You get a call from your mom, your friend, your sister, your mother-in-law, and they've just been watching a talk show. It seems there's a new cure, cause, treatment or school for kids with autism, and it's miraculous. You have to look into it - NOW - and report back to them ASAP! What do you do - and how well does it work?
- I say "thank you" and "yes, I'm aware of that treatment option" and "we're happy with what we're doing right now. If that changes, I'll investigate _________ further."
It's the "I wouldn't let MY kid behave like that"-type comments that make my blood boil and have me contemplating a re-evaluation of my stance against violence.
- —Guest Michelle
- This one is hard for me. Sometimes its family members (like my own father) who say that I should discipline my son more and that would stop his tantrums! This advice, I have learned to let go of. My husband and I know what works for our son and spanking just makes things worse.
Other unwanted advise that I have received has been from STRANGERS when my son has had a meltdown in public. They either think I am trying to hurt him or think he is a spoiled brat! I have confronted a few of these people in the past and tried to educate them about my son's behavioral challenges, but that is hard to do when you are getting kicked, hit or bitten in the midst of a meltdown!
- —Guest Paula
- Nowadays, as a 21 year old autistic psychology student, I'm basically an autism expert. I can cite all sorts of studies, as well as explaining that I really don't want to be cured.
But when I was younger, and my parents didn't know what I had and what I needed, it took a lot of courage for them to ignore everyone's advice.
They started homeschooling me when I was 12, a decision that may have literally saved my life (I wasn't quite suicidal, but getting pretty close). Pretty much everyone was in agreement that my parents were making a big mistake, but they did it anyway. They didn't really know what the future held for me, but they knew I couldn't handle regular schooling. The teachers all said I was noncompliant and needed firmer discipline, but it was plain to my parents that I was close to breaking from stress.
- —Guest Ettina
- I have been lucky since my son was diagnosed...people just avoid us like the plague. However, before the diagnosis, I had tons of advice on how much I should beat him, or ignore him, or just be a better parent.
I guess if you get the horrible stuff outta the way first, then people are respectful enough to steer clear.
However, I should have listened less and read more. :-(
- I've never had anyone ask or expect me to get back to them about something they've shared. Most any time anyone I know gives 'Unwanted Autism Advice', it's not really what they're doing. They're actually in their mind trying to be helpful and open that conversation many try to avoid. That goes for me as well. Someone asks a question, I give them idea's of things to try and help. They can take it or leave it and that's what I do. No one knows of what another knows, and if I react poorly then I'm closing the door to their wanting to have that conversation. One of my sisters was always good for advice when my child was younger, it was clear she had no clue. Instead of making her feel like an idiot, in one ear and out the other. But had she not spoken, I'd not had known she didn't have a clue, and maybe next time she might just have had some helpful advice.
- —Guest Sandy
- Depends - if offered while I'm in the middle of dealing with a "situation" I ignore it. If I'm in a good mood, I'm tolerant. If not, I'll react very badly. Generally speaking, I'll try to determine source, and point out that ASD is a very slippery term (if it's coming from someone who's next door neighbor's kid is autistic, say).
If it's someone who seems to have half a clue I'll get their contact info... and forward info to them.
- —Guest VMGILLEN