As a parent of a special needs child, I have had my share of unpleasantness, mainly the stares and unsolicited advice from people who do not understand my son's condition. Autism is not a visible disability, as my son looks the same as his neuro-typical peers.
We - parents of special needs children - almost take pride in acquiring a tough armour of steel which should withstand the onslaught of malicious comments and evil looks, but this suit of armour is unevenly patched, and is easily pierced through by an unkind word.
It still hurts when people say You're a bad parent or Your child is a spoilt brat, or even with a pseudo-sympathy in their voice It must be so hard for you, why don't you send him to a boarding school?
We are human, and we are vulnerable to negativities.
Please keep that in mind when you see a child having a meltdown, or flapping his arms agitatedly. You don't have to offer any help. A smile of encouragement would be plenty. As long as you don't criticise or move away with a look of disgust as if it is contagious.
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