What NOT To Say To A Parent With An Autistic Child

My son was diagnosed with autism seven years ago, that I realized how wonderful people can be. In their effort to help, sometimes they utter words that can have the opposite effect of their intention …

 

 It cannot be autistic because …

 

I’ve heard a million reasons why Casey cannot be autistic, when we were in the process of getting a diagnosis. There were comments like: He just looked me in the eyes !, He’s like Rain Man … and many others. Parents spend quite a hard time waiting for the right diagnosis of the child. We spend months saying the same things ourselves. Then we come to a point where we know that what we do is right and seek help. Autism comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s a range of abilities and special needs. And never has manifested in two children with the same diagnosis.

Instead of that say: Autism is an unknown condition for me, tell me more about it. How did it manifest in Casey? I like it when people ask me questions. This means that they are passing the boundaries of stereotypes and really wonder what autism means. This means that they care and want to learn more about my son. I do not expect that everyone knows about this condition. What most people want is to be here when I needed it. One of the most beautiful things that I heard after Casey was diagnosed is: “It is the same child as the day before he was diagnosed.”

 

 He is likely to exceed the state when grown.

 

It has been seven years since my son was diagnosed. He did not exceeded and will not exceed this condition. He is born that way and autism is a huge part of him and what makes him amazing. He has achieved so much through his hard work and through the many wonderful and talented teachers and therapists and will continue to be autistic. ”

I want people to accept Casey as he is, with his autism. I like it when people accept their differences. My friend Erin always did. A short time after the first time we met, Casey welcomed hum with sticking his head in him. Erin would do the same to Casey. Then the both would giggle.

He likes it when people hug him. When you ask him what he wants. I love it when people ask what he likes. Everyone who is besides Casey more than ten minutes, likes him because of what he is. And it is not compassion. This is because Casey is a great kid.

 

Autistic

 

I read that autism is caused by …

 

Please. Do not tell me that you have found another study that says that it is the fault of the mother. Please do not use my FB wall to announce that I am a little overweight and that because I live by the highway, I caused my son’s autism. I feel damned fault daily. New studies arive each week. I’m a fan of good study and research. The problem with these studies is that all of these are correlated. The correlation between two things does not mean that one causes the other. More and more confirms that autism is genetic. But if you’re a masochist, or you need more reasons, see a debate about vaccines and see how it goes.

 

I heard that autism can be cured with …

 

Oh, you are entering into a minefield with this. The reason why autism occurs is not know for sure and there is no cure. In fact, the word cure freaks many parents of children with autism. They like what they are, along with their autism and do not want to be cured of something that makes them what they are.

In addition, there are many nonqualified doctor offering treatments with snake oil for an inappropriate price. Treatments range from losing money – to life-threatening. Many times doctors who want to be famous or famous who want to be doctors buy all possible expensive treatments for their child and make us feel as mothers who don’t fight for their children enough. Sorry, that’s bullshit.

My son has speech, occupational and physical therapy, from his 18 months. We tried with alternative diets, that did not help much. We have never sought a “cure”, but we have always tried to help him have the best chance of success.

But if you tell me that Jenny McCarthy has cured her son, and I did not – you will probably get a fist in the throat!

 

Autistic

 

You are my hero!

 

God knew that you can deal with this! Special children to special parents’ and other such sentences. I swear that day will come when I will roll my eyes so hard that one of these preachers I will enslave in my head. I understand that you try to be nice. I understand that you cannot do what I do. I know you think that I have something wonderful and divine in me, because I can deal with one (or two) children with disorders. But there is nothing fundamentally different between me and every other mother. I am a normal mother, placed in an abnormal situation. I did this because I have to, and you would do it also if you are placed in the same situation.

I cannot accept that special children are sent to special parents! Some parents’s plans are spoiled when they receive a child with developmental disorders. I am not a hero. I’ve put a special, divine energy, which makes me a stronger parent than you, if you found yourself in my situation. Like everything else in parenting, you learn as you grow. And make mistakes. Cry, shout, curse and starting anew each day. When you say that I’m a hero you put me on a pedestal, on which I do not want to be. You only need to tell me: “How can I help?” Many parents of children with disorders will tell you: “We are not perfect. This is difficult. We need help. We need sleep.

 

Autistic

 

“_ _ _ _ _ _ _”

 

Poorer than anything stated above, is not to say anything. Autism can be a very isolating disorder for the child and the parents. It takes you out of family activities. Socially speaking, we are taught, and then teach our children to ingnore the children who behave in a way that is strange to us. If you teach a child to ignore children who have strange behavior, it means for them to be ignored by the whole society.

Writing this list of things that you shouln’t say my biggest fear was that you wouldn’t say anything. That’s the last thing I want. Most parents of children with disorders are perfectly comfortable talking about their children. We are just as proud of their achievements as you. Talk to us. Ask us. There is nothing as bad that you could say, as not saying anything.

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Yasmin