Sunday, July 24, 2011

What's Wrong With You? : Or What NOT to Ever Say

What's Wrong With You? is what I heard a little old lady say to my son. I was trying to decide whether to buy some grass fed beef (didn't happen this time) and i heard those words. I looked up and saw him standing very close to her and smiling.
 I can understand that this would make a lot of people uncomfortable, especially if you dont know the nearly 6 foot tall young man. But J favors only a select few with that fabulous smile of his, so there must have been a reason in his mind. Perhaps she reminded him of his granny.
  My  husband, bless his heart, spoke kindly and apologized to the woman. I kept my mouth shut (other than to say fairly loudly that its not only the young who need lessons on manners) and narrowed my eyes. Not the greatest of responses for a Christian. 
  I've since calmed down a bit, but it is rather frustrating. First off, he was not upset nor was he bleeding or otherwise hurt. There was and is nothing "wrong" with him. J simply has autism. 
  One aspect of autism is not understanding social aspects of life. We are doing our best to teach him, but sometimes he does end up in someone's personal space. Usually the person says hello or hi, which is enough to alert me or dad, if we haven't already seen the situation. I prefer it that way. J gets a chance to interact with someone other than us and we explain his diagnosis and apologize for his social blunder. Most shrug it off and are fine once they know. 
  Autism, Down's Syndrome, and a host of other disabilities should not be seen as something "wrong". They are simply children and adults who just happen to have what most call a disability.

1 comment:

  1. The ignorance of others can hurt so very much. Sorry that you even had to witness that.J is blessed to have you for parents. I'm glad your husband was there to deal with her and that you didn't have to interact with her.