To the general public,
Please don’t glare at us when we are near, trying to get our child to settle down from being overstimulated. Please don’t shoot us glares of disapproval. Don’t feel like you need to make comments to those around you, we CAN hear you. We know our son looks unruly, we know he shouldn’t hit and kick us, scream and cry in the middle of the grocery store. We know he is acting out and unhappy. Please, understand.
Leaving the house everyday is a challenge. Most days we close the blinds and disconnect from the outside world. If you are friends with me on social media, I post happy smiles and good moments out and about. What the camera does not capture is the bruises, the tears and feelings of hopelessness. Understand that something as small as the lighting in a room, the smell of perfume on someone’s body, the sound of a scanner at a check out, the confinement of the shopping cart, seeing too many people around or the temperature being too hot or too cold is all it takes to bring on a meltdown in my son. He is not screaming because he did not get a toy or item he wanted, he is not punching me and pulling my hair because I told him no. He cannot regulate his body and emotions. He cannot tell me when he is overwhelmed or if he is uncomfortable in a situation. All he can do is Express himself by crying and trying to escape. He is not running away from me because he is not obeying my commands, he is trying to escape the environment that is coming down on him, or he sees wheels and must spin them. He does not sense or understand danger, he cannot read feelings and emotions. He cannot speak or say hi to you, unless we are in a less stressful environment.
Going out requires at least 2 people with my son to handle him and most of the time we do not want to be there just as much as you don’t want us there. Please understand, please think before you speak, keep your thoughts and anger towards us to yourself or at least wait until we are far enough away to not hear you. We need to be in public and have these experiences to help our son. We cannot lock ourselves in our house forever.
Please understand, my son is just autistic.