I have read so many articles and lists recently regarding “What not to say to an Autism Parent” and “The 10 dumbest things people have said”, etc…….
And yes, yes, I’ve heard almost all of them before – more than once.
I’ve been told “He doesn’t look Autistic”
At a birthday party a parent asked “Does he eat?”
Another: “Can he talk?”
“Well he’s okay then, right?”
I’ve always said that I’d rather people ask questions than stare or assume. Some people do, and I always welcome the fact that they want to learn. I have had many wonderful conversations with strangers that were genuinely interested in learning about autism – his autism, as the saying goes…. “If you meet one Autistic person, you’ve met ONE Autistic person.” ~ Unknown
Recently I was visiting DC’s work program. There was a woman standing there that looked a bit familiar to me, but I could not place her. She looked at me and said “I know you, Vickie”
I was the team manager for our local Special Olympics golf team for a few years (insert laughter, as I know NOTHING about golf) and her nephew who has autism, was one of my players.
We chatted for a bit. As it turned out, she was there because her nephew was transitioning into the same work program as DC.
As we were chatting, she said:
“Your son is SO handsome. You should be thankful he has Autism so you won’t have to worry about all of the girls that would be flocking around him”
Now she is a very nice woman and I know in her own way, she actually thought this was a compliment, but……..
oy vey! seriously?? You have to have grace and patience at these times, I see.
Wendy, the older I get the less patience and grace I have (not that I ever had any grace 🙂 but yes, in this instance, I held my tongue.
you have GOT to be kidding… ugh…
No… not kidding. The worst part of it was that she has a nephew with autism that she is raising. You would think she would know better! (Thanks for reading)
Apparently, she isn’t in the position to be raising her nephew. Some people let words just pop out, without thought behind them.
Our children suffer in many ways, we don’t need to hear basically ignorant remarks.
True! And the kicker is that I’m sure she meant it as a compliment!