Parents of Autistic Kids Don't Need Your Advice

Say What!? 89

facepalmI don't know how parents of autistic parents do it. And by "it" I mean put up with people who try to tell them how to parent. My child isn't on the autism spectrum, but I have friends whose kids are, and I know their parenting experience is way, way beyond anything I'll ever understand.

I mean, we all get this, right? Or not? Because I still see moms say things like, "People without autistic children should shut the hell up with how to raise them better.  Unless you are a parent with an autistic child, you're clueless." She's right. I'm clueless. That's why I just listen and offer sympathy, but never advice. But who are these people? I'd like to have a word with you, people who judge parents of autistic kids.

Are you a doctor or a child therapist? Are you a specialist chosen specifically to work with parents of autistic children? No? Okay, then. Please, leave the parents of autistic children alone.

Unless, that is, you're offering some real help. I don't know what kind of help that would be -- maybe you could ask a parent what kind of help they could use. Maybe you could run an errand for them, or bring over dinner one night, I don't know.

I'm sure you mean well. You think that offering advice is actually helping. But it's not. Offering parents unsolicited advice (any parents!) is never, EVER helpful.

Or maybe you're watching a parent with a kid who is clearly on the spectrum, and that kid is freaking out. And you're wondering -- why did that kid's parent drag him into this overstimulating environment?!? You know what? Chicken butt -- it's none of your business. You have no idea. Maybe this is the ONLY way this parent can get any shopping done. Maybe she's single and doesn't have magic fairies to watch her child while she buys her family food. You just never know what a family's situation really is.

Parenting is hard -- for all of us. And I think most of us mean well most of the time. But let's give each other more support and credit and less judgement and advice.

Do you hate it when other people try to tell you how to raise your child?

 

Image via pumpkincat210/Flickr

autism, toddler development