Autism is a complex and mysterious disorder that baffles both the medical community and society at large. Because of that there are countless myths and misconceptions about it, and families who have children with autism are often met with comments from people that are insensitive at best.
Most people don't mean any harm. Some are simply at a loss for words, while others are really trying to help ... in their own off-target way. But that doesn't mean those encounters don't affect parents just the same.
I gathered input from a group of mothers who are raising children with autism as to the most hurtful, insensitive, and outrageous things people have said to them. I cringed at a few that I may have said at some point in my life (#2), but mostly I was blown away by the blatant ignorance some of these statements reflect. So in the name of building more awareness and abolishing some of these misconceptions, here are 35 things NOT to say to the mother of a child with autism.