On figuring things out and answering things back

Parents of children and young people with additional needs which present in behaviour that may hard for others to understand – perhaps because their offspring or those in their care are autistic, or there are mental health problems, mental illness or a developmental or learning disorder of some kind – may have to listen to a lot of comments from others. Those comments come from family, friends, strangers and also from health professionals and teaching staff. I thought it might be helpful to get a few things off my chest and, also, let you know I feel it too.

We are all on the spectrum! NO WE ARE NOT

How can he be autistic? He’s so empathic. THIS IS A COMPLETELY OUTMODED AND IGNORANT THING TO SAY ABOUT AUTISM

Autism is a mental illness. NO IT IS NOT. IT IS A NEURODEVELOPMENTAL DISORDER

Do you think he/she is like this because you are too soft with him/her? I AM A LOVING PARENT. WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE AND HOW?

I really didn’t like that at all. He/she should learn to control his/her rages. It’s really bad behaviour. THAT IS AN UNKIND THING TO SAY. IT IS HORRIBLE FOR THEM TOO – WORSE IN FACT. MAY I SUGGEST SOMETHING MORE COMPASSIONATE?

They must not let their peers go past them! IT IS NOT A RACE AND NOT ALL YOUNG PEOPLE CAN DO THINGS AT THE SAME TIME

If you cannot manage school, how will you manage university or a job? How will anyone write you a reference? NOT EVERYONE CAN COPE IN A MAINSTREAM SETTING AND PERHAPS THE PROBLEM IS NOT ENTIRELY THE YOUNG PERSON?

When I was young/starting out as a teacher/health visitor, we never saw these sorts of things? HMMM. BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT THERE OR JUST BECAUSE YOU DID NOT SEE THEM BECAUSE OUR KNOWLEDGE HAS DEVELOPED? ALSO DON’T SAY THIS TO A PARENT OR CARER WHO IS TRYING THE BEST THEY CAN.

It is a short post, but I am in such pain. I thought to write it just in case it helped someone else to brew up and get rid of some righteous anger – and maybe feel a little less alone.

Love, ever,

Anna x

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