Friday, May 28, 2010

The worst mom ever??

OK, in my opinion, this incident, if not making me the worst mom ever, certainly puts me in the running. Last week when listening to an author speak about her son with high functioning autism, a lady interjected with comments about her DD with Down's syndrome. As she's talking, the fleeting (like not even a nanosecond long, honest) thought ran through my mind: I wish my DD had a "visible" disability instead of Asperger's Syndrome.
Now for the uninitiated, Asperger's is a form of high functioning autism. So for all intents and purposes, Aspies look "normal". However, they usually have issues with social interactions & sensory issues. This means they do not communicate as effectively as neurotypical peers and the slightest stimulation may provoke a meltdown. Now, I'm not talking whining, sniffling, etc. I'm talking "throw yourself on the ground, scream @ the top of your lungs, sobbing uncontrollably meltdown".
So back to the offending thought, suppose you see a child in the throes of a similar meltdown @ your local store. What is the most likely first reaction? C'mon, be honest now ... It's not "oh dear, that poor child. Whatever could be upsetting him/her so?" It's "why can't that mother/father control that child?" or "what a spoiled brat! If that were my child, they certainly wouldn't act like that!" However, if a child with an obvious disability has an episode, they would be met with immediate sympathy & understanding.
Now I am not saying I want sympathy or pity for my DD or myself (well maybe a little for me, haha). I would just like people to think before they have a knee jerk reaction about why a child has lost control. While meltdowns are no fun for the onlookers, consider the poor child who is totally out of control. They are angry or scared; they don't need the added burden of judgmental bystanders as they regain their composure.
Aspies, while signs of their disability are not readily apparent, ARE disabled & deserving of a little understanding. As 1 in 110 kids are diagnosed with some form of autism, it would behoove those unfamiliar with the spectrum to educate themselves. Then they can provide the support & understanding needed by the parent & child, rather than judgment.
If this makes me the worst mom ever, then so be it.


  1. It does not make you the worse mom ever - it just makes you human. Sometimes it's hard for people to understand things that aren't on the surface. Hopefully with time more will understand ;)

  2. That would be great! Thanks for the comment & for following! ~ T

  3. I have both a child with a visible disability and one with aspergers, and yes the aspie gets frowned on and my dd gets all the positive attention. It's not fair! So I understand where you are coming from. At least with this blog you can help to raise awareness of autism and aspergers. Well done!

  4. Thanks! It is very unfair for kids to be judged especially by someone who has no idea of what is going on with the kiddo.

  5. That is very unfair and I have to admit you're right- the first thing a person thinks is, "What is wrong with that child?"

    My mother went through something similar w/ my brother, who was a hemophiliac. Unless he had a "bleed" in his ankle or knee that caused him to limp, you wouldn't know anythings wrong...

    He missed alot of school, and mom got a lot of flack about that- because he seemed fine if he didn't have a bleed. The school never "saw" him w/ a bleed, so they assumed he was staying home for nothing.

    Of course his meltdowns in stores wasn't due to hemophilia- he was just a brat when he was younger :-)

    Have a great day!

    I'm your newest follower.