I contemplated if I should write about my sad experience that happened to me a week ago.
Some said I should do it, others discouraged me a great deal, some even went as far as making fun of me.
So, here it is in complete display, and you can go which ever group you want to belong to.
I felt it is important to address this issue, not because it happened to me, but because it happens very frequently to people who cares for autistic children, or other special need children.
Also, my hope is to open people’s eyes to see the lives of these caretakers, and children who are struggling with simple task that others taking for granted.
My desire writing this post is NOT attention to myself, or feeling sorry for me, but understanding, and getting rid of PRECONCEPTION.
So what is preconception? According to the dictionary …An opinion or conception formed in advance without adequate knowledge or experience, especially a prejudice or bias.
Unfortunately, we human beings carrying this false sense of “normal”, and anything that doesn’t fit into that bracket, we seem to judge and disregard. Most of the people have a hard time to think out of the box, and accept the difference amongst us, and see the positive in it as well. If you ask me, there is positive in everything, but we notice the negatives first, and forget about trying to discover the good.
So here is my story and I hope it will never happen to any of you.
One weekend I attempted to attend a lecture, that a family member was giving in a different town. As usual I packed all the tools and food and everything that can keep my ASD 8 yrs old son occupied and content.
When we got there we stayed in a back of the room, all settled in, took everything out onto the table, so we do not have to make any noise during the lecture. We started his Ipad and put it on silent mode so he can entertain himself and not disturbing anyone. Things were good as far as I can see. It was a community that did not know me, nor I knew anyone there except one sister.
As the lecture started, not more than 2 – 3 minuteswent by, this one guy got up, walked up to our table, and very angrily, abruptly yanked the IPad out of my son’s hands. ( now most of you who has an autistic child knows abrupt behavior results in severe behavior)
I did not wait for that to happen, I grabbed the IPad out of his hands, grabbed everything including my son, and went out to the car in a dark parking lot. I sat him next to me on the front and allowed him to play. That moment I lost it completely, which doesn’t happen too often. I cried uncontrollably, remembering every single insult, physical and emotional pain that others inflicted on me and my two children. Like a flood of water I was completely consumed by the pain that I knew will not going away anytime soon. I felt hopeless, powerless, and very alone. I felt guilty that I could not even stand up for my child in this situation. Two sisters came out to invite me in, and take us to the children room.
As I was sitting there with him in the dark parking lot almost 2 hrs, and glanced at him in between my crying spells, I wondered if he really understood what happened. He seemed very content with his Ipad and its games. That point I really wished for him not to be aware of his surroundings, and what is happening with us. How ironic!
I’ve been begging God to allow him to break out of that shell he is in, and now I want him to piece that shell back together to protect him from the cruelty of this society. I guess this is when” ignorance is a bliss” comes to practice… but do I really want that?
As I continued to cry, and at one moment he reached over with his little chubby hand, and grabbed my hand and squeezed it while he was still busy making his puzzle on his pad. It dawned on me, that this little boy is trying to comfort me, the very person, who is supposed to comfort him. That was a blessing in itself. I made some calls to get some human contacts, and pour my heart out, and By God’s mercy I realized that I have allies and some do understand. Here is another blessing to count too.
After the lecture, I went inside so he can use the bathroom, and we walked up to the speaker. When the person who was so mean to us realized that we have some sort of association to the lecturer, he came to apologize to us. Here is what he said ” I didn’t know you guys are associated to the speaker, and I did not know he is sick. I just did not want a child not to listen to the lecture, and you just allowed him to play. Sorry.”
That was a stab in a heart again. This is the community that doesn’t know me, but this person is so quick to jump into conclusion and determinant that I am an ignorant bad mother. Despite another blow to my emotions I was able to squeeze out a smile, and told him not to worry about anything. I was broken that night, and I cried a lot.
You see these things are almost every day occurrences in different shapes and forms. Rejection, preconceptions, degrading comments and treatment, discrimination is part of my life and many others as well.
To be honest it is making me strong as I go along, but there are times when all this spills over, and along my spiritual needs I am wanting some human support as well. Many times I do not have that option to lean on someone’s shoulder, and just cry and let all the hurt out.
I want families and friends to know (not just mine, but all the autistic (special need chilren’s) that there are times that we can not be strong like you all expecting us to be. Sometimes the smallest situation can bring floods of emotions out, and maybe that is the time you all can spend some extra effort to comfort the person. Sometimes we the caretakers need to cry it out to keep our sanity, and belittling our feelings with harsh words, and expressing disappointment toward us will not help, it will break us more.
Also, the people who thinks its funny, has to fear God for further oppressing these people whose life is not so ordinary as many others.
As I said before everything has good in it. I am not bitter nor angry of the person who did this, I actually thank him for this. Why? This gave me an opportunity to see who I can rely on, and who to avoid by all cost.
Furthermore, I am able to write this post, and if just one person think twice before they judge, well I contributed to something good. You see, looks can be very deceiving, and before we jump into any conclusion we need to see the REAL picture. So next time you have this preconception about someone or something, dig a little deeper, and discover the answer to the “WHY?”
This was a real eye opener for me as well. My son is the bravest little boy. This child wakes up every single morning and ready to face this world, the very world that doesn’t want to face him because of his autism. My son gets up with the smile on his face every time he falls to tackle this world, the very world that doesn’t want to acknowledge him because of his autism. So, please tell me who is better than that?