She cornered me in the cold section. She looked up from her seat in her mart cart and told me that I had a very well behaved son. I felt like looking around to see who she was talking to. Those who have gone grocery shopping with us would tell a different story. In fact, C had “acted up” recently in the same store, running around and flailing his arms.
I thanked the woman for her comments and went about my business, or so I thought.
“I could just hit some parents!” she said in a huff.
What?? However, she didn’t need to elaborate further. I guessed from her exasperation whom she was talking about. We had passed him in the produce section, clapping his hands and vocalizing loudly. He had seemed happy to me and I remember smiling at him; but I guess the woman didn’t appreciate the fact that she could now hear him on the opposite side of the store. Maybe she wasn’t used to being around children with special needs.
The woman went on to criticize the parents of the boy. It was their fault he was making so much noise. It had been obvious that the boy had special needs–maybe his actions were involuntary. She no right to judge him or his parents! She didn’t know the whole story! I wanted to tell her all this, but I stayed silent. I tried to ignore her rantings and continue shopping.
When I went to check out, I saw the boy and his family in line. I went to stand behind them; we made small talk. When I was leaving, I told them to have a nice night. Parents of special needs children need to be noticed just as much as their children. I slunk out of the store, guilty over not defending their son.
How many times have you been in situations where you wanted to say something, but didn’t? And you really needed to? It’s time that we all put words into action. Join Katrina of Kat’s Cafe as she brings Autism Awareness by Action. Autism affects children and adults every day, not just one month a year. Join Katrina on her Facebook page as she brings action to the autism movement .