Thursday, August 25, 2011

How to help moms like me

If you EVER come in contact with me (or a mom like me) in daily life here are some general rules of how to help.
On the 6 year old:
Please don't LOOK at me like I'm a bad mom when my 6 year old has a meltdown in the grocery store. And give me the look that I should take him home and relieve you of your suffering....Honestly I would rather stab myself in the eye then have to deal with it too. But the fact is that my family needs to eat. My husband works full time and then some so the only way we get food is for me to take him. And deal. So please just deal too. I know it sucks.
You COULD however offer to push my cart with my 2 babies and groceries to the car for me while I carry the 60lb child that is kicking and hitting me.
PLEASE don't tell me you know how it is, unless you have experienced the violence and abuse from your own child in the midst of an autistic tantrum. You honestly don't know how I feel. And comparing that to your son stomping his feet when he doesn't get candy isn't the same. It just isn't.
You COULD offer to stand with my babies while I deal with him or chase him down through the parking lot.
PLEASE don't tell me that taking him to the pumpkin patch *or anywhere* with you and your kids would be awesome fun. It really won't be with him. Understand that his brain is different. and it's not fun. And don't be upset when I say we can't go. It's not that I don't want to go and hang out with other moms. I would love nothing more then that. I just can't.
You COULD offer to come over and hang out here at my house with me. Where he is comfortable. I do love to talk to adults and love the company.
PLEASE don't tell me that it could be worse. I already know that. It doesn't take the "suckiness" away. It really doesn't. It doesn't make it easier.
You COULD offer to babysit the kids and then pretend to be ok when my 6 year old assualts you. I really do feel bad when it happens. I hate that I can't trust him to stay with others.
PLEASE don't tell me boys are boys, or to make a sticker chart. I can't take one more comment like that.
You COULD listen and honestly care that he choked his teacher today. And then say you're sorry I have to deal with that.
PLEASE don't say "He doesn't look/act/seem like he has Autism." That doesn't help. I don't think any of that matters and even if it did it doesn't "help" me to know that.
You COULD learn a little bit about the Autism spectrum and a little about him. And why he acts like he does.
Now.....on to my 2 year old
PLEASE don't say he doesn't "look like he has Down Syndrome bad" or "he doesn't seem severe" that doesn't even make sense. Down syndrome is not something you can have a little of. It just is. His potential in life is yet to be known. As is all of our Down Syndrome children.
You COULD say how cute or sweet or nice or smart he is. You honestly don't have to point out he has Down Syndrome. I already know.
PLEASE don't stare at him.
You COULD ask questions and honestly care if you're interested.
PLEASE don't say "Down Syndrome kids are so loving" Of course they are loving but they are also strong willed, stubborn and have a temper. :)
You COULD say his shoes are ADORABLE or any of compliment you can think of. ;)
PLEASE don't say you're sorry. I'm not sorry. Saying you're sorry is like saying he's a mistake. and he's NOT.
You COULD treat us like we are a normal family. Cause we are.
PLEASE don't use the word "retard" around us. It's insulting. And even if you "think" it's not and it's silly for us to care about a word. Just don't use it. Show respect.
You COULD use the words random and rich though....we like those words. ;)
PLEASE don't tell me that you would never mean that word to be mean because you have "special needs" friends/relatives/etc so you can use it.... That's like me saying I can use the word "fag" because I have a gay friend. That doesn't even make sense.
You COULD choose to respect and admire everyone for their own abilities. Regardless of their abilitites.
PLEASE don't tell me you don't know how I do it. Honestly...somedays I don't know how I do it either. And all that does is throw it in my face my life is rough. And I already know that.
You COULD come over and help me out. Play with the kids while I clean. That would be a DREAM
PLEASE don't treat him like he's not here. Or talk about him in front of him. He UNDERSTANDS everything you say. Even if he can't talk back. He understands you. And saying things about him is rude.
You COULD ask me questions if you really want to know about developments. I will share all my information.
Basically treat me and my children like we are "normal" cause we are. (Well as much normal as you and everyone else) We do have special needs here and we do have things to deal with. I don't want pity. Understanding would be great though! And I'm pretty sure any other mom in my shoes would feel the same!

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