Wednesday, February 8, 2012

10 "Polite" Things People Say To Autism Parents That Can Be Annoying / Frustrating....











(originally written & published on February 8, 2012)



These are 10 things that the wife and I hear often from friends and family members who are just trying to be nice.  They are just trying to be polite and show interest in your kid and have something nice to say.  Let me say straight away that I don't blame them for saying any of these.  These are just 10 things that when you hear ALL the time get to be a bit frustrating... the same way the movie stars get exhausted when they have to answer the same questions over and over when they are on a press junket...  :)

Anyway without further ado... here's MY 10 "Polite" Things People Say To Me & The Wife That Can Be Annoying / Frustrating with some of the sarcastic remarks that go thru my head when I hear them  :-)....  


1) "Hows the baby doing?"
Who had a baby?  Oh you mean my soon to be 9 year old?  He's doing fine...


2) "Even typical kids do that..."
Thanks.  Even typical kids are known to drink the chlorine water in the pool? That'll make me feel better when he has crazy diarrhea tonight. Yes, some typical toddlers may do that, but not 8 year old typical kids....but thanks for trying to make me feel better 


3) "Did you see that autism report on the news about ____"
Yes I did.  And if I didn't I probably know about it already.  And if I don't know about it, it probably won't help me anyway...
(I covered this topic a bit in a few old blog posts  that you can read HERE and HERE)




4) "Awww but he's so cute..."
Yes he is cute.  Being cute goes a long way in life.  Wait till he leaves a dollop of saliva in your pocketbook. Tell me if you think that is cute...



5) "Wow he's gotten so tall..."
I've covered this in another blog post that you can read HERE.  When your kid has made almost no discernible progress people say "wow he's gotten so big..."



6) "What do the doctors have to say?  Any suggestions?"
Uh, the doctors?  Which doctors?  I take that back.  It doesn't matter which doctors, none of them have a f&$king clue..



7) "Is he talking yet?  Any words at all?  I saw ____ 's kid and he started talking so there's always hope.."
Nope, no speech yet.  And thanks for reminding me how far behind my kid is.  I can blame you for the funk I'm gonna be in for the rest of the day.    



8) "Does he sleep well?  Well at least he sleeps well..."
Yes, for the most part he does sleep well.  And that totally makes up for the other 16 hours of the day when he's bouncing off the walls and we are playing goalie trying to keep him safe and away from the knife drawer in the kitchen..


9) "It's ok. He can put that in his mouth.  It's clean and he can't choke on that."
That's very nice of you that you are ok with my son putting your wooden figurines in his mouth.  I'm glad that they are not a choking hazard but it's not really appropriate for an 8 year old boy to be putting weird things in his mouth...but again thank you...  :-)



10) "I don't know how you guys do it...."
Do what?  Wake up in the morning, take care of our kid, get him dressed, fed, love him?  That's hat a parent is supposed to do.  We're no saints over here, trust me...
(I touched on this in a previous blog post that you can read HERE)

____________________

That's my Top 10.  I would LOVE to hear some of yours!!

:-)
_______

I wrote a follow up to this post the very next day with the Things To Say & Ways To Help An Autism Parent.  You can read that here
______________

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If you're gonna shop Amazon anyway, can I ask that you enter Amazon by using the link above?  This way I can make a little money.  This blogging thing has been awesome & life changing for me... but I must admit that it's taking up a lot more time than I ever thought... so if I can make a few bucks it'll make it easier for me to justify....Love you all! Thanks!!




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259 comments:

  1. I would like to hear the Top 10 Things you would LIKE people to say/ask in the next blog :) -Barb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Is what youre doing appropriate?"

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    2. Loved this Autism Daddy- it made me laugh and I don't swear but the top caption I 100% agree with.
      What about the: Ah what are you going to do with him later?
      I say what do you mean?
      You know when he is an adult?
      I say with confidence- there are cages for then.

      Delete
    3. my son has pretty serious meltdowns...he's 11, 100 lbs., and very strong...he's a gentle boy most of the time, but when that meltdown hits, watch out!! He will lunge at anyone...he does not discriminate...kids, teachers, me, the computer chair, etc...but my favorite line to date was from a family member after being the brunt of his meltdown, and AFTER I aplogized for him....it went like this..."I don't know WHY he does that, but I hope he doesn't do it at school..." ummm, which school? The school for disabled children? The one that deals with aggression and behaviors all day? Oh...yeah...I knew he was there for a reason :P...to top it off, that was 2 months ago, and I haven't heard from that person since

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    4. My dad always says Leave the kid alone he's not hurting anyone, stop hovering over him. But the second he is in his house and I sit down for 5 seconds my dad is like Wendy why aren't you watching that kid he keeps playing with the bathroom door. But dad he's not HURTING ANYONE.

      But the worst was when I was by my Aunt for thanksgiving one year and my Uncle has all this "stuff" (like a piano) but the kids are not aloud to touch it. the other kids understand and are fine but Eyan just doesn't get it so he had a 3 hour (on and off) meltdown while I stayed outside the house with him and let my family eat in peace. My aunt says to me "I don't know how you do it, it's a shame he's so cute, you know"it"will never get any better" WTF so let me get this straight he should be ugly would that make it better to deal with for you oh and he's only 3 he might not ever be your form of perfect but he will grow and have many great days what would you like me to do ship him off to some hosp, and btw "It" is my son, your only grand nephew, And he is hard, only because I am still learning his world and I don't care if it takes the rest of my life I will never give up.
      I left and told my mom that I will NEVER go to their house again, if they can't except my son then they can't see me or my family ever again.

      A few months later at christmas at another Aunts house I hear from my Uncle (that doesn't like kids) He's doing so much better since he started that school.... I told him right to his face. "No Unc, He's doing so much better today 'cause he is allowed to touch stuff in this house like the piano and he feels comfortable here"

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    5. How about "He's autistic? He looks so normal" lol

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  2. These are fantastic - I also love -" They might grow out of it" and my friend got the other day - Well as he is not like that in school you MUST be parenting him wrong at home"

    I have one son with high functioning and get told all the time that he looks normal - should see him when he starts licking walls or telling everyone on the bus its about to blow up. I also have 2 other going through the process of diagnosis and keep being told the youngest will grow out of it and how her cousins did not talk to 2 etc

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fiona, I also get the whole "well, he doesn't act that way here" bit. Or, "well, it must be you. He doesn't know how to act." Um, yeah I have a girl that's 6 and one that's 2. So, it's my parenting? REALLY!!! HMMMMM!!!! My says, Well, some kids are just more difficult to raise." LOL yeah I agree, but he has a diagnosis. So, it's not just "him" being difficult.

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    2. Fiona, I am so with you on that one! My lad - just turned 14 - struggled massively all through primary school. I do not have access to 'help / support' because he 'functions academically'... when I used to explain about the meltdowns once he is home from school and can let out all he has held in throughout the day, I was always told by the school that as far as they are concerned they 'did not see evidence of that behaviour'/ it was somehow 'my poor parenting skills - He was 'performing academically' and that was that. Now in secondary school, he is simply incapable of coping - his sensory issues are too pronounced. He dropped out of school back in May of last year and two weeks ago was hospitalised for major depression/suicide ideation ... is this enough for the evidence they so need before he can get any help? .... have applied again for support at school but that won't be decided until MARCH of next year. I told them he could be dead by then ....
      Hang in there, Girl. I wish I could tell you that it gets better ... We have to dig deep - really deep - show the rest of them what you are made of!

      Delete
  3. i am mother to a downs boy. classic comment from my sister - well at least you dont have to worry about the school run because he gets picked up every day. i would love to have been involved in the school run. and another one - downs children are so loving arent they - hmmm sometimes!!!

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  4. 1. She doesn't look like she has Autism. 2. Are you sure the doctors are right? 3. She's just too pretty for their to be anything wrong with her. 4. Have you heard of Temple Grandin? She has Autism and is brilliant...a professor and everything. 5. Oh, Autism, but she is high functioning right cuz she looks fine? 6. She seems normal when she talks to me (adult talking). 7. She'll grow out of that Autism, right? Then she will be fine, right? 8. She just has some quirky things about her but everyone does. 9. Just be thankful that she is pretty and nobody can tell. 10. If you wouldn't baby her she'd be normal.
    I have to laugh at people because if they spent an entire hour with my daughter they would definitely be able to tell she isn't NT! It truly blows my mind how some people think.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Have you read Jenny McCarthys books, why not try her doctors, diet, therapist, etc, she cured her son.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I went through a phase where if I'd met Jenny McCarthy in a dark alley she'd have been toast. I felt like everybody was thinking, "Well, if Jenny McCarthy can cure her kid, why are you being such a slacker?"

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    2. Jenny McCarthy ::shudder::. Just reading her name makes me cringe!!

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    3. I am so glad to hear you say this. I thought I was alone in my STRONG dislike of her. She has not helped the autism community at all.

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    4. Personally I tend not to take my medical advice from Playboy bunnies.
      Meg

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    5. I am so glad that I am not the only one she annoys, THERE IS NO CURE FOR AUTISM!! and I'm sorry, my son was autistic LONG before I immunised him.

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    6. I'm glad I'm not the only one who can't stand Jenny McCarthy.

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    7. I read her book. CURED? WOW she must be a genius! Would she like to come on over and "cure" my two sweet darlings? How about "babysitting" them for a few hours? I'd even allow her to bring Evan over to 'model' perfect behavior...

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    8. Jennie McCarthy is a crock!! Autism cannot be "cured!" Somebody's delusional here....

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    9. I hear it all the time if Jenny McCarthy cure her kid you can cure yours blah blah blah

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    10. Yes agree with everyone who commented on this. I think Jenny's kid must have been misdiagnosed or he is on the very mild part of the spectrum.

      Plus her view on vaccinations is rubbish, I could tell my child was Autistic well before his immunisations.
      She is a viral nuisance and needs to educate herself instead of spreading propaganda. Silly woman, with too much money to really understand anything about Autism and the fact that it is a neurological thing, and that immunisations can't change the form of the brain and it's function.

      She needs to get her boobs photographed again and stop talking about things that she has no education or understanding!!!!

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    11. My kid's doc said Jenny McCarthy was the worst thing that ever happened to a person on the Autism spectrum....stop and think about that. She is worse than no insurance coverage, no understanding, no support, bad education, ignorance.....

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  6. Number 10 is my favorite and your answer was perfect!!!I hear that all the time- reminds me of an interesting story. My husband works for a wonderful construction mangagement company. His boss donated a shitload of money to an autism school. The school had a party at a gorgeous catering hall to honor this man. My husbands company and wives were invited. We were sitting at our table when my hubands boss was called up to say a few words to the 400 people attending. All the sudden- I hear him say- its not me you want to thank- Its Mr&Mrs Fitzpatrick (us)Who live with this everyday-blah blah blah- ..He pulls us up there and he unveils 2 huge pictures that were covered up of my husband and i. We were dumbfounded and embaressed as hell and didnt know what to say. I felt that we were sitting in a room full of parents with children with so many other problems that were so much worse than ours and we didnt deserve all this. They also presented us with a huge basket full of gift certificates for resteraunts. It was crazy and amazing but people really think we are going through hell or something.

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  7. "All he needs is a little discipline. Let me have him for a week- I'll straighten him right out." I always say, sure, you can have him for a week- but no one follows through....

    -LL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahaha, I love that LL. People say that to me too. Problem is, they never ever offer/ask to have him again, lol

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    2. You should really let them have him for a week. He'll straighten THEM out!

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    3. Karen, AMEN!

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    4. I've been getting that since our son was about 2 (especially from my father-in-law who talks like he practically raised their kids by himself even though he was gone a lot for work and my sister-in-law who doesn't have any kids and has has not had much exposure/experience with kids as young as my kids).

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  8. I HATE, "he is too cute to have Autism." Or, "he is too smart."

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  9. How about, "have you tried ____?" Aloe vera juice, flaxseed oil, insert other quirky cure of the day.
    I heard so and so tried it and now their son is cured!

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  10. He's not potty trained yet?? Well so and so's kid is younger and already potty trained. Your just not trying hard enough. :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "you really need to be trying to toilet train him- he is nearly 5 and still in nappies.." Yea cause Hubby & I haven't read everything we can find, spoke to every worker he has seen & tried everything we can think of!?! does that mean you are going to volunteer?? Thought not.

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    2. I've had this one (18 and still in nappies). "You must have missed the potty training signals at the 2 year old stage. Its too late now." Yeah thanks for that. My fault entirely.

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  11. Hi!
    Yesteday I heard the best one! He is so beautiful(sigh) too bad! Too bad WHAT????????

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  12. My least favorite. "Sometimes I wish MY KIDS couldn't talk." Really? You'd love for them to be sick and completely incapable of telling you where it hurts? Or what they want? Or what happened to them at school? Yes, I'm sure you'd love that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For that matter, it's not like they don't make noises - it's just not WORDS. A steady, high-pitched screech that lasts for over half an hour is SO much better than a kid that talks all the time, right?

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  13. "Parenting is hard even if you don't have a child with autism." Insinuating that autism/typical parenting is basically the same. Grrrr..

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  14. I am blessed to have children with different issues than Autism...my oldest son has severe ADHD, ODD and a 160 IQ...his grandmother likes to tell us that "he's so smart, he can't have ADHD". My daughter has emotional issues, (she doesn't react correctly to emotional situations) and is emotionally distant (she's 6), and serious sensory processing issues...I love when people say "but she seems so NORMAL". I've given up talking about their problems to anyone, because unless you have a child with an "issue", you can't understand. My husband (their father) still doesn't understand what I go through everyday, and HE LIVES THROUGH IT! He's in denial, I guess. My youngest seems to be "normal", whatever that might mean. I just count myself blessed that my children were not born hemophiliacs, with spina bifida, or any physically debilitating defects, and that even with their special situation (I feel like an idiot for even posting all this) there are many opportunities for them to grow and function. Bless all of us for being parents, we may not see our jobs as special, but we are trusted to care and love our children and we do it in a way that others can't handle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It has been said that God never gives you anything you can't handle. I just wish He didn't trust me so much...

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  15. When a family member heard that my son was diagnosed this was her response, "Aw and he was so cute." Did I miss something? Did the diagnosis cause a huge malformation right on his forehead? OR are we talking past tense because he died the moment of diagnosis. Sheesh!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have family members who act like our sons are defective because of their diagnoses (9 year old has ADHD and 6 year old has ADHD and Asperger's). They are still the same wonderful boys they were before. They didn't change as soon as they were diagnosed!

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  16. I can't stand being told that we were picked by God to take care of our son because, we are special. F#*~ that. My son gets to suffer his entire life b/c I'm such a good person.
    Guess I should have been a crackhead, that way my son would be typical.
    And, I agree with the one, " my typical child does that too." really, I betcha your child will outgrow whatever they are doing. My son will not.
    Oh, and the cute thing. Well, yeah, he is cute. Wonder how many people will be saying that when he is 22 years old?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hate that 'special kids are given to special parents' thing too! and "He's so lucky to have you". I just want to say "yeah, if he was yours you would have left him at the hospital, right?" *eyeroll*

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    2. My mom always says that neurotypical kids do whatever my kid's doing too. At one point my son was chewing on his toes till they bled. My mom said, "Other kids chew on their toes too." Maybe when they're infants, and not till they bleed!

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    3. Having a good laugh over all the replies (gotta laugh, right?). The "you must be special to have been given a special child" and the "I don't know how you do it" comments are the ones that get me.

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    4. I think I love you.. really I do, what makes me so freaking specail that my child has to suffer for his entire life. What I would not give to not be special

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  17. You are so brave!

    Just trying to annoy you further :) Love this and I will "like" your FB page to follow you further!

    ~Stephen

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  18. Many of the things that you all are posting about wouldn't fall under what I'd call "polite" statements/questions. Many of them seem to be downright mean/ rude. That's a whole different blog post. :-) LOL

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  19. Frank, sincere and honest.

    Am loving your blog ! So many things I can identify with.

    :-)

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  20. Haha. The "She's just got character is all." Or "She looks so normal, so maybe the doctor's are wrong." Okay, say that again after you see this ten-year-old running around naked, picking at her hands until they bleed, staying awake for nearly a week straight, and lining up all this week's favorite toys...

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  21. "He seems to be getting better." {Are you kidding me?} "He seems so smart." {You get that from the way he's putting those Legos together?} "You know, you're lucky. Most of 'them' can't talk at all." {Lucky? I know I couldn't have heard you correctly} "You'd never know he was one of 'them'." {"Them"? Is there a club?} and finally... my least favorite remark from my stepfather on Facebook: "You know, 'they' are all God's children and 'they' all deserve love just the same as everyone else." {Are you effin' kidding me? Somebody hold me the hell back from striking this man.}

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  22. Gotta love the comment: "You're only given as much as you can handle!" Really!?

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    Replies
    1. That's such crap! I don't like when people say that either. Sometimes smiling and saying nothing is better.

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    2. That's when I'd probably say, "So I guess you must be a shitty parent because God gave you NT kids that can manage life without you." :)

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    3. I've found this comment most often comes from people who are trying to talk themselves out of feeling guilty for not offering to help out every once in awhile. I am OFTEN given more than I can handle... that's why my house looks like a tornado struck most of the time!

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  23. I hate to be told "You are so strong". Um, no. My daughter's autism gave me no super powers. I can't bench press any more than I could before. I especially hate it when my daughter is having a particularly bad day and I am at the end of my rope. Why do I have to be so strong. Isn't it ok to just sit in limbo wishing it was bedtime already?

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  24. The child I take care of isn't autistic, instead is very physically Limited. I think this applies here. I HATE it when strangers say "whats wrong with him?" Usual reply is...nothing. what's wrong with you? Also, strangers who come up to us and say they have to pray over him. To that I gasp and say OMG I never thought of that.

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    Replies
    1. My answer to "What's wrong with your child?" is "What's wrong with your manners?" This usually shuts them up.

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  25. I forgot the comment: "I wish I had that much energy!" when seeing her bounce around the room. Oh yeah? Try it non-stop between 2-5 a.m. and see what you think!

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha... Too funny!! I am told that a lot about my son.

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    2. I am guilty of saying that...I am the uncle of an autistic little boy. I guess I say it to calm my sister down a bit when she seems at her "wit's end" when her son is extra "active" one day. I can see how that comment would drive ya crazy after a while...:)

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  26. Oh- I want to kick Jenny McCarthy for the "favor" she's done for all of us! My own mother read her book and was suddenly an expert on Autism and a family member sent me some article on her as well. Argghhhh!!! She's the Tom Cruise of the ASD world.

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  27. "If you didn't tell me, I wouldn't have guessed he has autism."

    They just aren't really seeing him, shirt all chewed at the neck line standing entirely too close to their kid, jumping up and down, flapping his hands and overly reacting to the situation.

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    Replies
    1. OMG thats my son in a nutshell!!! while he hasn't been diagnosed with Autism he has a Language Disorder on the severe scale and shows traits of Aspergers' and ADHD, i too have heard all of these at one time or another!!! the best one is 'ah sure if God didnt think you could handle a challenge'!!!!! i really want to slap these people.....HARD!!!!! :-)

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  28. My MOTHER says my boys are autistic because I DONT TAKE THEM TO BIRTHDAY PARTIES!

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    Replies
    1. My mother told me my (11 yo, autistic, moderately fx) son's behavior worsened with puberty (the actual reasons are so well-documented) because I never really got him involved in SPORTS!!!!!

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    2. If my child even got an invite. I guess these parents that exclude my child (when everyone else in the class is invited,) must think it's contagious.

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  29. I must say I hear more often then not when explaining my sons diagnosis. "I'm Sorry". Sorry for what did you do it? Or "you know vaccines did not cause that. That is a myth. To which I calmly ask if they can explain why we give more shots now then ever and see more of this diagnosis and add and adhd. Let me clarify I do not think vaccines cause Autism. However, I do think in some cases it triggers it.

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    Replies
    1. Number of children being diagnosed is increasing, while the number of children being vaccinated is decreasing. Explain that.

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  30. I dislike #10. I get this on just the fact that I have three kids and they have no clue that my middle is high functioning. It's just a shitty thing to hear. What would be more helpful is: "You look like you have your hands full. How about I come over and give you and the husband a date night so yo can feel like real people once a month?" I don't get that one.

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  31. I wish so and so could ride the SE bus she gets upset by the big kids arguing, REALLY I wish My David could handle riding the "big kid" bus, but he would be having a full on non functional meltdown or get off at the school and wander off because somebody wasn't there to help him to class. I also hear he's adorable or he's so happy. When I asked if he has any friends in class, the kids in class respond well to him, oh thanks I didn't mean do they beat him I wanted a real answer.

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  32. My favorite - "I just think about you guys all the time." Really? Because your thoughts are doing absolutely nothing to help me, why don't you take the 2 am shift just once a year, that would be helpful.

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    Replies
    1. That hits home! You never realize how alone you truly are until hit with this. Years go by... and very few offer anything. Maybe they don't know what to do... but it's hard not to be bitter.

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    2. Ugh, we get this too, "Wish we could do something to help but we're so far away". Meanwhile I see on FB that they're gone to Hawaii, again, or South America, or France, or did the 2 hour (one way) drive to my brother and sister in laws to watch their kids for the weekend, or went to Disney with them, again this year. I guess planes don't fly to Atlanta. 7 years now. I am totally bitter.

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  33. When telling my neighbor about my son's Asperger's diagnosis I get, "Well there are meds for that. I've been to seminars and stuff as a teacher, and it's on the same spectrum as ADHD." ????What!?? She's been to teacher seminars and knows more than a parent?! And he is on meds, but it was said as if it would "fix" him. NO CLUE!

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  34. "I saw this kid on TV who had autism... and he was a genius!" "Some expert said their brains aren't damaged... they're just different".

    Oh... I am sure you're right! Excuse me, I have to pull a flaming telephone out of the pellet stove, and fish some turds out of the hot tub. (just a typical eleven-year-old)

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    Replies
    1. Please forgive me for chuckling! This just reminds me so much of our situation at home!

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  35. No matter how polite my family and friends can be, I still get frustrated by their need to constantly give me parenting advice when not one of them has ever taken the time to read and learn about autism and some do not even have children of their own! My son cannot eat food and vomits if you put anything in his mouth. He only takes liquids and stage 1 & 2 Gerber baby food (he is 2). The questions consist of..."have you tried cheerios?" "have you mashed up a banana?" or the worst one "just let him starve...he will come around". I have come to the point now where I just quit telling anyone about my son b/c of the constant need people have to "fix" him.

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    Replies
    1. I used to hear that about my daughter who only eats chicken nuggets and fries with ranch dressing. "just make her eat what you eat. She'll eat when she's hungry." Well after 3 days of trying that when she was little, I gave in. No, she won't eat what we eat when she's hungry, she'll just be more and more difficult to handle because she's hungry and she can't figure out why you won't feed her something she'll eat.

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    2. Iv'e been getting that also for 10 years..my son is high functioning and eats certain foods(which are all considered junk food). make him eat what you do..he will eat when he is hungery enough.. quit catering to him, make him eat whats put on the table..and my favorite he will grow out of it!!!!! my son is 10, 5'4, 160, looks 14, and wears size 38 pants...he only eats chili dogs, chicken patties, french fries, salty snacks,ans oatmeal cream cookies...yes he is over weight, but if i "make him eat healthy" he throws it up or sits there staring at it...

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  36. How about when they say god doesn't give you what you can't handle !!! And the best is god bless you !!

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  37. "Oh, they are doing so much for autism these days". Um, really? Exactly who are "they" because last I checked, *they* are not doing shit, *I* on the other hand work at this 24/7. Me, the mommy. Not "the doctors", not "the schools" - the schools work at making sure I don't spend any of their money and the doctor sees him 7 minutes a year. I've spent 8 solid years studying this child, no doctor is going to give me new information on my child.

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  38. I am an adult with autism (aspergers) and I get the "but you look so normal" comment all the time. Like I am supposed to have green martian antennae sprouting out of my head? Huh?

    I always ask other parents of special needs kids (and I do talk to them now and then because I volunteer in our church's children's ministry and we have a few kids who come to our Wed. night program with special needs) how THEY are doing (the parents) and ask if their child is doing well (healthy) and is happy. I think that's all that matters. If the child is happy and medically healthy - and the parents are doing well, then that's all you need to ask about (if trying to be polite.) I take a genuine interest in the kids that I help to teach though, and as an extension - I take a genuine interest in their parents as well. I would hope to always offer support - even if it's just an ear to listen or some little errand I could run for them. But I would NEVER compare their child to ANY other child - NT or not...

    AD - your boy is just KYLE. He isn't like anyone else's boy with autism. He's Kyle. That's all. Trying to compare children with special needs to other children with special needs (or trying to even compare "normal" children with other kids their age) is just nutty. That's like trying to compare apples to rhinoceroses. We are all different.

    I think people "mean well" but it can get REALLY annoying. I often want to punch the lights out of people that tell me that I "look so normal." Really? It's normal for a 46 year old woman to ONLY wear baggy t-shirts and pants, converse sneakers with loose-fitting socks, rock back and forth when nervous or when sitting in a room full of people, not make good eye contact, have unbreakable rituals, and have meltdowns when sensory issues get out of whack? (like fluorescent lighting, crowds, smells, textures, etc...) Yeah. If that's YOUR idea of normal, ok. I feel like I stand out like a sore thumb in most instances, BUT... it's MY normal, and that's just the way it is.

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    1. thank-you. both for sharing this and for honestly caring about and for those kids and their parents. :)

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  39. This is HILARIOUS! My nephew has autism. My sister and I just read this and are still in tears from laughing. Thanks for sharing!

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  40. My favorite is... "He's not really autistic... if he were Autistic he would be like ____ & ____.
    Yeah, and when did you get your degree of, "I know about medical diagnosis so much I can undiagnose your child BECAUSE they don't fit into the norms of Autism I see in the movies." No he's not a damn Savant, he's damn smart but he is also a person that no one knows how he works, except maybe his father and I... and no one seems to understand.

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    Replies
    1. The proper response to that is, "If you've met one kid on the spectrum, you've met one kid on the spectrum."

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  41. Love your reaction..had a good laugh

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  42. My favorite, and I hear it every time I see this one friend...."He doesn't look like there is anything wrong with him."

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  43. Great list! I'd really like to hear what you DO want to hear, though! Where's the optimism? ;)

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  44. The 2 I get all the time is
    Did the doctors ever figure out what is wrong with him? and

    You need to spank him some so he will know right from wrong. (when I hear this one people usually get an ear full)

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  45. Oh, here we go; wow he can't be autistic, he talks just fine. .. a good spanking would cure that tantrum....he will eat when he gets hungry...he's a boy, he's going to be hyper...maybe he will outgrow this....how is he doing in school...

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  46. He does not look like a child with autism. He is growing out of it. There is nothing wrong with him.

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  47. I do not have any children in the spectrum but I can assure that most people say these things because they DON'T know what it's like to have a child with Autism. I had a friend whose son was diagnosed and any time I saw her or talked to her I felt like I had to walk on eggshells with her. People are scared about what they don't know and in turn can say stupid things. I DON'T have a clue what it's like for all of you parents just as you don't know what it's like for me. Every family, every child is different and special and we all do the very best to take care of our kids no matter the differences. I hate that I never see anything positive come from certain people in the Autism community; it always just seems like a bitch and moan fest about how other people are stupid and ignorant....my hope is for every parent to find joy in their day because no matter what, BEING A PARENT IS HARD!

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    1. I appreciate your honesty here. If you get to "know" some autism parents online, you'll see a whole spectrum of attitudes and ideas toward parenting - pun intended. Some are very positive, some seem very negative but try to understand the negativity. Many children on the autism spectrum do not sleep much at all and parents are EXHAUSTED! My guess is that the level of "negativity" is pretty closely related to the level of exhaustion.

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    2. I find it really interesting (not really) that you have NO CHILDREN ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM yet, you are on an Autism Blog. Furthermore, to show how much you don't understand us (ASD parents) you say BEING A PARENT IS HARD implying that you're job as a NT child's parent (I assume) is AS HARD as mine is. Also, that you have the audacity to even comment like you have a clue or give us some insight into parenting. I believe YOU are the kind of people we are all talking (complaining) about. So please go "do good" somewhere else because unless you can give us an hour break from being bitten, kicked, hit, pinched, or can stop any of our children from breaking various objects then you really haven't "helped" any of us.

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    3. To you who thought its okay to judge you obviously have a lot of anger and no other way to release it. I have MANY friends who have kids with Autism and was directed to this blof by one who posted it to her Facebook profile. If you actually read my post in the 'non angry' voice it was intended you could see I wasn't giving parenting advice. Why would I ? I'm not an expert or perfect. Secondly, my brother has suffered from schizophrenia his whole life so I saw and still do see the frustration our parents have towards him. They have blamed themselves on a daily basis, they blame him for his mental disorder yet they defend him if anyone else takes a jab at his differences in public or at family gatherings. I am the sister of someone with a mental illness. I got to see him start out okay and decline. I've lived in a house with the fear my brother might physically hurt any of us at any moment or worse. So do NOT go off and judge me because YOU don't have a clue about me just as I don't about you... Just as I said before. I have every right to be here commenting on this blog because maybe then "people like me with neurotypical children" can understand better how you would prefer us to handle being in a conversation with you. Unfortunately, it's people like you that go to the extremes of being angry that makes it impossible to have any other friends other than Autism parents. None the less, I hope you can find happiness in your life somewhere.

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    5. Kudos to this ! There is no excuse to be negative - just coz one is an autism parent - in fact it is a duty to maintain positivity - being a parent of an ASD Kid myself, its easy to think that my attitude will not pass onto kids - but it does - we are dealing with a human brain here

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    6. As a mother of 2 and maybe 3 children with Autism I try to be positive and usually manage very well but there are days that I need to vent and so do many other parents. Forums like this allow us to be 'negative' and not to be judged especially as many parents can understand the frustrations of living with autism. I've recently got told by social services I don't qualify for help as 'we are coping' but the minute I say how awful things are I get blasted for not being positive.
      Another reason that many autism forums seem to be on the negative side is that many of us spend most of the day putting a smile on our faces and acting as if everything is normal because if we say anything we get comments like those above.
      I do understand that most of the comments are well meaning and often people just don't know what to say but sometimes after dealing with tantrums, self harming and a non verbal child I don't need someone telling me its a gift or they will grow out it.

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    7. also thanks to ca276. well said.

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    8. So you readily admit that people can say stupid things to autism parents, and yet, you begrudge us the emotional release of discussing those stupid things amongst ourselves on a blog that's obviously by, for and about people in the autism community. Do you bounce around to disability blogs all over the internet lecturing people that they should stop bitching and moaning? Or are we the only lucky ones?

      You "hate" that you "never see anything positive from certain people in the autism community." What are you some kind of autism community voyeur who's obsessed with how we behave and passes judgement on us if our behavioir is not up to your standard?

      If your hope is for every parent to find joy in their day, then here's how you can help the autism community: Go away. Go far, far away.

      Delete
    9. Lool.....OMG.....I LOOOOOOVE your sassiness !!!!

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    10. To the person that stated a reply line.. (doesn't now anybody on the spectrum)

      SHUT UP! Read and then feel free to comment

      Delete
    11. I'm almost afraid to say anything, but I did want to comment. I am not close to anyone with autism or anyone with a kid with autism, as I am a fairly isolated stay at home mom. I just wanted to say I am learning a lot from this blog, and I am here to do just that. I find that some things AD talks about resonate quite strongly with me, as a parent, and other things strike the "wow, that must be incredibly hard to deal with" chord instead. Wish I could be in a position to help some of you out, but also I feel like I wouldn't have the first clue how to take care of your kids for an hour. I'm an expert in my own kids, but I feel very tentative even taking care of other NT kids... tantrums from my kids don't really faze me but how would I know what calms your kid down? Or what behaviors I have that would set off a tantrum? I'm just trying to learn about something that is outside of my experience. If those of us who know nothing are not allowed to read about your experiences, how on earth are we to know what is ok to say and what is not? What is helpful and what is not? To those of you who smile and nod at us idiots that just don't know what to say, thank you. I'll try to learn better. Thank you for being nice to us in the meantime. Remember that you are experts in the field of your kid, and what you deal with daily intimidates the hell out of a lot of us. Remember also that we have things in our lives (by us I mean people without autistic kids) that we deal with that might intimidate you. Let's try to be human together, and not say things like "here's how you can help the autism community: go away. Go far, far away", or "SHUT UP!". Not helpful...

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  48. It's hard to please some parents u get mad if ppl don't talk to u ,u get mad if they do but don't say the right thing I say it's best not to even acknowledge you,you get mad if ppl look @ ur child while having meltdown really what should ppl do like you wouldn't look,and if a child is over 3-4 an still in a diaper so what if someone call them a baby they did ask abt them.The one thing I have learn is just leave you alone,what most of you have forgot is your child your problem stop expecting others to solve your problems,not many want to be hit,bit kick,slap and spit on and who want to change the diapers of a older child nobody not even parents want to after reading some of these comments it's true some parents need real talk,honest talk. YOUR CHILD YOUR PROBLEM!!!

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    1. This is a completely graceless, unkind response. Any valid point you might have is lost in your rudeness. I am a parent of 4 NT children who came here via a Facebook post from a friend whose son is Autistic. I am shocked that you cannot show kindness and compassion to those here who deal day in and out with issues the rest of us cannot imagine. My recommendation is to not some back here until you learn some manners!

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    2. AMEN! Thank you sooo much Erica!

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    3. Gotta say, I second Erica. Try to learn a bit before opening your mouth, Anonymous Feb 8. And then remember that most folks get irritated being questioned by total strangers. Especially by very rude total strangers. If you've learned to "just leave you alone", feel free to do so at any time. There are lots of us here who just want to learn.

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  49. My son is 4 and a half about to start kinder today!! Anyway I always get "but he is a boy ,boys are slower at things" Yes I do agree Boys can be lazy but at 3 he had vocab of a year old baby! Hmmmm

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  50. How about:
    1. Do you have any suggestions on how to get him to stop making that noise? (from school)....aaahhh, no, that's his stim. Think we haven't tried to get him to stop since it drives the familiy crazy?

    2. I could never raise a kid with autism - you're such an amazing Mom. I hate that one.

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    1. I often get, I dont know how you do it. God must have thought you are strong enough to handle it. ummm do what and handle what? i have no choice, you do what you have to. They are innocent beautiful children, who deserve the best, like all 'typical' children.

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  51. After we've worked our asses off with intensive therapy and he began to show progress..."Do you think he was mis-diagnosed?"
    I wanna rip their hair out and say, "Do you understand that we eat, sleep and breathe autism therapy??!!" ARGH!

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    1. I so hear you! My daughter was in a literacy support class and for the first time she was succeeding and feeling she was doing well, rather than being at the bottom level of everything from reading to math. She was 9 and had only been fully diagnosed for about a year. The teacher approached me and asked me if I thought she should be transferred to the mainstream class so she could be "challenged."

      I understood what she meant but I firmly put my foot down and saif NO! I shared with her how my daughter was finally succeeding and feeling positive about school for once in her life and nobody was going to take that away from her. Also explained that changing her teacher and class peers was "not the best idea" for a child that reacts badly to sudden change.

      She won the award and medal for English in her class that year.

      I also don't like the comment from a teacher "Oh yes, I taught a child with Aspergers (Autism, ASD etc etcd once."

      Oh really, only once? So you must know everything about it then.... that makes me feel sooooooo much better... NOT.

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  52. These are all comments from people that obviously care about you and your son. You should be thankful.

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    Replies
    1. he already noted that. read the whole blog post, not just the list.

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  53. Well, to those who have gotten angry about AD's post or think he should be thankful, please remember he did say at the outset that he didn't blame people for saying these things. If no one posts lists like these, how would anyone who isn't parenting a child with autism know people find these comments annoying? Another purpose of his post is probably to communicate to other parents who *do*understand how these comments are annoying and need to know that others feel the same way, precisely because of people like you who don't get it. I know I have certainly said things in situations I didn't understand that made things worse for people I wanted to help. What I'm thankful for is the times when someone's told me they were hurt or annoyed so I didn't have to make an ass of myself again. And to the person who said, your kid, your problem, the only thing you said that was right is that you shouldn't even try to talk to us. That sounds like a real win-win to me.

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  54. The your child your problem person. Well your mom's child is our problem because that child has just posted some self centered ignorant crap that displays the kind of attitude that isolates these families from society. We don't need you to say anything to us and we don't need your pity. Autism families meet a lot of caring and wonderful people down the road that life has taken us and we learn to tune out the ignorance that people like you spew.

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    1. The person that said "your child, your problem" I wish your mother had opted for an abortion. Furthermore, learn basic spelling and grammer, ans some etiquette!

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  55. I'm a single mum of 4 kids (2 boys 2 girls) my eldest child / son was diagnosed several years ago and i'm awaiting for my youngest son to be assessed / diagnosed and constantly hearing from ppl "oh he is just has an attitude problem" when he has a meltdown or lashes out. It really annoys me since the people who say it have nothing to do with my kids so everything that has been said on here is nothing new to me but very frustrating. My family have been very supportive and whenever they see that it's all getting to me they give me a break, so thankfully they know how to handle tne meltdowns. Try to keep strong everyone and hopefully we can all support each other.

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  56. First off to the your child your problem person PPPPPPPPPHHHHHHHHHBBBBBBTTTTTTT!!!!!! My favorite one old lady to my non verbal 7year old hi little girl you are sooo pretty didn't your mom teach u to say thank you?? Why doesn't she talk? Me-My daughter is Autistic Old lady- Oh that's just the dianognosis of the day she's shy and has bad manners.Me- well someone does have bad manners doesn't she? Have a nice day. uuugggh

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    1. when I encounter "know-it-all" jerks like that I turn and get in front of my child and start signing to him. Makes the jerks shut up and usually drop their jaw as they walk off with their tails between their legs. lol

      No need to go into explanation that he could hear them but just couldn't respond. Just silently pointed out they were the problem, not my kid and that's pretty accurate with or without further details. ;)

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  57. My biggest all time FAVE is "Can they FIX that?" or "Are they going to do something to fix him?" I have been asked BOTH of these by my ex, the "father" to my 2 1/2 yr old asd son, and by a couple of other people.... I ALWAYS want to respond back with something along the lines of "He is NOT a dog I am having neutered, he is my kid and he is NOT getting 'fixed' anytime soon!"

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  58. the most annoying one i get is, Pfft, my kids did that.... Yes they "did" that! my son is turning ten and he's growing into it not out! and at what stage did you're child speak, oh that's right by 2. try teaching him to say his own name for the first year of school and not getting anywhere .... some people are so disconnected with what Autism is, and the difference between a child's quirk's and constant behavior that there is just no escaping

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  59. I too have had the "let him starve". simply disgusting what comes out of peoples mouths, and they are meant to be "normal" if thats normal i think i'll stick to my son thanks

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    1. I can't imagine letting ANY child starve no matter what the circumstances are!

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    2. I've had my son on Ensure (made ny Abbott Pharma) for a year and a half. My son couldn't tolerate textures--- anywhere, including his mouth. One does what one must.

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  60. "Maybe he doesn't watch enough TV and that is why he doesn't talk. My children watched Sesame Street - I think that helps."

    I'm a SAHM, and I prefer to engage with my non-verbal 2.5 y/o son. Perhaps I should dress up as a big yellow bird and maybe he will magically speak to me. Trust me, I would LOVE for it to be that EASY to get him to call me Mommy and say I LOVE YOU. -MominTexas

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  61. I just posted a follow up blog post called "Things To Say & Ways To Help An Autism Parent"

    http://autism-daddy.blogspot.com/2012/02/things-to-say-to-ways-to-help-autism.html

    Enjoy!

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  62. Not funny at all - but the most painful - is the non speak. The party and play date invitations that never come. The shunning, pushed out and being left out.
    That speaks loudly. And I blame the parents who are "oh so liberal and understanding".
    I asked a friend why her children shun my child. Seeking education. "Oh, they're just Tweeners!"

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    1. I love you guys.. I agree she is a playboy bunny, really she is going to give me advice. I listen to doctors, teachers, therapist, but a bunny.. they eat their young right.

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  63. I know you said doctors do not have a clue, but have you ever considered an Occupational Therapist? OT is not heard about by many people but it really should be more well known. They will not try to "fix" your child as you have described others have made suggestions to do. OT instead will help your child and family with everyday tasks that are difficult and find ways to make them more achievable. You can go to a therapy center or have home health where they can go to you. If it is something you want to consider, you have to get a referral from your doctor before you can see an OT. I hope this helped and you did not take it as a 'polite' things people say. ;)

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    1. Im going to chime in here as the mother of a 5 year old with PDD-NOS & a history in Pediatric Nursing. While I see that your intent was good... HELL YES WEVE ALL *HEARD* of OT! Bahahahh! AND I PROMISE YOU IF IT CAN HELP WE HAVE DONE IT! In my case for YEARS! Indeed, it is helpful! BUT this most def *IS* something "polite" people say. I am not being ugly, but quite frankly when people suggest things like this it is OFFENSIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I assure you anyone here on this blog is YEARS ahead of your advice, at least what youve offered this far!

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  64. My son is 4 and diagnosed as high functioning...though if this is high functioning, God help us if it were any worse. My favorite is when people say, "Ain't nothin wrong with that boy, he just needs his ass tore up.". Thanks. That makes me feel better--my kid is fine, I'm just a sorry parent. Autism is mythical like pink unicorns and we CHOOSE to live like this. Gotcha. That was SOOOO helpful.
    ~Heather

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  65. My biggest roadblock is my mother-in-law. It started when our autistic son was 18mths old and she told me the reason why he was slow is because of the way I parent him. Too much TV and not enough hot meals with vegies. I didn't get up early enough in the morning to prepare meals for the day and spend every waking moment with him Then when we got the diagnosis, it was She knew someone years ago that had autism and they really loved vacum cleaners. Does he like vacum cleaners? When we go over to her place, our son is constantly touching everything (and all she does is sit there and just tell him NO, DONT TOUCH THAT; he opens all the cupboards and gets out the jars and tries to open them. She responds with "He must be hungry, you dont feed him enough. I made stewed apples for him."; when we change his nappy, "Why have you not started toilet training him? Just put him on the toilet and he will eventually work it out"; saw today tonight (if not in aus, its a current affairs show) and some mother has gone on there and told everyone that because her son is on CFGF diet he his cured of Autism! Hooray! Why have you not got him on that diet?. DRIVES ME AROUND THE BEND! I try to get her information about why all this shit does not help, and she says the information does not make any sense to her and she persists in DRIVING ME BLOODY CRAZY! Just to top all of this craziness off, she has now decided its all her fault and that she cause the autism from her time in Germany during the war. She cries herself to sleep at night worrying about it. I feel for her and I know she is part of another generation that just dont seem to understand autism.

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  66. My sister-in-law went on and on about this book she was reading. She was explaining to me how kids with autism have different issues than other kids with autism. No two are alike. I felt like saying, "You're kidding! I had no idea!" I'd hate to tell her, but for every minute she reads about autism, I have read hours!!!!!

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  67. My son's preschool teacher recently presented my with a diagnostic behavioral questionaire to fill out. (We are preparing to write his new IEP this spring) She commented that the guy dropped it off and one for her to fill out and that they got to talking about Boo and the guy asked "why am I evaluating him?" My son is high functioning (a pigeon-hole term I don't much like anyway) and I'm positive she meant this as a reassuring statement, that my son "seems" normal. But instead I found it very disconcerting. I feel I don't want anyone evaluating my son if they are coming to the table with that sort of mind set.

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  68. My list:

    http://www.adventuresofnotsupermom.com/2012/01/ten-things-not-to-say.html

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  69. Thank You :)

    My personal fuse is "He's mild though, isn't he" Mild? MILD? How is that good, it's not less issues just a different set .......

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  70. I got this one today, he's just playing games, he knows what he's doing to manipulate you!

    Really? These teachers do not have the skills to act appropriately with my son and no one will make them! He is one of the most honest people I know. He had a brain injury on top of the autism and has some sensory and perception issues, but what he says is what he feels. It's his truth.

    Oh yeah and another one from the former principal, well you said its' PDD-NOS, that's not autism.

    or

    If you put it in the IEP that means I have to do it - from a teacher

    or

    But he's not like the other kids I know with autism.

    or

    Will you make him stop repeating?
    -Really is his repeating really hurting you?

    So frustrating!

    Thanks for this website!

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  71. My favorite, always and forever is "It will be okay." Oh really? It will? Okay, thanks for telling me!!!

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  72. WELL ATLEAST HE'S HAPPY!

    Seriously? That makes it all better?

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  73. Well she HAS to understand "no". "What do you mean she's 4 and not potty trained yet? You just have to sit her on the potty till she goes, no matter how long it takes." "Have you tried XYZCBQ therapy?" "Did you have her vaccinated? It must have been the vaccinations." "You'll just have to keep your eye on her constantly to keep her from doing that. (never mind the fact that I have 3 other children and have to eat, sleep, and potty as well)"

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  74. "I know exactly how you feel. I have a cousin in (insert far-away state or country here) who has ADHD." (Commenting about my BP, ASD, ODD, ADHD, SPD son.) If only attention and hyperactivity were his only issues!

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  75. Oh he has autism...he must be good at maths...no he's quite crap at that...he is, however, great at hitting me in public and making rather odd noises...loudly...at inappropriate moments.

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  76. He looks normal...
    He is too smart to be...
    Is he like rain man....
    You just give in all the time...
    He needs some discipline...
    We if the ....(insert professional) says then it must be true....
    All the above are well meaning but I don't blame any autism mum/dad for losing the plot when people say such stupid things - I always say try living one day in my shoes before you judge me. Funny enough they never offer....

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  77. My favorite 'worst response' I ever got after my son was diagnosed came from the school board at a meeting when we had to FIGHT for special education... They asked his disability and I told them he has an autism spectrum disorder - PDD-NOS, and they asked what medications he takes for that...
    AT EVERY MEETING.
    ~Did I miss the miracle pill for autism???
    Usually I let people's well meant comments slide away, they don't know our life and daily battles so really their comments don't matter very much. But I cannot believe that the professionals I trust to educate and care for my son daily have so little knowledge...
    The BEST and MOST MEANINGFUL comment I ever got was during one of my Aspie daughter's basketball practices. I had my PDD-NOS son that I was again struggling to keep reigned in, happy/meltdown-free, and quiet-ish for the 45 minutes we were there, and help my low-confidence and easily confused daughter keep trying and not feel down during the practice. Another mom walked over and said "Excuse me, I just wanted to tell you that I see that you are doing a fantastic job, and I felt you should know that." And she walked away.

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  78. I want to share a very helpful outlook from a mother of 2 NT children and an elementary level teacher. Her reaction when she found out she would have my ASD son in her first grade class in the upcoming school year was to seek us out and ask if we would meet before school so she could get to know his specific needs and learning style. She also told us outright that she does not know much about autism, and asked me (and the school) to teach her. I loved that she was so open and willing to learn along with my son so they together could have the best possible school year.

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  79. The recurring one I get (mostly from family members) is "Well, that doesn't seem odd. I flapped my hands a lot (Or some other random behavior that they've seen) when I was growing up, I grew out of it and I'm fine!" Really? 'Cause just saying something like that makes you appear a little douche-y to me. Maybe you'll grow out of that too!

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  80. I am aspie........and heard "Everybody is a little Asperger I suppose." Reaction: speachless
    On a doctor receipt I had "asperger desease". "What do they learn at med school?"

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  81. This to another Mum, from a teacher who homeschools her kids, while I'm sitting on my 7yo as he bites and spits and hits and kicks, in the middle of the church hall, as I try to get the tranquilizers out of my bag and yell at everyone to "GET BACK before he hurts you"..."Look the other way because the more attention he gets the worse he will act out - he's just doing it for attention." Thankfully I was otherwise occupied and the recipient of this comment knew enough to set her straight.

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  82. Dear Autism Daddy,

    I had a friend post your blog to my facebook and I've been reading a few different articles. I am an adult with autism, recently diagnosed, and I don't have children, I'm kind of parenting myself right now, learning to manage myself. Reading your blog, your son sounds like a wonderful person, (And yes I read the whole thing) ITs not easy, but its worth it. Your son is lucky to have loving parents, not because you're superheroes but just because you support him. My parents never supported me, and I hear from them a few times a year and rarely see them. Keep writing your blood, I love reading it. It makes me smile like few things do. I really hope I didn't say anything stupid or offensive there. Sometimes I do and I don't know it.

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    1. You said nothing stupid or offensive :) Yo

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  83. "I think this is the year he will catch up." That was said by my Mother in law to me. My son is 10 with autism and brain damage and is supposed to be in 4th but is learning 1st grade material.
    She has told me that "he just needs a schedule" and then he wont have explosive behavior. She also told me that "no family can succeed if you dont keep the house clean and have dinner on the table at 5 so your husband wont leave you." She said "if he was her kid he would not be autistic she would not allow it" She said for all the stimming she would have put him in the corner every time he tried to stim or in her words "do that thing he tries to do" it is now a HABIT and there is nothing you can do about it now its too late she says.
    Oh and my ever personal favorite:
    He can be acting retarded at home but you really need to teach him to behave in public or no one will want to be around you. Sigh..... LMP

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  84. I'm a single mom to an 11 year old boy with ADHD and speech apraxia. It's been just the two of us since he was 8 months old. The "I don't know how you do it" irks me every time I hear it. Yeah, there are days where I don't know how I do it either and if I think too much about it, I want to just run away. But for the most part, I just do it. I got him EI (including in-home individual speech therapy and group speech therapy), sent him to a preschool for special needs and kids at risk for educational difficulties (where he got speech therapy and OT), took him to speech therapy at a clinic, stay up late helping with homework because it takes him longer to do it, break down things into smaller steps so it's easier for him to understand it and know what he needs to do, etc. How do I do it? I just do because he's my son and I love him. And Jenny McCarthy? Oh please. My mother actually brought her up right after my son was diagnosed with ADHD and maybe I should try her diet with my son. Lady, if there were a cure for autism or ADHD, do ya think either would still exist?

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  85. i love the "he doesn't look like he has problems". or the "my friend has autism and he sleeps in his own bed". or the "your not potty training him correctly. my favorite is he doesn't eat veggies you need to be a better cook. i hate jenny McCarthy and i cant believe a just God would do this to our children. i also hate the way people look at me with judgment when i have him at the vitamin store buying his melatonin.

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  86. one more that people tell me is that i need to spank him more and he will straighten out he just needs discipline and your too lenient as parents.

    REALLY Thanks for the advice!
    i'll go home and beat my kid later.

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  87. I got ... dont give into the "autism theory" your child is not autistic , I've seen autistic children. He's just hard headed. His ______ didnt speak until he was four. He just needs a younger sibling and then he will talk. My friends kids didnt talk and now they are all better , he will be too. He's too cute/smart/ sweet to be autistic. all babies do these things.... the list is endless.

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  88. I get fed up with people telling me that "you really only need to discipline him" or "I'm not sure about his diagnosis, are you sure he has aspergers"
    We have been in years of therapy and food elimination diets etc etc etc. All I can ever think while I smile oh so politely "keep your "expert" opinion to your self, I think I will listen to the real experts if I need advise!!!" You know they are only trying to be nice yet until they have walked in your shoes and lived your life they really have no idea. That is why I love reading this blog and replies, everyone here "gets it"!

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  89. Slightly off topic, but would like to contribute. I'm a 32 year old male in the UK, recently diagnosed with an ASD. In a previous job I was discussing my condition with my line manager due to asking for reasonable adjustments. When I gave a specific past example of social difficulties in the workplace she interrupted me and facetiously remarked 'Yeah, but aren't all men like that?'
    ?????
    I wasn't sure if she was just trying to lighten the mood, make me feel better or imply I had a made up condition.

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    1. It's been nearly a year and a half since my son was diagnosed as being in the spectrum. I am not going to lie, a huge part of me died that day. I went through an emotional roller coaster...first I was sad, then mad, then sad...the mental pain anguished me for months. I would wake up and think "why him? why me? "....I know i sound like a 'downer' but thats the life most parents of autistic kids. Everyday is a challenge. Yes, God has blessed me with my child--but he too, is my cross to bear for this life of mine. Best of luck to all who blaze the same trail. P.S. Time does heal all wounds.

      Delete
  90. I have to add a couple. "God won't give you more than you can bear," (God had nothing to do with this) and my personal favorite, "you're the strongest person I know." (pops another prozac)

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    1. I too, have been praised as "being a strong person". Blah, blah, blah....you do what you have to do for your child. What are we supposed to do....nothing? Just gripes my a**!

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  91. My son is fairly mild, verbal, blah, blah, blah.... I love when people tell me they can't "see it"... ohhh... the 5 minutes of talking with my 10 yr old (While there is LIMITED eye contact and only one or two subjects) gave you authority on the subject of him? Or the special school he goes to doesn't "see it" because he doesn't display "those behaviors" at school.. REALLY?!? The meltdown when the lunch room didn't have the right kind of chicken he wanted, then throwing up all over the time out room? Meltdowns when there are schedule changes... ect. All the sensory props the school gives him to cope through out the day... hmmm... There is also that pesky diagnosis... then the people who tell me I am such a "great mom"... Really? And you know this.... HOW?!?

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  92. Before my son was properly diagnosed with Aspergers,our friends, teachers and family members said he needed more discipline, he needed spankings. They insisted that he was just a spoiled child that KNEW what he was doing, etc. Grrrr......it takes every single bit of my personal strength to not tell them all now how I really feel about their comments.

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  93. If you would just teach him xxxxx, he'd be perfectly fine.... Uh, yeah, never tried doing that.

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  94. I think that you are doing a lot of good for everyone that reads your blog. I personally work with kids with delays. including autism and I always try to put myself in your shoes so to speak. I try to keep it real and not make ridiculous suggestions that I know are not going to fit in to a family's routine. I always try to adapt to their routine rather than expect it to be the other way around. Personally, I am a mom, a wife and a special education teacher. My child struggles with different issues than autism and I always chuckle internally when someone says to me "have you tried_____?" I think we all do the best we can as parents. I don't always think before I speak and yes I have locked myself int eh bathroom for a minute of peace. I am far from a "prefect" parent or teacher. I believe we continue learning on a daily basis.

    I think each of us does the best we can and if for you and your wife that means Kyle gets extra tv time or solo time in his playroom so be it. We all need breaks and without them we would be truly struggling with our children even more. Happy blogging!
    Thanks for keeping it real!

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  95. Thank you so much for your advice. Both of my kids are autistic and under the age of 5. It gets difficult and there are days where I just want to scream and hide but knowing I can't cause my kids depend on me. I read your blogs and other and I think " I'm not alone" so again Thank you.

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  96. My guys are 12 & almost 15. I used to get comments like, "Wow. How did you get 2 KIDS with autism?" (Just lucky) Or when I would say, "Well, autism affects 1/110" (stats at time).... then the dude literally multiplies 110x110 and asks me if the odds are like 1/12100 that I had 2 kids with autism???? WTH? And how nice is that? I have a son who has moderate level autism, and the worst comments come from parents who are horrified/terrified of him - and they say things like, "Well, you must not have done a lot of therapy with him, since he is so far behind (insert the name of their child)!" or "Maybe he needs some more supplements." YEP, that will fix it, and you just made me feel so "in the autism mommy club" - NOT - SERIOUSLY, other MOTHERS and FATHERS have made these remarks about my son... My beautiful son, who has worked so hard to get where he is - and we celebrate every tiny achievement.... We really need to be supportive of each other, and present our children with dignity to the community, regardless of their reaction to our life.

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  97. I had my family read this and of course it was taken the wrong way. So now they don't ask me anything about asd or about my child. They say since everything offend me they just avoid us. I tell them I love him with all my heart,their comment to me is you should as all parents should love their child but what do that have to do with us and your life. @ family parties they just watch him have a meltdown without saying a word and want help me because they are not train used that comment against me too. I said people need to be train to understand asd. I was once ask if you know your child so good why are you bugging other people for help to deal with my child. Plus the family won't touch him because of the way he drool an play with spit,dig in his pants dig in his nose and play with it and the fact that he's still in diapers @ age 14 make it even worse, I don't won't to change his diapers and to expect others to want to is outrages. If most parents would be honest this is not the life I wanted and I'm jealous of my family and friends who have normal children ? and yes I would trade places with them,I don't get invited to girls day lunch and shopping why ? no one will keep him and they are scare I'll bring him, no one visit because he have not a clue to personal space and they don't want him touching them,drooling on them and most the time I don't want to be touch. But like my family say your child,your problem deal with it and we won't offend you with questions.

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  98. #10 is my fave on this. I have others I could add in, but yours are all great. I've heard every damned one of these!
    Jessi
    www.decipher-morgan.com

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  99. My favorite is when I tell someone he is autistic and they say "Well, he doesn't need a label." Pretty sure it's not a label, it's a medical diagnosis. Can you imagine if you told someone your kid had cancer or the flu and they said "Well, no need for labels."

    Also, because my son is adopted, sometimes people imply that I should regret adopting him after learning that he has autism. Yeah, you're right. All the sudden I don't love him anymore. Maybe I could trade him in for a better model?

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  100. Oh but she's so pretty!

    I know my kid's cute but in response to yes, she really does have autism. Oh but she's so pretty. Uh what? So she was supposed to be funny looking because she has autism?

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  101. I really like your #10 also.. I hear that often!

    I have to say that the best I've heard yet are these two!

    1. Well, I'm glad it happened to you, because I would have given them away!

    Really?? WOW

    2. Look at the good side - at least you'll have 4 kids leaving home all at the same time!

    As my two oldest are both ASD... really - how dumb can you get? My reality is that I might have 2 that spend the rest of their lives with us... ~Judy B.~

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  102. I heard a good one recently....well at least they are happy!! Talking about my 3.5 year old twin daughters...oh and my mother when I told her I was going to get them assesed for autism said "oh don't go there" and I said I have to it is right in front of me!!

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  103. My fiancee has 2 autistic kids, one of them is with us, and the other with the birth farther. I met at the age of 25 with the intent of fathering both children and i never looked back. Peter, 5, has severe autism and he can be an absolute terror, but the times when hes good accounts for it which is why I relate to this blog immensely. I found it funny when we took Peter to the local pub one afternoon and he had a fascination with the bar gate and the service bell. We did try to keep him from playing with it but as you might know, avoiding a tantrum in public is priority number one. The people in the bar complained of course! People never notice his autism even though its so obvious if you pay the slightest attention to him. Society needs more understanding of autism.

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  104. "Oh can't you get some kind of money from the State to help." I don't even know where to begin with that one but I've heard it more than once.

    And this one, "You are the perfect parents for the job".
    I sure that and many comments were meant to make you feel good as the author said but ugh.

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  105. I think at least some of these responses, as inane as they sound, are people trying to avoid coming across as the person with the judgmental stare or pity.

    Here is what is engrained in us "regular parents" approaching a parent with a special needs child.

    1) don't stare, act taken back (my kid does that too)
    2) don't feel sorry for parent. (at least he sleeps through the night, he's cute, etc)
    3) be accepting (hence the "he can put that in his mouth")make social interactions as easy as possible for the other parent.
    4) don't presume to know more than the medical professional taking care of child (what does the doctor say, is a way to avoid another of your pet peeves, have you tried x?)

    If this was a venting post, I get it, but if there are alternate approaches people who don't know much about autism from a front line perspective could take when interacting with you and your son, I would be interested in hearing it.......

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    Replies
    1. Don't take it personal, most of us are not disable ourselves we get a disable kid so its very difficult for us to handle the situation parse.
      This is a blog that says it how it is, a way to express what its inside. The autism daddy explained at the beginning "They are just trying to be polite and show interest in your kid and have something nice to say" so we are not judging anyone, or being haters ourselves, we are letting out the frustration that we felt when the obvious is reminded with this questions again and again. You got to understand We are not the perfect parent for the job, we are clueless, and we don't know how we do it either we just do it because we most. I didn't ask for this to happen. I'm so tired of the all the disability that when someone comes and gives me the pity look i don't even care as long as they don't gave other pity advise with out understanding in the flesh what is really going inside. I love my son so I don't need to be remained all the time that he is disable because he misbehave in front of others, that is the last thing I need. so don't try to make us look bad because we have something to say about our pain just look at it as dark humor and maybe you will laugh too

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  106. My son is 28, and I get from workers that work with him. I didn't know he could do that. Look what I did I taught him how to say (whatever word). He was doing that before you came. Read his chart and maybe you will learn what he can and can not do. Oh, and I give them warnings. Think 2 steps ahead of him, because if you don't he will get you ever time. I LOVE MY SON!!

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  107. Reading some of these comments, it makes me wonder what DO you say to someone with an autistic child? It's been narrowed down to Hello and Goodbye. While people with physical disabilities go through the same thing, it would be nice to know what do you say?

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  108. I have Autism and people have treated me like a 2 year old, suggesting that I like Jo Jingles and animals and that I won't like The Big Bang theory. I am 14, not 2. Even my teacher is doing it. She thinks I want to go on a pretend treasure hunt!

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  109. i have a 9 yr old special needs girl,,,, shes my world and i have herd all of these... i think people dont know what to say so they domt think before they speak...

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  110. Not sure if anyone else covered this but how about the ole "You sure have your hands full"... Its interesting because my son is pretty indistinguishable now...meaning noone would know he has Autism ( Alot of hard work with RDI)...but he also has pandas since 2011, and recently had a flare up...which means he barks like a dog as a tic...and at its worse, every 5 seconds. Off to the emergency room we went to get antibiotic because he turns into a different child when he gets strep...and the nurse basically laughed and said he is so cute and then said yeah you have your hands full...I wanted to deck her!

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  111. Number 9.. my dad says it to me all the time. My boys are 6 and 7. No, I do not want them putting ....... into their mouths. No, I do not want to be a more easy going mom about it. I hate it when people say that.

    And, this "But he looks so normal. Maybe you should feed him less sugar. He'll probably function better." A doctor said that to me. We switched doctors. Because, you know, I feed my kids spoonfuls of sugar all day every day.

    Honestly, I just want someone to say, "How can I help?" and if my boys are up to it, give them a hug.

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  112. Yeah, the best one I've got is " Have they found a cure yet?" .....and mostly I hear " he doesn't look like anything is wrong with him, he is so cute, happy and smart .... maybe the doctors and you got it wrong" ..... or "oh autism is just a fad and everyone is getting "diagnosed" *looks at you like you're making it all up to get attention* ..... and just because my son doesn't sit in the corner rocking all day it doesn't mean I'm making it all up.

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  113. "God doesn't give you what you can't handle!" Ummm yes he does!! When you haven't slept in 2 months even Mother Theresa wouldn't be able to deal! :)

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  114. "You have done so well with him." (from family, my mom's favorite line) Gee, thanks for the vote of confidence in my parenting skills.
    "You must have the patience of a saint." Ummmm.....No. No saint's live here that don't reside on prayer cards.
    "He must be on a lot of medications." Nope. No psycotrops here. Just lots of Zyrtec during allergy season.
    "I can't believe he isn't afraid of water." I have no idea on this one. It did come from my wack-a-doodle mother-in-law though.
    "Do you think vaccinations caused it?" Refer back to "no saints".

    Most days I just want people to understand he's a human being. That's all. Nothing else. Treat him with respect and dignity like you would any human being. The rewards of just doing that are huge.

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  115. "He looks so normal" and "I can't even tell" as well as most of yours! He's 13

    "YES I know Rain Man had Autism".
    "No he can't do what Rain Man could".
    "No he doesn't need a nap do you?"
    Are things I like to say to some of the stupid questions

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  116. My favourite is "What is his special skill?" - as if all people with Autism are savants. I now just respond with "Turning light switches off and on!".

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  117. When our son was 4 or 5 (and a confirmed runner), we used a wrist to wrist strap (everybody calls it a leash) when we went out in public. Invariably, we'd hear snide, nasty comments from non-parent types about how they wouldn't think of putting a child on a leash. Of course, they didn't offer any suggestions on how we could then prevent our precious child from wandering into a mob of people, or stepping out in front of a bus, etc. I just love these ignorant busy-bodies who apparently think they know everything.

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  118. My 2yo is STILL being tested..Failed 3 autism tests..Does have SPD, anxiety disorders, blah blah,.Comments that pi$$ me off are: Seems like you parents need re trained, well, he doesnt behave that way for me!, why does he scream like that all the time, Id bust his little a$$, Why doesnt he know how to play with other kids? Does he EVER sit still? How does he not get on your nerves...Duh, he does!!! LOL but we ALL cope now dont we!!!! :) im1tiredmomof2

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