December 2, 2008

Autism or Not… We All Deserve A Little Privacy.

While waiting for my son’s speech session to finish up, I chatted up another mom in the lobby.  I had overheard her talking about recent hair loss, and I wanted to tell her about some natural remedies.

As one would suspect, the conversation eventually turned to our children.

Her son, now 15, was diagnosed when he was 3.  As he was leaving with the new therapist, she pointed out his inability to speak conversationally… meaning in full sentences.

She also pointed out that for every question the therapist asked, he responded with a one-word response.

Autism or not, how many teenaged boys do you know that have a lot to say whenever they’re in the company of a “hot chick”?

I mean, really?!?!?  How many?

She also went on to discuss his other “problems” like ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder (something I had never heard of before today), Scoliosis, and something else I can’t recall right now.

Then there was her other son who has ADHD and Tourette’s Syndrome.

My conversation with her got me to thinking about something.

Why do some parents feel compelled to point out the “negatives” in their children… to strangers… in public?

Autism or not, don’t our children deserve a little privacy?

Maybe I’m an oddball.  Okay, I know I am.  (I was dropped in a trash can on trash day, head first, at 2 months old, and I ain’t been the same since.  I have an evil older sister; we still don’t speak.  {wink})

Now, let’s get back to that oddball statement, shall we?

I’m the parent who only has positive things to say about my son.  I mean, look at this face…

How could I not?  I mean, seriously!

Don’t think I’m calling this woman a bad mom because I’m not.

As a parent on the spectrum, I know how meeting someone who “understands your life” can make us feel part of something bigger than ourselves.  I understand that “belonging” is very important to some.

Perhaps, this mom just needed someone who would listen, and I was happy to oblige her.

However, I hope that she will come to realize that some of her son’s traits are actually quite typical for a boy his age.

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