Things people say in the face of Autism

My shock prevents me to answer the remark a complete stranger just said to me. I am waiting to pick up my oldest from kindergarten. At my feet is my three-year-old daughter who is laughing at a kid next to her. On the outside she looks like a regular kid. On the inside she is different, autistic. The stranger had watched her and walked over to me to say. “Everything happens for a reason.” And sauntered off to get her kid.

I know I should have thicker skin when it comes to remarks like that. I know I should let it roll off my back. I know I shall expect it again. It makes my brain go into what people should say. They are:

5 things Not to Say to an Autism Parent

  1. Everything happens for a reason.
  2. At least the child is healthy.
  3. That must be tough.
  4. Can’t you control your kid? ( or the nasty glances.)
  5. I don’t know how you do it.
  6. This kid is born to you because you are strong and can handle it all.

5 things to say to an Autism Parent

  1. How are you?
  2. Can I babysit sometime?
  3. Your kid is wonderful/smart/delightful.
  4. The world is a better place with your kid in it.
  5. _______________________________________

I wish to put this on a laminated card to hand out when people approach me like that lady. The bell rings and I put a smile on my face to greet my kindergartener. As we race to the playground for some fun, I wonder what the fifth thing that should be on that list.

What would you say to a parent with a child on the spectrum that is positive?

2 thoughts on “Things people say in the face of Autism

  1. I am new to your blog and just sent you the following comment via twitter: 5) “What is your child’s name?” will begin a proper conversation followed by a “HI” to the child –

    keep writing – we all have much to learn…

    best regards,


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