Thursday, October 3, 2013

"He Doesn't Seem Like He Has Autism..."

The other day we ran into a balloon artist at dinner and JD was going bonkers trying to explain to him that he wanted an "alien space shuttle". The guy kept telling JD over and over again that he couldn't make an alien space shuttle but JD just kept going into great detail about what it should look like (in his jibberish speak of course). "It has hands like this... onnggg!" He said... and it goes like this... ahhhh!" lol. I try not to interfere because I want him to feel a sense of independence like the other kids who ask for dog, or a dolphin. But finally I had to intervene.

"He is on the autism spectrum," I said to the balloon guy. "That's why he's having trouble understanding why you can't make him an alien spaceship." The guy looked at me and looked at JD and said, "What makes you think he has autism? He doesn't seem like he has autism."

I kind of stood there taken back. Was this guy really arguing with me about my son's autism status? Really? Deep breath... time to use this moment as a learning opportunity... "Yes, he does have autism, he's just high-functioning. He can speak and might look like a normal kid on the outside, but mentally he's about 3." The guy stood there looking at me like I was crazy. Time to give up...

One of my biggest pet peeves as an autism mom are people who make stupid comments like "he doesn't look like he has autism, or he doesn't act like he has autism." OH THAT'S RIGHT... you've seen him for about TWO WHOLE MINUTES. My bad... you're right. The last three years of therapy were not needed and that developmental pediatrician that I pay for fortune for, she's just a dumbass. lol. 

I know that when people say this, they are probably trying to be nice. I get that - telling me he doesn't "look autistic" is supposed to make me feel better. I just find it irritating that people actually make that comment when they've only spent a few minutes with my child. If he had down syndrome, no one would say, "well he doesn't seem to have down syndrome". It's so annoying! Autism is an invisible disability people!!!!! 

Anyway, I just had to rant for a minute! :) Thanks for listening!

1 comment:

Ashley said...

That's so annoying! I don't know why someone would even try to argue about that. Perhaps one of these days we will have a world where many more people understand autism!

-Ashley Margenot

P.S. Miss seeing you and hope all is well! :)