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

You don’t notice ….

Do you, my darling girl? The looks received when we’re out and about.

Like today. At the age of nearly 9 years old, you’ve learnt how to role-play with your toys. A lot of it is “learnt script” or echolalia but you know what, I could listen to it all day because I never imagined you’d play like this. Taking Playmobil characters out of your little bag and telling them what’s happening, sometimes it’s in the style of “Ben and Holly”, sometimes it’s “Scooby Doo” but it’s brilliant.

Other people haven’t thought so today. The woman who was asked to move her chair by the Costa barista so we could get the buggy past to sit at the next table. She sat there, almost sneering, when you were (quietly) role-playing and as you ate your packed lunch, with gentle reminders from me not to eat with your mouth open, not to wipe your hands on your clothes. Little reminders that I gently make every mealtime. That woman caught my eye and the look of disdain… perhaps she didn’t have family, no-one was with her and then she moved to another table. I thought a very rude word in my head but carried on, chatting to you, my priority.

The looks we got today. You’re completely unaware. I guess it’s because you can’t “read” faces, perhaps you see shoppers around us as entities, noisy emotionless entities, each with their own smells and sounds. But they worry you if they get too close and that’s why we have your buggy. You don’t notice the glances from buggy-to you-to me-back to you. I do. The inner lioness in me roars up but it stays inside. It only emerges if there’s a comment and then it bristles and growls. Never biting metaphorically though, my inner armour tells me not too.

People are so quick to judge and condemn based on colour of skin/hair, race, gender inclination and body shape. It must be difficult to make a snap-judgement based on someone in a buggy; someone who flaps with excitement; someone who looks much older than your nearly-9 years but emotionally much much younger.

Will you ever notice them looking? I don’t know and if I’m being honest, I’d prefer you didn’t. Let me do the roaring and worrying for you. You and Bunny concentrate on being happy.

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Comments on: "You don’t notice …." (11)

  1. People are too quick to judge….Just ignore them I do!!!
    I get stares when we’re out and about….Especially in busy places with lots of background noise as my youngest simply can’t hear unless I raise my voice…With her being 95% deaf in one ear….People look at me as if I’m crazy….If they stare I just tell them she’s deaf I have to speak loudly…OK!! It usually shames them into apologising or just standing there looking stupid!! hehehe Only last week we were on the bus a woman who was 18/19 years old was talking to her friend I overheard her say ‘Oh my god, does she have to talk so loud the kid isn’t deaf’….I turned round and said to her’ do you know that for sure? She actually is!!! I told her not to judge someone…..She was mega embarrassed but did apologise before she got off the bus at her stop…ha!

  2. Aw Jeannette, that was emotional. But what an amazing piece of writing. Keep doing everything your doing, your doing an amazing job. Even if sometimes it doesn’t feel that way. We’ve moved past that stage now. But I totally understand your thoughts and frustrations. Your very Inspiring and I hope like you said, she never has to notice what you do. She’s doing so well and to hell with everyone else. Xxx

    • Thank you xx My fault for taking her into town on a Saturday but we had to, otherwise we couldn’t get home. It’s usually manageable but it got to me yesterday.

  3. It must be so hard, my heart just feels for you reading this. But for what it’s worth, I reckon you’re doing a fab job. There are some miserable and thoughtless people in the world that just can’t help sharing their misery and lack of thought with other’s-you just have to feel sorry for them and be the better person (which is really, really hard I know!)

  4. This brought tears to my eyes. I’ve not yet been aware of the judgemental looks as it’s only twice now that M has been out in her new buggy, but I expect I shall get them at some point, and my inner lioness will roar too, but like you I hope to be the bigger person and carry on caring for my little autistic princess without caring what ignorant people think. Great post j xx

  5. […] No anxieties, no stares/comments or downright rudeness as per yesterday’s extra post – click here to read. […]

  6. It’s hard for us the parents isn’t it – but to me it’s often the beauty of the Autism. To be so happy, to be just getting on with it, to *think* everyone is your friends – and completely oblivious to the teasing, funny looks and nastiness – a beautiful place to be. Just shame I can’t climb in there with them.

    Brilliant post x

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