Me and my girl and boy, raising awareness and acceptance of autism

It seems to.

A special needs buggy – Maclaren Major Elite – designed to hold a child up to age 10 or so. Is it the fact that it doesn’t look like a wheechair? Or again, that this particular disability that cannot be seen.

I receive so many comments when pushing D in her buggy. They range from other children on the school run (who don’t know her) calling her “a big baby”, elderly customers in the supermarket or walking past us on the pavement saying “isn’t she too big for that” and “shouldn’t she be walking?”.

So, although I know they’re never going to read this:

YES, D can walk but she’s scared of unfamilar places, strange sounds and people coming past her quickly scare her. It’s called Autism. The buggy is the place where she feels safe, it’s her “sanctuary”, her “comfort zone”. NO, she is not being lazy. Would you rather she was bolting everywhere without thought for her safety?

Would these people make those comments if she were in a wheelchair?

Again, it’s lack of awareness. I have thought about a badge or something similar for her…but would these people actually take the time to read it and if they did, would they understand?

Maybe I should carry a supply of leaflets and hand them out whenever this happens….

This is the “offending” buggy – Maclaren Major Elite Special Needs buggy – up to about age 10, although she’s on the lower level at age 7.

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Comments on: "Does this buggy cause offence….?" (8)

  1. My autistic son *lived* in his buggy for the first 4 years. I heard strangers advise me I was making him lazy. You just do the best you can for your kid. Keep up the good work.

  2. my son has an angel mark on his forehead which was really prominent when he was young, total strangers believe they are well within their rights to wander over and tell you exactly where you are going wrong – oh how wonderful their perfect lives must be!!
    We are both venting a little about the opinions of others today x

  3. The Autism Society has wallet cards for purchase that you can hand out. My son was in a stroller for a long time and people (usually elderly folks) often made comments. At first it angered me. Then I was too tired to be angry.

  4. […] Bluecrisps, a fellow parent to a child with autism wrote the post, “Does this buggy cause offence” when speaking how our societies ignorance get going when she takes here daughter out and about […]

  5. My son (who lives well with Down’s Syndrome and autistic spectrum) became too big for his ‘special’ buggy. Took the decision to buy what can only be described as a traditional wheelchair for use as a base and sanctuary when safety is an issue. I found it unnerving taking him out in it.
    My take on all of this is that fundamentally other people’s curiosity and lack of awareness isn’t my problem. If I have the time/energy/inclination I will engage in a little explanatory convo but my son is my priority. I have said ‘if you have to stare, please smile while you are doing it’. The thing that gets me is the over-the-top sympathy which I have no use for. When I am out without my son, the way I interact with other parents that I may come across with a disabled child is to say hello and offer practical help (like holding doors open for them).
    It’s good to read your post – you are not alone – and I’m afraid once your daughter moves on to a ‘proper’ wheelchair those annoyed people may then look on with pity. That’s really crushing!
    It’s a good thing thick skin eventually deflects. Thick skin, compassionate heart, and a brain full of awareness many never get to experience x

  6. […] at the buggy..honestly, you’d think I had ET sitting in a SN buggy rather than my lovely D “Does this buggy cause offence” <– a post I wrote in February still very much […]

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