It isn't a big secret among special needs parents, that we get presented with a lot truly asinine comments when we take our children out into society. It doesn't matter how mad it makes us that prefect strangers offer comments and "suggestions" to us. It doesn't matter how much we try and educate everyone on what it means to love and live with someone with special needs. There is always going to be that percentage of people who, have no filter, no empathy and no regard to our lives or the loved one in our care.
It doesn't matter that we have a full month dedicated to Autism Awareness and Acceptance. There isn't any amount of blue puzzle pieces that are going to change the opinions of others and how they see our loved ones. I have said this before that Autism and everything that is within that spectrum is a full time gig. 24/7, 365 days a year, lifetime kind of deal. Its not going to go away on it's own like a rash. It will be with this person for their lifetime. None of that stops people from saying cruel things to either the caregivers or the person themselves.
I have a child that has a genetic condition. One that includes Autism as one of it's many wonderful things that affects my child. There is nothing I can do, besides make sure this child gets the therapy and medication he needs to progress, grow and thrive. I can't do anything about his stimming or his sensory issues. I can help him the best I can, but those are things that will always be with him. They are part of what makes him, him. Y'know the stuff that he can't help. Stuff he was born with. So when people make the decision to open their mouths and say something to person living a life, with something the other person doesn't understand it is ignorance in it's purest form. To be honest, I really don't care if this comes across as sympathy searching. Its not. It just is becoming more clear to me that I can't walk out my front door without society looking at my son as some sort of reject of what is considered normal.
Now, before I start, this is not a bashing of religions. I don't give a fig about who you worship to or how or where you do it, as long as it doesn't infringe on my life, we are good to go. But if you go up to someone who has a child that is stimming in the grocery cart, not hurting himself or other people and you suggest to the parent of that child, that they need to have their child examined by a priest for a possible demon possession, then proceed to give that parent the name of a priest that performs exorcisms. Then when it is explained to you that the child has Autism, your response is "He is in God's hands now". You are indeed a person who needs to keep your mouth shut. I write this post after a exchange I had in the supermarket, with two god fearing women, who thought my son was possessed by the devil, because he was stimming verbally and flapping his hands. This, to be honest, was a first for me. Again, I have dwelt with some pretty fucked up things when it comes to my autistic children being out in the public. But this one, yeah this one was a first. The sad part is that there was going to be no amount of education about Autism that was going to shut these two women up.
Since my children were both diagnosed, I have never had anyone tell me that they were possessed or given the name of a priest who preforms exorcisms rites. To say that it shocked me, is a bit of an understatement. This only proves that it doesn't matter that there is month devoted to the education about Autism. It doesn't matter, really. People who don't want to learn about what diversity mean won't educate themselves.
So to the two ladies in the grocery store, pardon me if I will not take you up on your priest offer to exorcise my child. He is a child that is loved, taken care of and one that sadly has more of an understanding about the world around him, thanks in part to how he experiences it, than you both.
Please keep your ignorance to yourself, thank you very much.