I have been working many years with children with autism and I have noticed that there are so many judge’s. Humans as a group are known for judging one another. One of the biggest opportunities for judgements are when people see an unruly child in public. They think, in an old fashion term, “beat that kid” or “why are you letting them get away with being a brat?” or “I would never let my child get away with that.”  maybe even  “Parents just don’t care anymore!” then giving a stern look and shaking their head while walking past.

What society doesn’t realize is that there are so many different signs and symptoms of Autism.  One of the symptoms of autism is social awkwardness. Children who talk could start talking about monsters in the walls. I was standing in line at walmart one day to return an item, and this boy near me was socially behind for his age. I noticed his ticks and his social conversation which was behind his age level of 10.  His father looked up at me and I just gave him a smile.  He didn’t even have to explain his child’s awkwardness to me.  I noticed that once he saw me smile with compassion then he was more relaxed about the way his child was acting. I started having a fun conversation with the child and noticed even more so his autistic behavior.  

I give a challenge to all the peeps out there: Try to engage with a child that you see acting different. Don’t judge! Just try having a conversation with them. These kids are fun and full of personality! Try it sometime. Then you can see what I see. Or help out a mom or a dad and give a warm smile and let them know just with your eyes, life is ok.  

Put yourself in their shoes. There are no cures for autism. Don’t get me wrong there are different medications that can help ticks, bad behavior or self-abuse etc. But this is a life that is not a “normal life” for any family dealing with symptoms of autism. You can’t just get a babysitter to watch your child. Many people can’t deal with autism and could be very uncomfortable even being around these children. Many times these autistic children have only one parent involved in their lives because of the heavy strain on the family.  

Believe me symptoms of autism are growing at such a fast rate and parents and families don’t know what to do or how to deal with behaviors.  No, you just can’t beat these children into behaving, their mind won’t understand what’s going on and you can throw them into more trauma and higher behaviors.  

Many of these parents become secluded and never go out to family functions, birthday parties, or holidays. Many houses with autistic children are not laid out like anyone else’s homes. They have gates all over to protect their child, and adaptive equipment to help care for their child. Some homes can’t have cute knick-knacks, collectables, or decorations.  Life is out of order and some only get peace by going to work or when school starts. It’s hard for parents to keep a job because of the school calling them to pick up their children due to behaviors.

Think of it. Many parents talk to yourself and say “I am so glad it is sunday night and I can go to work tomorrow.” Why would a parent think like this? Because at work they are experiencing a somewhat normal life. They can have real conversations, they don’t have to watch Spongebob 24 hours a day. They actually get peace. They really look at school as a babysitter and can’t wait until summer is over. I have noticed myself that if a autistic child has the a temp of 99 they call the parent.  Yet, waiting in the office one day at a high school the teenagers came in and said they were sick and the office didn’t believe them and told them to go back to class until one of the students vomited in the class garbage can. However,  if you have a autistic child who has many behaviors they will call the parents on every little thing to come pick up the child, which puts a parent’s job at risk.  How many people can keep their job if they had to keep getting their child from school? There is no insurance for that! There is no day care after 13 years of age. Who will watch their children?

So then when they get a day off during the week. They can finally have time to clean their home. Take a well needed bath. Watch what they want on t.v. instead of Spongebob or The Wiggles.   Go have lunch with family that doesn’t  come over to visit  because of their situation.  Better yet go to YouTube and search for Autism behaviors and see just for a few minutes what a family dealing with Autism go through.  So tell me do you truly understand the symptoms of Autism in home life?

The next time please, just give them the compassion they deserve and the understanding they need, because if it ever happened to you …you would want the same!

Watch this   ABC’c “What would you do”   https://youtu.be/dgwYukPReKw   Please give me your comments.

Tonia Chaffee,


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