Saturday, October 9, 2010

'Staring is Rude! ...unless you're in Cote d'Azur'


We are sharing this post, as the result of responding to another post on Facebook.
One of our FB Friends is exposing the fact that money is being raised for Autism needs based on the misconception that living with ASD is 'bad'.

This is what we wrote in support of his expose' -

Ya hit the nail RIGHT on the head!
Cote d'Azur - Casol iPhone WallpaperImage by Mickael Casol via Flickr
go STARE there! 

Just like strangers tend to want us to publicly share, apologize and offer impromptu explanations about our kids 'strange' behavior. I've stopped unnecessarily apologizing and sharing with rude, insensitive 'inquirers'. It's not like people with autism are willingly engaging in 'bad' behavior like drunk drivers. THEY ARE BORN OR DEVELOP ASD! Many have spent years in therapies trying to learn how to display appropriate  behavior. The unique behaviors of individuals on the autism spectrum are ways they interact and adapt to other people and the environment. I was told by a special education specialist that "all behavior is COMMUNICATION."

It was an Ah Ha! moment for me. I started weaning myself from invading my son's privacy and embarrassing him by always telling strangers about his developmental disabilty in order for them to accept him and his nonviolent behaviors. I've learned to ignore stares and POLITELY remind starers that STARING IS RUDE.

While at the pediatrician yesterday, I did not offer or acknowledge the strangers rudely starring at my son's way of playing while in the kid-friendly waiting area. He was not disruptive or destructive -just played and spoke  differently. Suddenly the 'starers' go from discomfort to amazement when our 5 year old routinely shifts and starts incorporating counting to 100. Next the 'starers' shift from amazed to inclusive sharing as he points to and phonetically says the letters on the ABC carpet while using sign language. Like 'Transformers', they change from shoving their kids away to easing them over to 'boy wonder'. Some are too shocked to move or talk. BUT, the newfound 'Integrators' rush their precious youngins - just a draggin-tossin dem chern over to the impromptu 'Autism learning-style center'.

Now, these former 'separatists' command their children to listen. learn and engage in parallel play with 'the smart kid'! Remaining true to their rudeness, they never once ask if it is ok to bombard him with their 'teach my kid' requests.

I am so proud of my growth and acceptance of his neurological condition. I am extremely proud of him who daily wakes up with a smile on his face ready to face this strange world he lives, learn and recreates in as a boy diagnosed with autism.

Your loving Moomie

{Y.M. offered this humorous advice: ...  if you go to the Cote D'azur people make staring a pass time... Just tell people your children are from the Riviera :)) }


*Upcoming Topic:  Worth STARING at...
Our son enjoys alphabets.  We will feature the unique 'letter' sculptors that are...                          'Worth STARING at...

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