Every parent of a special needs child has probably had the experience of someone saying just the worst possible thing to them. Presumably (thinking charitably), they feel they are being comforting and supportive … when their words have the very opposite effect.
Perhaps because Autism is still so little understood by the general public, parents of children “on the spectrum” are particularly likely to endure these offenses. This article by one mother really captures what such an experience feels like.
“Autism is not a disease or an illness. It is a neurological disorder. It’s a different way of experiencing the world. Autistic brains work differently. It makes things more challenging in many ways. It also makes every single word, milestone, funny moment, new food tried, smile and interaction that much more amazing and worthwhile.
I don’t need your sympathy. Not one ounce of it. My kids definitely do not need your sympathy or pity. Not sure what to say? Ask me to see pictures of my kids and comment on how cute they are. (because they really are).”
Another articulate mother offers a brilliant outline of what’s not helpful . . . and what is.
We’d really like your comments on these articles , whatever your child’s challenge.