Tuesday, February 12, 2013
When Mikey was in elementary school, most of the children were not only kind, but accepting as well. I guess that is because we live in a society today where our children are exposed to many differences amongst themselves, such as cultures,religions(or lack of), and special needs. It is very interesting to see the level of tolerance that children have in comparison with adults. That is not to say that there aren't still some playground bullies, etc., but I think that overall, we have seen our children grow up in a world that is far more tolerant than the one we grew up in.
It has been very interesting ,and even amusing at times, to hear some of the comments that have been made and the questions that we have been asked throughout our journey. I often wonder how some people work up the nerve to say the things that they do. At first, I was often offended, but I have since developed a thick skin. In a situation like ours, you have to be strong in order to move forward, so I have learned to brush off a lot of ignorant remarks. When someone makes a comment that would have possibly upset me long ago, I now just think to myself, "here is another person without a filter...perhaps he/she has undiagnosed issues?" I usually wind up feeling sorry for that person. Why? Well, it is simple...he/she may have no tact, no self-control, may not be very bright, may want to be hurtful or all of the above. I'd rather be on my side of the fence anyday.
While it never fails that someone will make a silly remark or ask what we consider to be a ridiculous question(yes folks, some questions really aren't that great), we never find ourselves offended by well-meaning people who are truly curious and are looking to learn about autism. I will glady discuss it with anyone who chooses to approach me. I am not guarded, and do not want people to think that questions cannot be asked, after all, that is how we learn. However, some are so ridiculous and downright offensive, they are not to be believed.What is even crazier about all of this? Some of these questions were asked by family members!! I am going to share a few with you, and in parenthesis, will be what was going through my head as they were asked.
1. If you could do it all over again, would you still have Mikey? (Of course , but if I were your mom I might think twice about it).
2. Can't you give him some kind of medication to make him better?(Sure, we just withhold it because we are mean).
3.This must be the fault of the mother/father. (And you must be a moron).
4.Why is he like this?( Like what? As if I hold the scientific key everyone else is searching for)?
5. What did you do while you were pregnant?( Drank like a fish....what else would I do)?
6.How can we fix him?( I guess we could take him to the vet).
7.Are you going to put him somewhere when he is older?( Yes, in a closet in the basement).
8.How do you do it?( Do what? Listen to you? I have no idea).
9.Do you ever feel embarrassed?(Yes, right now because I am speaking to you).
10. If you just let me help, I could cure him.(Right, because you alone know the cure,thanks Jenny McCarthy).
So, you get the idea. I find that having a good sense of humor and taking these questions from where they come, helps me to deal with them more easily than in the beginning. It is okay to ask questions, but it might be a great idea for some people to think about them before blurting them out, that is unless they have issues of their own.