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Why are people so clueless? (autism)

My son may have autism (we are going to a specialist soon). I know I have to learn about how to help him and I am by reading and researching.
I try to explain some of the things that are going on with my son to family and they just don't want to deal with how things are and don't seem to get that we need help. If I tell him he has a hard time sleeping, they say oh he's just so tired. If I try to explain how he gets upset for no reason, they say oh all kids hae meltdowns. When he takes them by the hand and leads them to a cookie in the kitchen, and I tell not to just give it to him... that he needs to try to say some sort of sounds for it. They say he wants it and just give it to him. My son is three and not talking yet. He uses some signs and tries PECS. I try my best to make him say something for what he wants. It may take a while, but when he said "open" this morning it made my day. Why don't people get it?

Answer Question

Asked by CSJMommy3 at 11:14 AM on Aug. 8, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 8 (209 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • I know exactly how you feel. My 6 year old is the same way. I even have family members who inform me that he CAN'T learn so I should just give up on him. There is NO way I'm going to give up on him. They also can't understand why I'm so excited that he finally knows his colors and shapes! You just have to stand your ground! Also CONGRATS on him saying "open" this morning!!! That's GREAT!!!

    Answer by Juggalette0327 at 11:22 AM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • Autism is so common but most people have little or no experience with children with autism. Don't assume it is others that have a problem. You are going to have to adjust to the world the way it is. Don't talk to people about Autism if you know they are clueless. They can just give him a cookie, teaching him to talk isn't their job.



    Answer by Gailll at 11:26 AM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • its not just the general public who "don't get it" it is also some pediatricians. My sons first Doctor had no clue (neither did I) After we switched Doc's &got the Dx I realized a lot of the concerns that I brought to the 1st doc's attention were clear autistic behaviors. Some people have a hard time because they are afraid they will be blamed that the child has autism. They also do not understand it is a brain disorder. The best you can do is to educate them as you educate yourself. Find any article you can & print it out. High light those points in the article that describe your son. I know in our 2 families the "A" word was not spoken, they kinda skirted around it. I just kept saying the "A" word & I have found that with time they are talking about it more &some have actually have said the "A" word. (cont)


    Answer by justgrape723 at 11:26 AM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • They might get it over time. It takes more time and effort for others and they don't want to invest that right now. Maybe once he is evaluated and you have more "ammunition" they will be more open to the situation and will be more willing to learn. Be secure in knowing you are doing what you have to for your son. (I assume you do not live with any of these relatives and are not dealing with this daily? If you are then you need to have more serious talks with them now.) God bless. I hope "they" change over time.

    Answer by elizabr at 11:28 AM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • You have to get them used to all of it from the terminology, to the characteristics and behaviors. When Typical kids throw tantrums they can be bribed to stop w/ the promise of a cookie or new toy. When Autistic kids have a meltdown. NOTHING you offer will get them to stop they have to finish it. (& trying to stop it will only make it worse) Trying to stop a meltdown is like trying to stop a hurricane, can't be done. Every one in the family has to learn how to deal with & help the autistic child (this means aunts uncles G'Parents cousins siblings etc) It is THAT IMPORTANT. when a mother of a typical child asks family to do certain things w/ their child they are expected to do as asked. Parents with autisic kids should expect & receive no less.


    Answer by justgrape723 at 11:36 AM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • Most people don't get it because they do not have to deal with it on an every day basis. None of my children have autism so I can speak from experience about not really understanding it. I would think the same thing, in instances. My kids have meltdowns and tantrums. There are times when they point instead of talk. Most people don't study autism unless they have a child with it, and this is where the ignorance comes from. You are going to have to find a way to get your family to work with you on this. If not, the work you have accomplished will come undone. I have seen that before. Good luck with your child, and I hope that things work out.


    Answer by krissyvelazquez at 11:38 AM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • Autism is so common but most people have little or no experience with children with autism. That means they need more education & they need to be open minded & not judgemental Don't assume it is others that have a problem. Others do have a problem w/ our kids we get stared at , yelled at, cussed at, & told to keep our kids home where no one has to see them.You are going to have to adjust to the world the way it is. The world is going to have to adjust, the numbers are rising, just like handicap parking signs and handicap assessable parking people will have to learn to accept & adjust


    Answer by justgrape723 at 11:47 AM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • Don't talk to people about Autism if you know they are clueless.We talk to them BECAUSE they are clueless & need to know & understand. Ignorance is NOT AN OPTION!!!!!!'

    Answer by justgrape723 at 11:47 AM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • I totally understand this. Just the other day, we were walking home from the store, and were offered a ride by neighbours passing by. It was 107, and I really didn't want my 5 year old out in it anymore. I was faced with a dilemma, because he hates riding in cars. But I did what was best for him, and just dealt with the tirade of mean things he said to the neighbours. Afterward, I just apologised to them and explained that he has Autism, and it wasn't personal. They just did the whole "nod and smile" thing, completely clueless. But they won't be offering rides anymore. They didn't want to upset him. We get that a lot from people who just want to get away from it.

    Answer by NightPhoenix at 12:17 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • We parents with kids on the spectrum still battle the old view, now rejected by professionals in the field but once the accepted explanation of of autistic behavior, that autism is caused by bad parenting, specifically a poor mother-child bond. You & I know better, but it's hard to change long-held views, even among the medical and educational professionals. Also, those who have not had personal experience with parenting an autistic child simply have no idea what we deal with 24-7.

    I'm the parent of three (maybe four?) high functioning autistic kids (Aspergers) and have recently been told by a therapist that I likely have Aspergers, too. From my personal experience, few people recognize that people on the spectrum think differently about the world around them. It is no surprise that those not on the spectrum just don't understand!

    Answer by mamahobbit at 12:36 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

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