At an amusement park with my eldest son overheard a young couple in their mid-to-late 20s making comments against Jackson (his brother our son with autism). He was so incredibly angry and justifiably so. Being in his early 20s, he wanted to confront them, but I was able to convince him not to do so. We were at an amusement park with the goal of having a wonderful and carefree day for the entire family. I tried to explain to him that no one can steal our joy today unless we allow them to. This couple wouldn’t give Jackson or us another thought the entire day, but if we allowed ourselves to be consumed by it that we would let it ruin our day together.
He said that I just don’t get mad, but the reality is that I often want to rip the throat out from someone who I hear say something incredibly condescending or hurtful about Jackson. However, I always have to remember that whether Jackson heard what was said or not, he will surely remember what sees me do. If there is a chance that Jackson could have heard something said by an ignorant person, my wife and I always make a point to redirect and reinforce how smart and special he is.
Zachary (my eldest son) said these people shouldn’t be so stupid at their age. I reminded him that unfortunately there is a 1 in 62 chance that when they have a child they will look back on that day with regret. I sure hope not though……if they were to have an autistic child, the child truly deserves better parents.