August 10, 2015

on autism and being kind

look for good in others.

I got my first real mean comment (accompanied by evil glare) this afternoon. The lady said I should control my child and make him be quiet. Well, first, she did a very loud "Shhhhh" in our direction. Then she marched over snapped at me and before I could open my mouth turned around and walked away.

Oh, I'm sure this wasn't the first time someone around me has thought it, but it was the first time someone has been quite visibly upset/snappy/made their comment and walked away from me.

First of all, I am shocked and surprised that someone could be so hurtful, but at the same time I completely get that she clearly didn't understand that my child has autism, and with that comes some challenging behaviors. I feel sad for her that she didn't see the whole picture.

Maybe she didn't see that I was trying to keep him quiet while we were listening to the orientation speech for the older kid's class. I had tried multiple times. The only thing I hadn't tried yet was the duct tape. :/

Maybe she didn't realize that he was actually being quite quiet by Perry standards! He wasn't screaming, yelling, biting, screeching, kicking, or hitting. He was playing with blocks and humming to himself.

Maybe she wasn't aware that singing quietly helps my son regulate himself.

Maybe she didn't see all of the scratch marks covering my arms from his earlier tantrum and that I have to pick and choose my battles.

Maybe she doesn't understand that families with a child with autism need to live, too. They need to be able to go out in public and to participate in activities.

Maybe she thought she could do better. (Is there a borrow a child with a disability program out there to teach people some empathy??).

Maybe she didn't notice how nicely he was playing with his sister.

Or maybe she has autism and sensory issues, too and my son's noises pushed her to her max. I don't really know.

I don't want to judge her either. I haven't walked in her shoes.

But her actions make me want to be a little kinder to people around me. I can look at others as if they are trying their best. I can lend a hand to someone who is struggling instead of cut them with my words and my eyes. I can smile at and show love and forgiveness to those who don't understand autism or children with extras.

If you judge people, you have no time to love them. Mother Teresa.

Barb said...

It was bound to happen at some point, and you are being amazingly kind when telling about it. I would have gone over to her and told her that you are a Mother of a disabled child, but also a Mother of 3 other children who needed you also. AND that she should think a bit longer before she says rude thing to anyone. Bah Humbug to her! YOU are amazing and kind and wonderful!