Dear Everyday Person,
I know what you are thinking when you see my children out in public.I see your stares and hear your whispered voices when you see my children get excited and stim or when they are over stimulated and just can't control themselves. And I know that in your heart you are not trying to be mean. That its just different and its not what you are used to seeing when you look at children. And those whispered voices, I would like to think that it is just you trying to process what you are seeing. We see the pity in your eyes and the concern in your voice. Please Stop.
Please stop feeling sorry for us. We don't want pity. We don't want to hear " I don't know how you manage"or "I don't know how you do it". We do it, because we must. There is no other option for us. Its called being a parent. And a good percentage of parents out there would do anything for their kids. Does it seem a bit trying at times? Yes. But again that is parenthood. Even the best of kids, have their days where they seem a bit out of sorts. Autistic Children are no different. Yes it does seem that the noise, bright lights and the hustle and bustle of everyday seem to ignite our children, but its not out of fear or discontent. Its how they feel, hear and see this world. So that concern that you have that we might not be good parents to our children because we let them just be them is for not. The best thing you can do for us is just accept our children.
When you see us out and about, do us a favor. Accept us as a part of society. Don't shun us or be sad for us. Pity is not what we want. Acceptance. Love our children the way we would yours. Accept our children as we would yours. Just because our children look at the world from a different angle, doesn't make them any less a child.
Take the time to notice how beautiful our children are. Look past the stimming. Look past what makes them different in your eyes. See that they are just as every inch awesome as the next child. Our children deserve to know they are loved and accepted just as yours are. Be that person who lets a Special Needs Parent that their child has lovely eyes or beautiful smile. That is what makes our day. Knowing that someone accepts our child for what they are, a child.
Yours Very Respectfully,
A Special Needs Parent.