, social workers and teachers, why would we waste an ounce of it on a total stranger?
11. We’ve had to fight from the moment of our child’s birth so by the time you piss us off we’re seasoned battlers and could win a war.
12.We devote our lives to our children and don’t need more stress and people who don’t understand our life.
Number 1 sums it up for me. We spend so much time defending our children who lack social skills that we forget them ourselves. This is the main reason I avoid going out most of the time. Lucas loves to eat out but he doesn’t always act in a way others see as appropriate. He doesn’t misbehave but he is never quiet, he doesn’t always use utensils appropriately and ever once in a while he will jump out of his seat. My number one rule is that my children will not be a nuisance to others but I’m not talking about screaming and running around in a restaurant. He is simply expressing his joy the only way he knows how.
I do not suffer rude ignorant people quietly. I feel that if you have the guts to tell me what you think of my child or my parenting then you should be prepared to suffer the consequences.
My friend kept her cool better than I would have. I’m not sure that he would have left with his food on his plate. His head, yes…
A bit of kindness goes a long way. It doesn’t matter if you are the most important person in your world, it won’t kill you to show compassion to the person waiting on you in the restaurant, bagging your groceries, or the frazzled mom with the cranky kid.