In Special Needs on
April 22, 2017

Autism Mom Nightmare: You Need to Know What Ridiculous Comments are Off-Limits

I have a child with developmental delays. Some are slight and others are severe. We’ve been through the autism diagnosis process. I can totally relate to the autism mom.

When I was a preschool teacher, I had kiddos on the spectrum or going through the diagnostic process too. I’ve seen parents fight for their kids. None of it is easy.

Although my child hasn’t received a diagnosis, he has many of the same behaviors and delays as children with autism. We use many of the same autism resources and therapies as autism families do. He’s five years old and it’s been an interesting five years, to say the least.

With that being said, my son is amazing. He totally sees the world in a different way. And, he does things differently than other kids. More importantly, he’s just him.

He absolutely has his quirks. But, we’ve learned to work with him in a way that works best for him. My son is ridiculously smart, funny, and just like any other kid. Except, he does things differently.

What the Autism Mom Needs You to Know

Since before my son first began the diagnostic process, I learned as much as I could about autism. I joined autism support groups and immersed myself in the community.

Regardless of whether or not my child got diagnosed, I already knew he’d require much of the same interventions as children with autism. I was right. He’s in most of the same therapies and he receives ongoing monitoring for his delays.ย Doctors haven’t ruled out anything completely yet.

Through this whole process, I find that people often blame the autism mom for her child’s disorder. Seriously, it’s insane.

As if dealing with the diagnosis and all the autism treatments aren’t enough, the autism mom takes heat for her child’s autism. “You need to parent him better” and “You shouldn’t have gotten him vaccinated” are probably the worst.

It’s disheartening that parents can’t support each other, especially when it comes toย special needs kids.

This subject is one I’m so passionate about that I want to help fight for every autism mom out there. She feels defeated, useless, and hopeless. But she’s not.

Things to Never, Ever Say toย Autism Parents

I’m so passionate, in fact, that I wrote an article for Reader’s Digest on things to never say to autism parents.

It’s important to me because it’s personal. But it’s just as important for the autism community and those outside of the community. It’s time to gain some knowledge.

And acceptance. Acceptance is something people seem to be lacking when it comes to this disorder.

So, take a few minutes to read it and share it in honor of National Autism Awareness Month.

Click here to read my Reader’s Digest article, “12 Things You Should Never, Ever Say to an Autism Parent”.

Autism parents: Is there anything else you’d add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!

Amy is a 32-year-old Mama of two, freelance writer, and work-at-home business woman. Through The Work at Home Mom, she helps women balance their personal and professional lives at home. Amy contributes to Reader’s Digest Online and other health and lifestyle publications.
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  • Emily Abbey

    Oh my goodness I can only imagine what you must hear from a very harsh and openly critical society when it comes to parenting. You’re an amazing Mama and so aware of your son’s needs- he couldn’t be more lucky.

    April 22, 2017 at 12:09 pm Reply
    • Amy Boyington

      Thank you, Emily! Although I’m definitely the lucky one. He’s taught me so much!

      April 22, 2017 at 12:27 pm Reply
  • Casey the College Celiac

    Your son is lucky to have a mom who advocates for him so passionately. Although I don’t have autism or a child with it, i do have celiac disease and have heard my share of comments about, “Are you sure a little gluten would hurt you?” or “I wish I had to celiac so I could be skinny!” Whether you’re talking about someone’s parenting, about a medical diagnosis, or anything in between, sometimes just saying, “I support your decision.” or “How can I help?” or nothing at all is the best route!

    April 22, 2017 at 2:05 pm Reply
    • Amy Boyington

      Hi Casey! I’m so glad you brought this up because it’s true – so many people go through this, not just kids or parents with autism. I have a friend with celiac disease as well and she constantly hears jokes about gluten, like it’s “not a real thing”, etc. I don’t understand why people feel the need to so rudely comment about something that someone has been medically diagnosed with. Because, of course, they know more than the doctors do, right? What a sad world we live in sometimes.

      April 22, 2017 at 2:44 pm Reply
  • Tina Basu

    You are an awesome mom, and people in society are often heartless and sometimes brainless too to say such harsh things to kid and their parents.

    April 22, 2017 at 3:15 pm Reply
    • Amy Boyington

      Thanks Tina! If nothing else, I use it as an opportunity to educate ๐Ÿ™‚

      April 22, 2017 at 8:11 pm Reply
  • Our Irish Family

    I can never understand how parents can judge each and other be so mean. To blame a mom for a diagnosis of Autism (or any condition) is cruel. The vaccine debate is a whole other story, people have their own views but get angry if yours differ. You are an awesome mom ๐Ÿ™‚

    April 23, 2017 at 5:19 am Reply
    • Amy Boyington

      Thank you!
      You’re right, it’s cruel. So many differing opinions nowadays that people have forgotten how to support one another despite them, I think.

      April 23, 2017 at 3:40 pm Reply
  • Mary

    There are so many rude insensitive people out there. The moms of these beautiful children should not have to endure such ignorance.

    April 24, 2017 at 3:05 am Reply
    • Amy Boyington

      Hi Mary, thanks for joining the discussion! I am a firm believer in supporting other parents and will continue to advocate for special needs until I die. These moms have so much on their plates already; they need support, not criticism.

      April 24, 2017 at 8:31 am Reply

    What do you think?