I don’t expect anyone to know much about autism if they do not have someone with autism in their life – why should they? But – Please, please, please if someone says to you “My child has Autism” don’t respond with one of these phrases. I have heard each and every one of them at some time or another. While my upbringing dictated that I smile politely in response, nod a little and escape the conversation as soon as possible, the intolerant, short tempered, sarcastic version of me lurking not so deep under the surface wanted to give the answers I have included here.
What, like Rainman?
No, not like Rainman. Rainman isn’t the only damn autistic person on earth you know. He is no more like Dustin Hoffman than you are Tom Cruise, which is a pity because if you looked like Tom Cruise, I could put up with your rampant stupidity & ignorance. But you don’t, so I can’t. Now bugger off and find someone else to be stupid at.
Does he have any special powers?
No, he doesn’t have any ‘special powers’ that we have discovered yet. But he is young so his laser eyes or his telekinesis may still develop, in the meantime we’re teaching him how to develop a special invisible shield to protect himself from ignorance.
He doesn’t look autistic
It’s often difficult to tell when someone is different. For example, I look ‘normal,’ but I’m actually the kind of crazy who will rip your arms off and beat you to death with the soggy ends if you say or do anything to hurt or upset my child.
Oh I have a friend/cousin/mailman with a kid with autism
Really? How interesting. I’m so looking forward to your in-depth explanation of their life from a third party perspective.
That’s the trendy thing to have theses days isn’t it – Like the new ADHD
Well – you caught me. I expect it’s the faded jeans and the tee shirt that is stained with the drink kiddo spilled all down the front that gave me away as a fashion victim. I’m hoping the trend will last because I feel I’m really rocking this no makeup, no sleep in days, whats a hot meal like? look.
I’m sure they’ll find a cure for it
Why? My child has a particular type of personality, no illness. He doesn’t need to be cured or fixed because he’s not sick or broken – unlike much of the rest of our world.
But he can’t be autistic, he speaks
Quick – tell the entire medical establishment you’ve discovered the definitive diagnostic tool for autism. Just one question “Does he speak?” if the answer’s no he’s autistic and if the answer’s yes he can’t be – hallelujah, now perhaps you can work on early diagnostic tests for cancer too.
I thought they all rocked back and forth and shouted & things
I thought you were a human being of average intelligence, average education and an ability not to be jaw dropping offensive, ignorant and insulting. I guess we were both very very wrong.
Oh I’m so sorry, what a shame
WHY? We have a beautiful son who is the light of our lives, and because he will always need care, he will keep that light shining in our lives. You, dear lady, are an old bat who I would like to slap around the face with a big bag of your patronizing, syrupy ill placed pity. However, I fear there is no container big enough close by, so today I will allow you to escape.
Isn’t that just an excuse for bad behavior? I wouldn’t let him get away with that.I’m sure with some more discipline he’d be okay.
So not only are you judging my son from a position of ignorance but you are making assumptions about my parenting abilities too. Being such a bad parent, I’m probably lucky only one of my other four children is autistic. I’ll just go over there and shout at him a bit, maybe give him a timeout & remove some privileges. I’m certain, now that you have been kind enough to point out my error, that traditional discipline methods will work wonders for my child with autism.