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?

Every Day is Autism Day


World Autism Awareness Day was last week.  I understand the need to bring awareness to Autism. More and more kids are being diagnosed at a fast pace. As a mom of a three-year-old diagnosed on the spectrum, I wonder when it will ever be Autism Acceptance Day. Even at her tender age my daughter has encountered a lot of ignorance.

So let me talk to you about my daughter:

  1. She loves Doritos. We do use chips as incentive to get her to complete tasks, like puzzles.
  2. She is very compassionate to animals. Some autism ‘experts’ say that is not possible.
  3. My daughter comprehends a vast amount that is communicated to her.
  4. She only has 5 speaking words that you can understand. Hugs are plentiful in our house.
  5. My life would not be the same without her. She reminds us how simple things can bring such joy.

By talking and sharing it can be realized that autism is not a big deal. It does require a lot of therapy to help kids with daily tasks that most learn on their own.

What else would you like to know about autism and/or our life involving autism?