Why do people have to be so rude???

One day when Sarah was a little girl she had yet another doctors appointment, she of course did not want to go but she did anyway because she thought the doctor would help her. She behaved really well in the office while she was being examined. When we got outside the door she just let all of her frustrations out. She planted herself on the ground and began the self-injurious behaviors and screaming to the top of her lungs. Of course the receptionist came out and told me that I was going to have to move and that Sarah was disturbing the other people in the building. I put the pillow behind Sarah’s head and told the lady “Go ahead, you try to move her”. The lady just gave me a dirty look and went back in the building. It took 15 minutes to get Sarah to calm down and then we went home. I had so many instances like that throughout the 20 years Sarah was home and I just wanted to scream at the people!!! If they would just take the time to really know Sarah they would’ve seen a sweet, caring, loving child. When people would ask me “What’s wrong with her” I would say she was diagnosed with Autism and they would just look at me with a blank stare on their face and then say “Well, you should do something about her behavior” or my all time favorite “If she were my child I would do this, this, and this” at that point I would just say “Ok, be my guest you take her home with you for a couple of days and see how it works for you.”  Again, I would get a dirty look and they would leave. Of course I would never give Sarah away to some stranger, but I would get so tired of these remarks. I would just go home and cry, I didn’t know what else to do. Maybe I should have had thicker skin and maybe I still should, but I was only 28 at the time.

When Sarah was diagnosed with Autism two days before her second birthday I thought all of my dreams had died for Sarah, but you know what? I was wrong. Even though she witnessed all of those awful remarks she came out the other end more beautiful. We are all very proud of who she is today.


5 thoughts on “Why do people have to be so rude???

  1. I have to say that I would have came up with the same retorts, only maybe not so nice! I know Autism is a hard thing to deal with, no matter when, but she is older than the people I see reports about now, and there is a little more knowledge and awareness now days, I can only imagine how it was when she was little as most people probably didnt have a clue AT ALL what it meant! Kudos to you for standing up for her AND yourself to those rude people.!

    • Thank you Kelly, I appreciate your response. I can only hope that there is more knowledge and awareness now than what I had. Lord knows the more awareness about Autism might just bring people to more understanding. That is mine and Sarah’s goal. Sarah is willing to put her story out there, in hopes that it will help and bring information to people and families who are dealing with everything about Autism and so am I with my story. Thank you for your encouragement 🙂

  2. There are times The Boy (who is 7, has ASD, sensory processing issues and other animals besides) will things that are outrageous by the chalk-mark of other “normal” children. I used to get properly upset about the reactions of other people when he kicked off or couldn’t cope with a situation, but I eventually decided my life was too short and good, happy time with my son just too limited to waste my energy giving a crap about other people

    These days I ask two questions when his various behaviours kick in:
    1. Is he (and are other people around him) safe?
    Obviously, stimming (he spins and sings very loudly, lots of tip-toe walking, lots of arm flapping and stuff) in a big open space is fine, but on a bus.. not so useful. If he’s about to kick off, are there other, smaller, children around? Are we by a road? If all is safe, I just let him have at it and check my emails on my phone.

    2. Do I have time, energy, blah blah, for whatever is about to happen?
    The decision to put myself in the frame when he’s “getting bonkers” was a difficult one, but it saves a lot of stress in the long run. If we’re off to an appointment or it’s the end of a long day or whatever, I bring whip out the bribery / distraction / ignoring him tactics. Generally I’m pretty good at knowing what will work when, but this sort of thing always comes at a cost. Bribing him requires me to have something attractive enough to grab his attention immediately to hand. Distraction requires a calm, even tone and something cool to point out. Ignoring him means letting his shizzle get crazy while he bids for my attention before burning itself out (like an accelerant on a fire).

    I never, ever make this choice because someone around us doesn’t like how he’s behaving: they’re not in the decision making process, and, frankly, if they gave as much of a crap about my feelings as they expect me to give about theirs, they’d be on the other side of the street, minding their own business.

    It’s not easy, and some days you gotta have balls the size of New Mexico to pull it off. But we’re still in the “Rain Man” days, where 80% of people you meet will think autism is something utterly different and won’t understand the sensory, social and emotional pressures our children are under. My advice? Screw them: at least our kids are interesting!

    Sock x

    • Sock x, you are so right! It took me a long time to realize that enough was enough. In my case back in the 90’s families with autistic children did not meet very much with each other, so we felt very alone. Even the doctors did not know what to tell me except that it all came with the Autism diagnosis. Very frustrating indeed! It took me years not to care what other people thought of me or Sarah. Good for you to recognize it so fast 🙂 Our kids are very interesting, creative and smart! What will work one day with them may not work the next day, but God forbid you ever change the routine right? And you are right, you do have to have balls the size of New Mexico or maybe even Texas!

  3. I, myself, don’t have an autistic child, but I know parents who do. The rude comments make me angry, too. I took the time to do some research and asking questions. It’s difficult enough for parents of autistic children to see their child going through the screaming and self-injury behavior. You wish you could just hold them and comfort them and make it all better. But, unfortunately, it’s not that easy.

    People should really educate themselves and realize what these kids go through. Maybe, just maybe, they might think twice before making a rude or stupid comment.

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