As gratified as I was by the response to the last post, indignation at the woman's comment wasn't really my intent. I was really just jotting down my thoughts on the zoo experience and how it must feel to my little guy. I wanted to remember the struggles he deals with, for those moments when I'm not feeling so patient, so willing to carry his growing body. (And yes, Beth, I most definitely felt that "workout" the next day!) Forcing myself to see the zoo through his eyes and senses made me realize what an overwhelming place it can be. Talk about a constant influx of stimulation!
But you all reacted to what the woman said. How she passive-aggressively told me I was babying my big boy. Funny though. While I certainly was annoyed by her comment at the time and knew not to bother explaining my actions to her, those feelings of annoyance didn't stick. Not really.
And it's not that I disagree with you all. She was way out of line. And I would never even think to say something like that to a parent. But, you see, that type of experience just isn't that rare. I'm sure any of the special needs parents that read here could easily share a story of unrequested opinions and advice. Or recount episodes of glares, pointed looks, and angry body language. There ought to be a slogan in the Autism community about the gateway to Hell being deep in the bowels of any grocery store.
Autism is an invisible disease. You can't look at a kid and know he's Autistic. But many have behavior problems that are oh-so-apparent. George is a screamer. Not so much as he used to be. Every word added to his vocabulary is one less scream. But still, the tantrums happen. And, to those who don't know him, they look like a bratty little boy not getting his way. And his mom giving in to his needs, letting him "win". And sometimes, instead of screaming, he needs to cuddle with his mommy. And for the sake of his sister, who still has an hour's worth of animals she's excited to see, his mommy is willing to carry him for that hour.
I don't know where I'm going with this. Just that, I'm used to the comments and looks. I don't like them, but I understand how he appears. And as much as I would like this to be a perfect world where people don't judge and maybe consider that something they can't see is in effect. Well, that's just not the real world, is it? I do wonder why some people feel it's okay to share those judgements, though, I can't imagine why they think they would be appreciated, valued, or listened to.
But seriously, does this look like a brat to you?