I see you, sitting there subtly staring. Your look of disapproval is not invisible to me.
I see you, sitting at the next table with your children, puzzled at my decision, at my parenting practices.
I see you, looking at me from the corner of your eye. Your body language silently disapproving of my decisions regarding my son.
I see you, forming judgments about me. You are not invisible.
And you know what? It hurts more than you could ever imagine that you think so low of me and my child with his invisible spectrum disorder. I’m begging for you to ask me, to find out why I do these things. Why I go against the typical “sensible” parenting approaches. Please ask me.
You never will. You take your silent judgments and leave, taking another small piece of my self-confidence with you. And since you won’t ask, I want to tell you…
It seems to be the overwhelming opinion that spectrum kids are not normal or are different. My approach in way I handle my son (giving in to him while at the store so we can leave) is a bad choice when it comes to parenting a young child. But sometimes for us, it is a lifeline. It’s the only way sometimes, since it creates a pathway into the outside world in which the kiddo can access typical locations such as stores, parks, school, etc. How does it do this? I can tell you what I perceive it to do, but please don’t take this as a view of a person with autism for I am not autistic, I merely watch from the outside.
But here’s how I view it as a neurotypical person:
The outside world is loud. It’s loud, bright and constantly moving. There is no element of control, no grasp to be had of what moves where or what sounds echo through your head. If I lived in a world like this, it would be utterly terrifying. I myself have anxiety, severe at times. I’ve also been known to lose myself in music to simply cope.. Now imagine feeling like this every time you leave your house. Sometimes even your bedroom. You need control, something to help you survive the chaos that suffocates you. Where do you find it? In vocal stimming, being super loud and silly.. A world where you control the volume, the brightness, the movement. And that’s how my kiddo survives our painful neurotypical world
Andrew dives into a world he can control each day the best way he knows how. Every day it can chance. All I can do is go with the flow and take it as it comes. If it comes out of hand, I must use the ABA techniques that we have been learning since January of this year, 25 hours a week. Yes that’s right, I said 25 hours a week. For those of you that do not know what ABA therapy is, it is An Applied behavior analysis is a scientific discipline concerned with applying techniques based upon the principles of learning to change behavior of social significance. We use these methods a lot when out and that is when I see the stares, laughs, pointing of little kids, Hell I have even had parents stare at us while their child starred. How sad is that … the child may not understand since they may not know better, but you as an adult should know better. Anyways,
When you see me, sitting at the table talking to my husband with my child stimming, laughing loudly or and hysterical for no reason, or acting as I call it his Asian the Dennis the Menace, preserve your judgment just this once, because you do not know. Perhaps without Andrew’s little quirks, he would struggle to interact with new people, or learn the skills he requires to make friends. For he may stay at home, fearful of what lies beyond the front door.
These quirks are the family’s passport to a typical existence. Let us as parents do our jobs and don’t judge, until you can look in the mirror and can find perfection.
Sensitive materiel here especially for me as a mother. This is my son, my heart, my first born. But I am opening up what I experience almost on a daily basis to spread awareness, and to stop the fucking judgement of us parents to kids on the spectrum. You try to handle this. Try being strong for your child has he hurts himself, not able to control his emotions. While you are falling apart inside and feeling helpless, also while your other child is screaming for you, but you can’t leave him the state he is in to comfort her.
If you judge me out in public verbally or with stares, tell me how the hell you would handle this situation.
**This post is dedicated to the women at Walgreens that had the nerve to tell me that I should be ashamed of myself and was a horrible mother for or disciplining my son in really hot weather. She got a mouth full from me. I do not need to explain to you anything, but due to your fucking ignorance, I told you my son has autism, I was doing ABA Therapy with him, due to the tantrum he had in store. I was at his eye level and was not yelling at him, but using a stern voice. Until someone walks in my shoes and has to experience this, keep your damn mouth shut and DO NOT CALL ME A BAD MOTHER, OR CRITICIZE MY PARENTING EVER AGAIN!!**