How to Handle Unwanted Advice Directed at You/Your Child with Autism
How we choose to react.
There are those of us parents and carers alike who will keep their cool and see it as an opportunity to be informative and then there are those of us who have had enough or maybe just on that particular day at that particular moment. The following is a very small collection of what you might find helpful please feel free to add to it in the comment section below.
Unfortunately there are people out there who will not listen to reason or ever be able to fathom autism, do yourself a favor and walk away, to argue is only fuel for them to use against you.
Some ideas on how to handle a situation.
I have a beautiful son who is 9 yrs old at the moment and by beautiful I mean he's a good looking kid. He has autism and some intellectual issues. Ever since he was little I've had instances were ignorant people have looked down their noses at myself and my other neural typical two boys.
And if you're reading this I am sure you've had similar experiences. I've gotten to the stage were I now completely ignore other people staring and I know of another mother who will stare directly back at the person staring until most times they get embarrassed and apologize.
One particular experience that left me very angry happened at our swimming center were I take my three sons for swimming lessons.
I'd have the same dramas every week trying to get my special son into the pool. I found the situation harrowing and draining. The last straw came when a mother with a perfectly behaved little girl sitting beside her leaned over and said all fluffily, "Make it fun".
Now if you've ever been in this situation before I think you can understand how badly I wanted to scream obscenities at this person, but because there were children and parents everywhere I simply put my back to this woman, ignored her and when I finally got my child in the pool picked up my kids belongings and moved away.
Quite frankly I didn't trust myself to say anything to her and because she had a small child with her "Go have sex with yourself" seemed inappropriate.
Now while ignoring the offending person and walking away as if nothing has happened seems like a good way to react....it left me absolutely seething.
I went home and told my partner about it and he suggested to do this: write up a business card that I can hand out should I ever be put in that situation again.
He suggested the wording on the card to go something like: "If you knew anything about autism, you would realize that the advice you have given does not apply to this child in this situation I would thank-you to keep your advice and opinions to yourself". I'm particularly fond of this type of wording because it suits my way of thinking.
I also had a whine about how I felt and my inability to say anything on my local facebook Autism Support Group and it seems there are a number of these business type card things available free online to print out that have more informative wording (if you're into that type of thing) and sound friendlier. At the very least it can certainly give you ideas about what you'd like to print for yourself. I was particularly fond of one other thing (not directed at special needs kids moments) that went something like "Jesus loves you, everyone else thinks you're a part of the female anatomy" but that of course is obscene and totally inappropriate, however it made me laugh.
It's important to find your groove, 'think about it' and have it ready to go, so you're not left hanging or react in such a way that you will regret.