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

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Flori... Floridamom96

...any more than we need them to tell us and our kids how to treat their kids.

lexie... lexiemmysmom

I have an 8 y/o daughter that is not only on the austism spectrum, she also has adhd and severe anxeity. She is quirky and does showcase somewhat unusal behavior but my issue are other parents. Other children tolerate her but I am aghast at comments I get from strange adults about my daughter's behavior. STFU thank you very much

slwinner slwinner

I have a nephew who is 14 and autistic. I also have a daughter who is not autistic and 15. Teens are difficult under the best of circumstances. I try very hard to not compare how these two are being raised as it's a whole different set of issues when dealing with an autistic teenager. I feel guilty getting angry with my daughter over regular teenage stuff like curfews and driving while my nephews parents deal with behavior and sleep issues. Not when you'll be home and who you are with. World of difference. Every child teaches us something if we are willing to learn it. And it's all valuable.

marie... mariesmama

 my kid has motor dyspraxia,and spd i hate when they assume she has autism because these conditionss go hand in hand with autism

Debra Lynn Baker

So true!!! It is like you have to hide your kid. If your child freaks out, everyone wants YOU to leave because YOU and YOUR CHILD are making them uncomfortable... somehow, you're not acceptable because your kid is not "normal". I don't wish Autism on my worst enemy.

nonmember avatar Jemma Dee

I have been in public where kids (who obviously have some sort of disability)have been acting up and the parents have always been apologetic. I always make it a point to reassure them that their child's behavior is not bothering me. I usually add a comment such as "some days are harder than others" to show my understanding. I have 5 years experience as a teacher's aid and have worked with kids with all types of disabilities. The vast majority of the parents are doing the best they can and deserve some empathy.

Elizabeth Anne Curless

Actually Floridamom you have no idea how many people react horribly to my 6 year old. If I see your child or you talking down to him like he's stupid, or over stimulating him and I see a melt down coming on, you better believe I am going to step in and politely explain his "problem" and how you can best interact with him. For me to not do so is doing a gross disservice to my child, your child and you. So many people are absolutely clueless when it comes to how to act towards an autistic child. I've even heard parents tell their child "Oh honey I think he's retarded. You have to talk slow to him"....um he had his IQ tested and school and he can probably run circles around your kids and you together. He is not stupid, he is actually gifted. His brain just works differently and he gets over stimulated. 

divam... divamomtjcj

my son is 9 and autistic i hate how ppl who have no idea what they are talking about tell me what to do. example oh yor using his autism as an excuse or he uses it, if u would give him a good spanking he wouldnt at that way. just leave us be. now sometimes i ask advice from other parents of autistic children

divam... divamomtjcj

my son is 9 and autistic i hate how ppl who have no idea what they are talking about tell me what to do. example oh yor using his autism as an excuse or he uses it, if u would give him a good spanking he wouldnt act that way. just leave us be. now sometimes i ask advice from other parents of autistic children

Gab74 Gab74

Thank you thank you thank you!!! Being a parent is not an easy task for anyone. But when you have a child on the Autism spectrum it just takes it to a whole other level.  I am a single mother of two teenage boys and things have definitely gotten more "manageable"........but it is a learning process. And sometimes you just have HORRIBLE days no matter how long you've been the parent of a child with Autism.  I do remember, however, when this was so very new.....what a nightmare!!! Sometimes I just wanted to go crawl into a hole.  And you nailed it with your comment about "why do they bring their kids to the store"!!  I did, because I was a single mother and had no one to watch my kids.....and we had to eat! All the responsabilities, chores, ect don't stop because of your situation.  If you ever run into a parent who's obviously struggling with a child having a meltdown the worse thing you can do is to STARE!!! Please don't do that....be kind and understand that not all of kids are the same. Instead ask if there's anything you can do to help.....and mean it!  Most of all please don't judge....this is not a walk ih the park for the parents.

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