As a parent of an ASD child, it is really infuriating when parents of neuro-typical children make comments like, “All kids are like that!” or “My child has temper tantrums all the time!” I know that all children are challenging, there’s no doubt, but our situations are not the same. Think of the worst day you’ve ever had with your child, now make it significantly worse, and then imagine enduring that day every single day of your life from your child’s birth until now. It is exhausting, demoralising and it requires more parenting skills and creativity than you could possibly imagine! It’s simply not the same. I think lots of people make these kinds of comments in order to be kind, to try and normalise the situation somehow. It’s not like it comes from a bad place, it’s just not helpful.
It is really hard when you are invited places with other families, like Dream World, large parks, the movies or the swimming pool, and you just know that this is well beyond the capabilities of your child so you politely decline … time and time again! Some days even a trip to the park would not be a good idea for us! It’s hard to sustain friendships with other families not in your situation. It’s awful when you have to leave parties and other social outings with a screaming child, whilst simultaneously trying to look like everything is fine and saying over your shoulder that you really did have a lovely time. I then feel so guilty that you’ve ruined the event for others or that you’ve taken away in some way from the day! It’s really hard on us but it’s really hard on the people we are with, too! It’s hard for others to know how to help and how to make it easier for everyone. An open, honest conversation between friends goes a long way in this situation.