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

As a parent to a special needs child, I’m unfortunately used to the stares and the whispers when I take D out “she’s a baby” “why’s she in that buggy” and then if D does get upset when faced with a sensory-heightened situation, it’s the tuts and the general air of “not in my back yard”.

This is why awareness and (it would be nice) acceptance of autism is so important.

I found a new level of mean-spiritedness at the end of last week. I debated whether to blog it or not for a couple of days, here it is:

I was in my local coffee shop, it’s a little sanctuary. I get my coffee and catch up with blog thanks for RTs/mentions etc.

I overhead people talking about the Olympic torch relay, we’d had it “visit” the town nearest to us Tues evening/Wednesday morning.

My ears tuned in because – as you may be aware – I knew one of the torch bearers, a lady who had two Downs Syndrome (DS) sons (one of whom is in D’s class) and she is chair of the local DS association. So her part in the relay was very much to raise awareness for her sons and other children/adults with DS.

Here’s a picture below that made the ITN news site:

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She’s also featured on the front of our local paper:

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It’s brilliant for DS awareness and for the SN school that her sons attend.

So..why were these people sitting there judging her for running with her sons? According to them they shouldn’t have taken part. It wasn’t appropriate, apparently.

It made me so cross that I left the area, I couldn’t sit there anymore or I would have said something. Makes me wonder how they would have reacted if an autistic child had been participating.

So much for community spirit.

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Comments on: "Why do people have to be so mean-spirited?" (6)

  1. I would have said something. Recently a friend of mine was talking negatively about gay people and I asked her did she think that every gay person was highly sexed and wanted to jump everything in site. She said I hope not. But the point went home. What the hell do people think. I would have interrupted and said I think it’s great to see and those kids look as if they’re having a great time. What’s the problem ? I’m not aggressive but sometimes you need to point out the positive. I’m grateful if people do it to me , how else do you learn?

    • Thank you for your comments 🙂 from their manner and tone, I don’t think they would have listened to reason. I will put people right normally.

  2. 1funmum said:

    I have to say I love those picks. nothing like the olympic torch coming to town. The spirt of the Olympics still lives on even though it’s years after the winter games. When you catch the fever you catch it.
    We were all excited for the winter games for years. I’m sure it’s been the same there. We believe became a more than a slogan. And red and white went wild. We prepared for our favorite sports. I’m sure it’s all going on for you guys in your summer games there. What we found was that after the games we had the para Olympics, we had the same pride. I am sure that even though you hear some people being this rude not all would agree. You will all soon see special needs athletes compete from all over the world. Doing things others never knew they could. Things every special needs family knows is happening will take center stage. The same pride you have for your best athletes will be the same for all. You will fid people cheering there favorite sport weather it be special needs or not. We did and we were so proud of our athletes. All of them. We cheered like crazy for all our hockey teams. Don’t let two people make you loose the moment that that torch just shared. See you all at the finish line. We are still hoping to see gold over here lol. Gotta love the Olympics. Will you keep us all posted?

  3. I am an ADHD mom and I feel for you. It’s not just the staring and the whispers…it’s their being so thoughtless to the impact they make to the concerned…families of children with special needs or persons with disabilities–they all have heightened sensitivity—especially to their emotions. How do you think you would feel if somebody looks at you with fear or pity or much worse, with both? Yes, these “normal” people can be abnormally insensitive.

    • Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. They stare, they whisper, they point, they comment …and then they walk off, leaving you crushed. I don’t know the answer but the skin is getting thicker!

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