First impressions take a second look

I got it again, you know the standard comment people give you when they find out your child has autism. “God knew who to give that precious child to.” The comment always comes with that look. You know the one, the bless your heart so glad it is not me kind of look. Even when I share how great he is doing, and the language he has developed, that despite his delays or quirks he is super smart, the look still remains on their faces. I don’t blame these well meaning people, up until 2 years ago I was one of them. I didn’t know a damn thing about Autism. So, my perception of it was limited to say the least and in my mind all lumped into one category, disabled. It didn’t make me a bad person just an uninformed one. I really wanted to write a letter to all the well meaning people out there. So here it goes…..

Dear kind well meaning person,

Thank you for saying God chose me for my child. Even though I do not agree with this I appreciate your thoughtfulness. Now please let me explain what your comment means to me personally.
First of all, you make me feel pitied not in an empathetic way but a thank God I am not you kind of a way. Secondly, you are dismissing my child’s validity for having a disability and putting me on a pedestal for having to deal with it.

Instead of you are the chosen one, how about the basics that all parents talk about with their kids. I bet he is a handful. What types of things is he into now or just I know all three year olds are a handful. By doing this you have put both of us at ease, instead of that awkward and uncomfortable silence that comes after your comment.

I love the saying, when you know better you do better! So now you know let us see if you can do it.

Thanks,
Bob’s Mom

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