Autism and Shame
Mom: Hi, I’d like to inquire..
Me: Hi, okay, so what’s your name?
Mom: I can’t tell you because you might find out.
Me: Uh, okay. Can you just go to one of our learning seminars and not identify yourself ?
Mom: No, I can’t. Someone might see me.
Me: Well, I guess we can set an private appointment and I’ll discuss with you what you need to know.
Mom: No, I can’t someone might see me.
Me: ( Silence…. ) Okay, just call me if you’re ready, you know our number….
It’s been years since I’ve had that conversation and it struck me. I’ve never been ashamed of my child even when he wasn’t talking. I kept that parent’s phone number in my phone as a reminder to myself not to be ashamed of my child’s condition.
I wasn’t ashamed of my child when he threw up at someone in a Disney event. I was just sorry that the man in front of me looked at me and my son just like he wanted to punch us.
I wasn’t ashamed when my 2 year old son had a meltdown in the airplane on a flight to Hong Kong and threw around eight jumbo crayons, orange juice and his Avent bottle to everyone sitting along the aisles.
Yes I was sorry he hurt those people unintentionally. It was mortifying to check under the seats and apologize to people he had hit accidentally , but, no I wasn’t of ashamed him.
Today, somehow I remembered that mom ,whoever she is, God bless her that she’ll be able to accept her child’s condition.
The sooner she is able to accept her child’s condition, the sooner she can get him help.
I pray that God will help many more parents out there who are suffering in silence. I pray that God helps them realize that autism is nothing to be ashamed of. These children need help, parents shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help.