Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

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How does it make you feel when others try to tell you how to raise your child?
December 5, 2012 at 11:43 AM

I saw this in The Stir - What are your thoughts?

Parents of Autistic Kids Don't Need Your Advice

Posted by Adriana Velez on December 4, 2012 

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?

Replies

  • blessedhappymom
    December 5, 2012 at 12:23 PM
    Drives me up the wall!!! Inside I want to punch them in the face. Instead I gracefully say that I know my child better than anyone else and I'm doing just fine without their advic :-)
  • kenleespice
    December 5, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    I want to say ok then here take her I will be back in a week lol

  • Basherte
    December 5, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    I never tell a person how to raise their kids. I'll offer suggestions of things that have worked for me in the past if they ask for it, though.

    I do the same as blessedhappymom... I tell them I know him best. I don't need any advice.

    I do tend to say it with a clenched teeth at times though.

    Unless you are in my shoes and know my circumstances and know my son you are clueless. I will accept suggestions though.

  • amonkeymom
    Amy
    December 6, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    I usually roll my eyes and just walk away.  They don't know my situation unless we've spoken about it previously.

  • puck4432
    December 6, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    Ugh I hate that.  I almost punched a woman in WalMart for it!  My son was all over the place one day there and I said to him, "Bryce, can you calm it down a little?  You're kind of making me a little insane right now."  This woman turns around and says "I can't believe you would talk to your son like that!  You're a horrible parent!"  Now mind you, this woman looked like the epitome of "crazy cat lady".  I'm a crazy cat lady but I don't look like one.  Also, I didn't yell at him, I didn't smack him, I didn't threaten to throttle him.  That was all I said to him.  I know it's a little unconventional but we all know that "conventional parenting" goes out the door when you're dealing with Autism.  I whipped around and said to her, "Excuse me.  I have two children with Autism, do you even have any children?  Until you deal with what I deal with every day, I would suggest that you keep your mouth shut.  You have no idea what other people are going through and running off at the mouth isn't helping anyone.  Thanks, though."  Her face got all red and she stalked off.

  • VioletsMomTown
    December 6, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    The only one who has said anything is the mother in law. and yes, it drives me crazy. I have a really good knack for tuning people out at stores, so stares and eye rolling may be happening and I just don't know it or care.

  • mommaboudreaux
    December 6, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    It makes me sooooo mad!

  • Yrez
    by Yrez
    December 9, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Yes, that's very annoying, especially when people say that it's just a matter of discipline, or that my son just needs to learn what 'no' means. So irritating and stupid.

    Some people say: 'They just need a lot of structure' like that's the silver bullet that will fix everything, that's also a little bit annoying.

  • charley31
    December 9, 2012 at 5:44 PM
    It drives me insane. I usually say well he's my son and no one will ever know or love him like i do so back off. My mother-in-law is oblivious wont accept that my son is anything but perfect even if he hits her. To be honest i haven't even informed her that our son is in the process of being diagnosed since when i attempt to bring it up i feel like i could loose it on her. She's a rn so she must know everything Haha. Once i have the diagnosis I obviously will inform her. People giving dirty looks in public i try to ignore but i have had some choice words for ppl that Im def not proud of.

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