Parents of children with special needs are frequently challenged by friends, relatives, acquaintances, social and other media. Sometimes, it is well-meaning advice, but there are comments that can be especially thoughtless, or even unkind.
Here are the most outstanding remarks that families have experienced, and their answers (or thoughts), mostly delivered with grace and love:
10. God only gives us what we can handle.
We have no choice but to carry on. Should that make us feel better?
9. What is your autistic child’s special talent?
Is that because, if you’re autistic, you must have one?
8. We don’t want to get him that same gift every year… what else can we give?
How about, what he really likes, not what makes you feel better?
7. You’re wrong, ignorant, and/or misinformed. Childhood vaccinations have been proven safe.
Not for our child. Not for all children. And, I’ll bet you wouldn’t say that if your child had ASD.
6. That gluten free- casein free, specific carbohydrate, paleo, etc. diet is stupid.
You didn’t ask if it worked.
5. Did you see Rain Man?
Is that how you think the child will grow up? That was last century.
4. Is your child high functioning?
3. We don’t want to invite your child to the birthday party… we don’t think that he will fit in.
Who is uncomfortable, the parents or kids? Could you be any crueler?
2. I heard it’s not really an epidemic, we just called it ‘retardation’ in the past.
1. Can’t you handle your (misbehaving) child?
He’s autistic, you #*$%&$][ ! (That’s in the thought bubble).
Life is not black or white. Neurodiversity is here. As we understand this phenomenon called ASD, we learn about how all of our brains work.
In the meantime, let’s become more educated
and kind to each other.