Public Awareness

When you are out in public with your child and they start pitching a doozy of a meltdown, it’s hard not to cringe, cry, or get angry at the stares and comments from people who have no idea what’s going on. No matter how many ways there are to break or minimize a meltdown, there will always be those occasions where it is just not possible.

Some parents will put their children in special t-shirts pronouncing their diagnosis (this shirt for instance). Others will have hats, stickers, or cards on hand. There is no right way to handle this kind of situation.

Our biggest obstacle to overcome is the ignorance of others.  If you find yourself in a situation like this, try to use it as a teachable moment. Explain autism and what it means for your child. Explain in simple words why their snide comments or stares make everything worse both for you and your child. Some people won’t understand, no matter how many times it is explained. But there are those who you will reach who might think twice before commenting or  judging next time they see a child flopping down on the ground screaming. Your efforts in that teachable moment may make all the difference for the next child on the spectrum that they come across.

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