Unsolicited Advice: Nurse Tells Mom To Whoop Her Autistic Son

Photo by Anna Kolosyuk on Unsplash


One of the most frustrating things about being a mom is receiving unsolicited advice from a stranger on how to raise your own child.

But for moms of children with special needs, especially children with “invisible” intellectual disabilities, the random comments from strangers are often enraging, not to mention heartbreaking.

Recently, one local mom experienced the unthinkable comment from a nurse while she was waiting with her 3-year old child in the waiting room of a doctor’s office.

What started off as a peaceful doctor’s visit ended with a 3-year old in tears, and an enraged mom.

The little 3-year old boy has autism, and was patiently waiting with his mother and trying to pass the time.

The mom was letting her child pretend to read a story out of a book in the waiting room, and the child was as happy as can be, making different noises and sounds as he read.

He was having fun!

When the nurse called them back, the child was startled and became upset thinking he wouldn’t get to take the book with him.

Many kids can get upset having to let go of a toy or book, but for children with special needs the sudden change can be traumatic and very upsetting.

Knowing her own child, the mom kindly and sweetly got down on her knees and calmly told the crying child it would be okay and he could take his book with him.

Hearing the comforting words from his mother and knowing he could take his book with him when he went to see the doctor, the little boy stopped crying.

That was all he wanted!

But the snarky nurse apparently was disgusted at the site of a 3-year old crying about a book and turns to the 3-year old and states “You’re lucky she lets you act like that. My kids would’ve gotten whooped.”, reported Scary Mommy.

Can you imagine, a grown adult turning to your child and telling him he deserves to be whooped?

Naturally, the mother was outraged and admitted it took everything in her to remain calm.

Scary Mommy reported:

“Did you just tell my kid he’s lucky I don’t hit him? Right in front of my face?

By some miracle, I reined in my sass mouth and calmly said, “He doesn’t know what that means. We don’t hit our kids.”

Apparently the conversation stopped there, but the mom was still outraged, as any mother would be.

Children who have autism don’t always behave the same as other children.

They are often more sensitive to noises and have different ways to communicate.

And surprises or strangers that threaten their routine are often seen as upsetting.

A nurse of all people should know this and have compassion!

To have the audacity to turn to a toddler who just finished crying and tell him he deserved to be whopped is unacceptable.

Since when did grown adults think they gained the right to tell mothers how to discipline their own children?

Many companies and organizations have continued to make products and special places for children with autism.

Their compassion and acceptance is what mothers need to see.

As we interact with different moms throughout our day, let’s try and hold back the urge to throw a critical comment, and instead offer support.

We’re all in this together.

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