Have you seen this floating around Facebook?
As a parent of a child with a Sensory Disorder that causes behavioral issues, I find this offensive. I find it offensive to my son, to my husband and me, to our mothers, to my son’s siblings, and to everyone who is and has ever worked with him.
I will never be able to feel how my son feels. I will never be able to fully know or understand what it is like to walk in his shoes. What I do know is that it is difficult and although he has come such a long way from where he began, he still struggles. He puts so much effort into trying to act/behave in a socially acceptable manner and does a great job at it. If you don’t know what to look for, you would never know. But it’s exhausting for him. Simple tasks that take me a moment take him 2-3 times longer. He doesn’t want it to, it just does. It’s how his brain processes information.
You don’t believe me? Take a look at this video…
My son is not a brat. He is not a poorly behaved child. My husband and I are not bad parents. We do not give in to his every whim. We have put in hundreds of hours into seeing specialists and therapists. Hundreds of hours into evaluations and therapies. Hundreds of dollars into sensory tools and products to help make things a little easier, a little more comfortable for him. I have spent hundreds of hours researching alternative practices and diets. Hundreds of hours implementing those findings. I have spent hundreds of hours crying because it was just so much. So much for him, so much for me, so much for our nuclear family. And I’ve spent hundreds of hours worrying. Worrying about the judgement of others.
My son is intelligent, compassionate, and witty. He’s got an amazing sense of humor and a smile that can light up the sky. He’s an amazing soccer player and an awesome friend. He can tell you a story full of emotion and suspense. He’s a person with dreams and fears, just like you and me. He’s a person with likes and dislikes, just like you and me. He’s a person with feelings and emotions that are capable of being hurt, just like you and me.
So before you call my son, or any child for that matter, a brat, take a moment to realize that there may be something more going on that what you see. That child may have been fine 2 minutes before that fire engine drove by or before the beeping coming from a truck backing up. There is so much more to our children than their behavior.
Oh, and by the way, when “you” were a kid your mothers drank and smoke cigarettes while pregnant and not everyone was allowed to drink out of the same water fountain or use the same restroom. But who’s judging. Not me.