Friday, January 31, 2014

10 Things that Shouldn't be said to Parents of Autistic Children

We have all heard them. Those comments that just make the vein in your forehead pop. The comments that make you want to say " Did those words just come out of your mouth?" I have thought about 10 of my favorite things that have been said to me in regards to my children being special needs. I am sure there are countless others but these have got to be my favorite.

1) " I bet if we spanked the bad behavior out of the child there will be no Autism"
 Ok so.. let me get this straight. If I physically harm my children, that is going to correct their behavior. No. This is not the case.  Sorry to all the spankers out there. Autism behaviors can't be treated with force. Actually come to think about it, its been proven that spanking or physical violence does nothing to correct behaviors in children. Look it up.

2) "They will grow out of the Autism, right?"
Sadly no. They will always have Autism. But with the correct services they will be able to function in a world that is full of chaos. These services are not a cure. OT, ABA, Speech and Special Education are more to make sure the quality of life is better.

3) "Looks like your child is have a tantrum."
No, my child is having a Meltdown. Not a Tantrum. Partly because they are over stimulated and over loaded. There is a difference between having a meltdown and have a tantrum. Tantrums are attention seeking, where meltdowns are not.

4) " I am sorry that you have an Autistic Child"
Please don't be. My child is going to be who they are going to be regardless if they have Autism or not. Autism is not a life sentence or a disease that should be shunned. It is what it is. Look at it as a way of viewing the world differently.

5) " So they are non verbal, that means they don't understand what I am saying.."
 Just because they don't talk doesn't mean they can't hear. They fully understand what you are saying to them, they just have an issue letting you know how they feel on the subject.

6) " Being Autistic means you don't understand Emotions..."
An Autistic person knows very well what emotions are. It goes back to trying to communicate. They know what happiness, sadness, frustration and anger is. Its all about how they wish to express it.

7) "They are autistic, which means they are unpredictable. They shouldn't be allowed in public Places"
No. They should be in public places. They have every right to be in public as you do. Sometimes its the experience of the outside world that can help them navigate. Again they experience the world through a different sphere.

8) " Being Autistic means they won't amount to much"
Everyone has their own potential. Even Autistic people. They are smart and intelligent in their own right. Who is to say that just because one person has difficulty in a certain area means they won't amount to much. There are plenty of people who are on the spectrum that have shown the world they are rockstars.

9) " Having a Special Needs child must be a drain on you. I couldn't do it. "
Do you think that most of us woke up one day after we got the diagnosis and thought. " Nope, just not going to do this..." I bet none of us did. We woke up and knew we had a job to do as a parent. And I am willing to bet that if you are presented with a challenge concerning your child, you would do it. Why? That is your child. The person you would go to the 4 corners of the earth to make sure they survive.

And finally..

10) "All  Autistic people are the same.."
 Well, not they are not. There is a reason why there is a spectrum. Autism has many traits, yes. But there are no two Autistic people a like. To sound cliche ( Sorry), but I see Autism kind of like Snowflakes. Yes they are cold, yes they fall from the sky and yes they are associated with Winter. But all of their patterns are different. Some big, some small. Some with more intricate designs than others. This can be applied to Autism. Everyone has their own uniqueness.  

I know there are other cringe worth statements. Theses are some that have stuck with me since our first diagnosis.