Dear Meddlesome Stranger Who Has No Clue What it’s Like to Raise a Child with Autism by Danielle Ronshausen – Letters Series

Dear Meddlesome Stranger who has no clue what it’s like to raise a child with Autism,

Consider reserving judgment if you see me pushing my 8-year-old around a theme park in a stroller.  He’s sensitive to heat and his feet get tired.  You’re just pissed no one is pushing your lazy ass around.  Don’t mumble under your breath or make snide comments when I shove a video game in front of my child’s face just so he will stay calm.  You would bitch and complain if I let him scream and jump around, so take your pick.  Don’t even think of making a remark when I walk away from my child as he flops around like a fish out of water during a meltdown.  Standing there won’t make him stop and I have shit to do.  Never, EVER, attempt to intervene if you see my child smacking the crap out of me.  He’s either on sensory overload or pissed I didn’t buy him a video game—either way, it’s none of your damn business and I just may set him loose on you if you say something.

I understand there may be moments when you feel the need to make a comment.  My advice?  Let the moment pass and keep your damn mouth shut.  Especially, if you plan on saying any of the following: 

My child will never act like that!”  (I assure you, your child will.  My kid is autistic, what’s your little brats excuse?)

That boy just needs a good ass spankin’!”  (Perhaps, you just need a good face punchin’?)

There’s nothing wrong with him, he just wants attention!”  (So, stop giving him attention by staring and speaking and move your dumb ass along.)

Why won’t he stop making noise?!”  (Why won’t you stop breathing?)

I trust that you will find this information helpful.  Just be thankful you don’t have to deal with these behaviors on a daily basis.  However, if you still feel the need to pass judgment, just remember: You’re an idiot and my autistic child is smarter than you could ever dream of being.

Sincerely,

Proud Mom of a Beautifully Different Mind 

Danielle RonshausenDanielle Ronshausen is the mother of two boys who plays on the “sanity see-saw” on a daily basis.  Her oldest child has Aspergers.  He is challenging and amazing all at the same time.  Her youngest is precocious, funny and supposedly “normal” (whatever the hell that is).  Combined her boys drive her absolutely crazy and bring more purpose to her life than she ever thought possible.  You can read more from her site, Piecing The Puzzle, where she blogs about random ramblings that go through her head as is it relates to Autism.  
She is also making preparations to sell her handcrafted weighted blankets through her site.

3 Responses to Dear Meddlesome Stranger Who Has No Clue What it’s Like to Raise a Child with Autism by Danielle Ronshausen – Letters Series

  1. Julie says:

    While my son is not autistic, he does have autistic tendencies and has had his fair share of epic meltdowns in public. I have been on the receiving end of jerk offs who think their brats are just perfect and would never “act out” in public. However, I have also been on the receiving end of some amazing compassion and kindness. Once a stranger in a store, just acting totally ridiculous and silly knocked my kid out of a screaming fit. She looked to be in her 60′s – maybe she has grandchildren with special needs or was a special needs teacher or just one of those rare people who just “gets it”. Whatever she was, she was an angel to me that day. So…. I guess what I’m trying to say is – please don’t discourage kindness. While you may not be open to it, others are. If you don’t like the way you’ve been approached (and I’m sure I’ve been guilty of things pre-kids) maybe you can offer some ideas on how to help a parent when you see their child is losing their sh*t.
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  2. Cheryl says:

    Can you hear me giving you a standing ovation…I hope you can!!

  3. Jill Messenger says:

    Thank you for this. I laughed so hard I cried, I’ve been there with you wondering WHY people feel the need to tell me how to manage/raise/help my child. Hello! I’m the 1 with him 24/7 365 days of the year. You would think that they would get that I’m already doing the very best for him and maybe, just maybe the person who knows him best knows how best to deal with whatever behavior has brought on their criticism.

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