The Comeback Kid

Posted on: April 8, 2013

Hey Mister… Shut up!

I think I’ve had it up to here – Folks; I’m up on a ladder with my hands above my head so I’m right up to my limit – With the rude comments from strangers, friends (although I’m reconsidering this label) or family (unfortunately, I’m stuck with this one). So, please indulge me as I go through a little DIY therapy session and put some things in perspective.

Chief Tormentor

“Wait! Is he retarded or something?” Dear God please help me! I want to drop-kick this man. I’ve watched enough Jet Li movies; I could so do it – BUT – I didn’t. Ladies and gentlemen, I actually responded and said; “He’s autistic.” Somewhere between my mind and my mouth I dropped “you idiot”. I was so pissed!

Parent Expert

For the mom who comes up to me after he has had a meltdown… “You mustn’t let him embarrass you like that in public. You need to put your hand in his bottom.” She waits. I say nothing. She gives me the evil-eye. I continue ignoring her. She looks (disgust) at my son and shakes her head. I’m willing myself not to speak – So afraid of what may come out of my mouth.

Friends, Family and then some

Yes, we do discipline him. However, contrary to what you believe we can’t beat it out of him nor will we attempt to for your sake.

Ms. Tact Less

Did you do something to cause it? WHAT! I just had to walk away from that one.  Whatever made you think you can ask me that? Arrrggghhh!


Kuba was babbling up until about four (4) years old. So his speech at times is still not that clear. “He’s too big to be speaking like that.” My response: “No shit Sherlock!” Like really! Do you think that I (a) Don’t already know this, (b) Doing everything that we can to improve it and (c) He wants to improve just as bad. Telling me that you have a 5 year old grandson who speaks VERY WELL because his mom makes sure of it is not advice. It’s just you showing off so… SHUT! UP!

Dr. Know It All

I was watching this program on TV and they were talking about how this gluten-free diet/ABA therapy/freak juice /jumping out of a plane can cure autism. Look… The one thing that I know for sure is that to date there is no cure. Yes, there are therapies that help, but no one thing helps all autistic people.  Take home message; not because you watch it on TV or read it in a book that it’s the gospel.

The Food Police

My kid is a picky eater, plus added to that he has a few food allergies which can sometimes make dining out a challenge. “I don’t know how you put up with how he eats. If he lived with me he would have to eat what I give him.” My response: “You should be happy then.” Tell me again why anyone would want to take this personal.

You know what? Very early I realized that I was going to have to develop some THICK skin and eventually I began to let things just roll off my back – And actually began to look forward to questions from folks because it gave me an opportunity to tell another person about autism and hopefully make them more aware and understanding. But more and more it’s becoming hard for me to keep a civil tongue in my head, especially when others can’t or won’t.

Folks, this is our tender spot here – And you’re making it so hard for us when you come at us this way.

Ahhh… Yes. That high road… Sometimes filled with jerks and meddlers who think they have a right to talk to me as the wish and ask me any intrusive question that pops into their mind. As much as possible I try not to listen to the voice in my head. Imagine that! Not listening to the voice in my head – Thought we were to supposed to listen that one? But for now, with me, it won’t be pretty if that voice takes the lead so I swallow what a part of me so want to give right back to them because I’m going to be the one who regrets it, because I’m the one that knows better. And at the end of the day, I’ve done nothing to inform an uneducated mind. Plus hopefully I’m teaching my son a lesson about advocating for himself.

Again, let me repeat… It’s not EASY for me to do this. When you sometimes want to give someone the “one-finger salute” because words fail you, and it is still illegal to drop-kick someone in a supermarket. Totally kidding – But it means that they have hit a nerve. However for the times that I’ve stopped and talked to someone about autism, nine times out of ten, I think they walk away feeling pretty foolish for the way they spoke to me and there’s been times that some folks have even apologized. And that right there, I can’t tell you how much it means to me.

So the next time you’re in the supermarket and you see a mom with a kid who’s having a meltdown… If you’re 12, go ahead and stare, I’m cool with that. If you’re 41; don’t come over and insist that I spank him, tell me that I’m a bad parent and start talking to the other folks in the aisle about how you would never tolerate that behavior or shout “Is he retarded!” Because when you do that; quiet inside-voice… Quite – He can hear you – And, most days, I couldn’t care less but really and truly, I would rather not expose him to this and have him feel uncomfortable.

You can though, feel free to give me the “I’ve been there smile”, ask if you can help or you can just ignore us. I’m cool with that.

So; are we all on the same page? Awesome! Thanks for listening.


7 Responses to "The Comeback Kid"

Hi Salma,

As someone who is a caregiver for an autistic child, I can truly identify with your post! Everyone tries to fix, but how you fix something that is not broken? I celebrate differences so I celebrate autism. It is through education, speaking up and speaking out that people become aware.

Thanks for being an advocate and I support Autism Awareness!!!!

Thanks for sharing!

Very enlightening; I admire your strength. Sincerely hope that those of us who are so quick to diagnose & criticize will think before we venture to offer unsolicited advice. “He who knows not and knows not that he knows not is an ***” (my quote)

We moms always know we need patience to deal with our kids but more and more I’ve been praying for it to deal with adults. I wish I could say things will change but some people just don’t know how golden silence is. Never fear, I have a look that speaks volumes and you are welcome to it.

Keeping quite is not always they way to go aunty 😉
Just gotta let ’em have it! LOL 😀

Salma, I know what you’re saying – people just have no idea and they have no interest in understanding. How frustrating and gut wrenching at the same time! Amazing blog post!


I read this blog post in awe. Not sure whether those persons are insensitive or just plain out rude, either way it’s uncalled for. Keep being strong because your son needs that.

Carol A. Scholar

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