One Mom’s Plea: Give My Son Space To Be Himself

Raising a child with special needs brings unique challenges.

And nothing is worse than being out in public, and having that all too familiar “stare” from a disapproving stranger.

But when one mom received an unforgiving glare and harsh words from a stranger at the grocery store, she decided she had enough. Refusing to be silent any longer, this mom had a bold comeback and you won’t believe what she did.

It all started when this mom took her two boys shopping at a local grocery store.

One of her sons had been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and according to Scary Mommy, this 6-year-old boy in particular can easily become “set off” with all of the sensory stimulation at the grocery store.

And despite this mom’s best effort to keep him calm, she wasn’t always successful.

Scary Mommy reported on the typical way this mom is treated when out in public with her children:

“These looks say one thing: Get your kid under control.

What these onlookers don’t know is how much of my life is devoted to just that. It’s practically a full-time job involving therapy appointments, behavioral plans, token systems, and sticker charts all in an effort to control my son or, more accurately, teach him to control himself.

Maybe it was the feeling of being unfairly judged that primed my reaction that morning. Or maybe, after living so long with the day-to-day challenges of raising a child on the spectrum, I was just tired, fed-up and ready to throw something.”

Sadly, many children with special needs are seen as “bad’ and wrongly accused of acting out, when in fact, they are overwhelmed with all the social and sensory overstimulation they are encountering.

But on this particular day, this mom had enough.

She was simply watching her son serve himself oatmeal at the breakfast bar, when the cruel words of a stranger shook her to the core.

Scary Mommy continued:

“I supervised while my son attempted to serve himself.  His body was excitable as usual. He glopped oatmeal into his bowl and then hovered over the toppings selection, hopping in place. I was aware of a man standing too close behind us, huffing impatiently.

With a quick glance over my shoulder I saw that he was tall with a moustache and a red, menacing face.  He spoke directly to my son.

“Slow down,” he scolded.

I don’t care for men with moustaches, but men who use their size and gender to intimidate others are reprehensible to me. And no one, of any size or gender, speaks to my child in that tone.

“Don’t talk to my child like that,” I said.

“Stick it in your ear, Ma’am,” he replied.

“Excuse me?”

He shoved his face a few inches from mine and spoke in slow motion, “Stick – It – In – Your – Ear­–Ma’am.”

The cruel words of a stranger scolding her child, and talking in a condescending tone set this frustrated mom over the edge… and she admitted to deliberately dropping this man’s oatmeal on the floor.

Not that it’s good to get into food fights in a grocery store, but it’s certainly understandable why this mom was beyond frustrated

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She was simply trying to shop at the grocery store with her two children, and had to defend her 6-year-old child from a grown man who lacked patience.

Instead of offering a cruel stare or a harsh word, often a friendly hand.

Be kind, the world needs more kindness, not judgment.

And moms with special needs especially need extra love and support.

Do you think this man should have scolded the 6-year-old child?

What is your message to moms raising children with special needs?

Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

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