Dealing with difference in public

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lovelyboy, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    Ok, so I am almost in exceptence of the AS diagnosis......what I start noticing now is that how older my son becomes the more little difference starts to stand out in public.
    Like yesterday we went to a teagarden and he will talk very loud, having very little insight in the fact that you dont talk on the top of your voice from a distance to your parents....even when I tell him to speek softer he struggles to do it...keeps on talking very loud. I was always the one 'trying not to notice other children' who is I am starting to feel like the mom who's child is sometimes being looked at.....Dont know if I am just immagening it because I feel sensitive about this....I know I must develope a thick skin, but its difficult.....
  2. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Hugs. I know what you mean, my difficult child speaks very loudly, and is often innapropriate in some manner in public. I used to get that feeling, but with time? I just don't even notice it anymore. I think it is something that gets better with time. For me? It is a blessing that my difficult child looks like he is 10 when in reality he is almost 14. If he looked 14? I am sure I would get more looks and maybe even comments.

    It is hard being the mom whose kid everyone stares at. I just kept reminding myself that even though my difficult child looks like every other kid out there? He is so definately not like every other kid out there.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    In your culture, are the people accepting of differences or more rigid? I think it is easier where the cultures are more tolerant. Granted, I've been embarrassed, but people seem to understand if I whisper to them why...We have all sorts of activities and groups for children with special needs (sports Scouts, choir, etc).
  4. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    Very rigid!!!!! and judgemental!
  5. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    My oldest is in a wheelchair. I was shocked at what a difference that made. When he was still in his umbrella stroller, with a special seating insert, he was just the most adorable kiddo. Got comments all the time about how cute he was. The day he got his wheelchair, he became invisible. He was still absolutely adorable, my happy, smiling, flirty little boy, but that wheelchair was like an invisibility cloak. No one talked to him or made eye contact with him or me. I was shocked (and more than a little ticked off - I actually bought him a sweatshirt that said "Aren't my new wheels great?", LOL). But then I thought about it - I had avoided eye contact with- folks in wheelchairs or with- obvious disabilities up to that point. There was something about "disability" that made had me very uncomfortable, and I think it's pretty common in folks who have no personal experience with- it. It was eye-opening to be on the receiving end.

    With difficult child, it was a little bit different because while his behaviors in public were seriously impaired, there was nothing that screamed "disability" so for the most part, he was just viewed as a rotten kid (and me as a lousy mom) in public. I think it would've been a bit easier if he'd had a horn growing out of his head or something - at least then, his "difference" would have been more easily identifiable for strangers.

    Over the years, I've kind of adopted a three-pronged strategy for dealing with- public response. For the gawkers, I extinct them. They just aren't there to me. For the people who make cruel statements, I respond by talking to Boo (or difficult child when he was younger) and commenting on the statement (loudly). For the folks who initiate civil conversation, I explain what's going on. I think it's far better to educate when we can and try to break down some of that fear/discomfort of disabilities. While kids generally ran from difficult child (whirling dervish that he was, LOL), I do find that younger kids are more likely to come up and ask about Boo and his wheelchair (much to their parents' horror) - I love to take the opportunity to introduce them to Boo and explain about CP.

    With difficult child, we certainly got our share of criticism from strangers (can't you control your kid?). I was probably less kind in those days, and would just bluntly state that my son was mentally ill and, while I was sorry to be disturbing them, I was doing the best I could.

    I think we do become hyperaware of folks who look less than kindly at our children, and absolutely you are going to develop a thicker skin. It will wound your heart, probably always, but... you will kind of get used to it.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm really so sorry. I don't understand cultures where people have rigid expectations of behavior. I mean, everyone is an individual...huggs!!
  7. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    Thanx for your support....Yes...I'm sure we as parents develope thick skins.....but it still hurts!
  8. Chaosuncontained

    Chaosuncontained New Member

    I get "the looks" a LOT in public. Just last night at a basketball game. Carson was VERY loud (our game was the last one so most everyone was already gone). Jump, jump, jumping all over the bleachers. Running up to babies, getting in their faces. Really? acting like a 3 year old ADHD kid on crack. The high school kids sitting behind us got a good show. And a few parents were looking at us like they were watching a horror film.

    What bothers me is that I want to run up to them all and calmly explain... but even then they wouldn't "get" it. So I just sit there. Trying to get Carson to calm down some. "Use your inside voice. Come sit by me for a bit. Listen to your MP3 player. Go get a drink of water."

    I've thought of a t shirt too. Mine is not exactly politically correct though. "My kid is "special". Yours is not"