Posted by: myautisticmuslimchild | November 6, 2012

Invisible Illness vs. Visible Illness. Pros & and Cons Day #6

Invisible or visible illness and disability. Does it make a difference?

Well,  in many times it does, but illness is an illness regardless you see any signs or not, same as disability. The fact is , it’s there and we have to deal with it.

Autism is considered an invisible disability, and being in this category doesn’t make it any less difficult than it would be otherwise. In fact many times  it can cause more complications in one’s life.

My son is autistic, and I had been judged so many times by others. He does not have any physical features that can indicate  his autism, and there are times when he has behavior that is not looked in a positive way, and I get disapproval looks and ugly comments. As small as going to the urgent care can be a task for me because of his invisible disability. I explain the nurse what is happening with my son , and when we get to the doctor he was making fun of what I said after he glanced at my son . “well he is old enough to talk to me and tell me what is his problem, we do not need his mother to talk for him.” Little that he knew my son can say words, but his speech is not functional, therefore he can not explain  what is his problem. The demeaning  comments,  belittling looks are my every day life for the past 8 + years. Many times I was thinking if he would have any physical attribute that indicate his different ability would reduce all these degrading reactions.

Once I talk to a mother whose son has down-syndrome. When we talked about this issue, she told me she would rather have her son without  any visible signs, because she is tired of pity from so many people.

As I see it there are problems in both ends. Invisible sickness and disability creates unwanted judgements, assumptions that can be even deadly sometimes, and it certainly makes ones life miserable. (many ASD kids  have barely any social skills , too much sensory issues and misreading their actions can cause in severe harm or death .)

Visible illness, disability create unnecessary ridicule, pity  for a person that can impact them in a negative way.

We need to learn to be more human, more caring, and accepting. We need to stop judging so quickly, and look beyond the obvious. We have to ask why before we draw conclusions. Our behavior can make or break these individuals life, which is already  filled with hardship, emotional and physical affliction.

Visible or invisible sign should never matter, or contribute to more harm, but it should contribute to more compassion , love and understanding.


  1. I have wondered about this too. Before I had knee surgery and my husband had to wheel me around in the mall in a wheelchair, I couldn’t stand the looks of pity I got. But before our son recovered from autism, people would judge and even yell at me about his behavior, because they assumed he was just an out-of-control kid.

    • It sure creates a lot of hurt when people just assume. I would love to hear from you about your son’s recovery, and if you do not mind i would post it on my blog to give others hope and encouragement. I always hoping for that miracle and i do not think i can ever give that hope up, but sometimes i do feel sad.

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