Autism awareness and ignorance.
posted at 4/17/2011 7:20 PM EDT
Since April is Autism awareness month I'd like to share a story and see what the general concensus is about this.
Last Friday, April 15th, my daughter went to McDonalds in Davis Square to get happy meals for her sons. The oldest boy is 5 and has Autism. She ordered their meals and was waiting for them when she got a call from her brother in law who she was picking up from the train. While she was on the phone her son with Autism realized that one of his favorite treasures, a small home depot book, was wet. Now you have to understand that this is something that he keeps with him always and is somewhat like a bible to him. He thinks he needs it so that he will be able to help Grampy with projects around the house. When things go wrong he usually gets very upset and has what we refer to as a meltdown. This is what happened at McDonalds. The episode only lasted for a minute or two and once mom dried the book off he quieted down. He has no control over these episodes and often cries asking what is wrong, why am I crying, what is the matter with me? It is heartbreaking. His mom is very good with him and has worked hard to understand these episodes and to deal with him through them.
When she got their meals and went to an empty table the man at the next table asked her if she always let her kids shout in public. She very calmly said that her son had disabilities and did not understand that the behavior was not appropriate. The man preceeded to tell her that was just an excuse for (an expletive) like her! She kept her cool and told him his cussing was what was not appropriate and that she was leaving anyway. Another patron came and asked her to come and sit next to his party, but, she felt she needed to leave at that point.
I was shocked and sickened by this encounter! I really thought that the people who live in this area were more intelligent than that! It especially seemed out of sorts since this is Autism awareness month. I just wish more people spent time educating themselves instead of hurting people who already have enough pain in their lives!