Sunday, July 17, 2011

Do you tell strangers your child has Autism?

Like out of no reason than to explain their behavior?

I was out running errands with Avery this morning. Our first major stop was Walmart. She was doing pretty good today. She was being very vocal but happy. The cashier I had was pretty fast today (shocker). She was saying she had all the babies in her lane today and then corrected herself when she said Avery wasn't a baby. I said no not really but she doesn't really talk so it's like having a baby. She then was telling me about her 2 year old who was to receive speech therapy through our states Early Intervention program. I mentioned Avery had Autism and she said she thought her daughter had some mannerisms that alarmed her. She told me she was waiting for a speech therapist.

This is where I turned off just being a Mom of a kid with a Autism into the Mom who knows how to work the system. I then rattled off as fast as I could because of course a line was forming what she needs to do with our EI system. I told her she had to be on her case worker's ass like she owe's you money. No joke. Next tell her you want the diagnostic medical evaluation done. Just to get the ball rolling for that because there is a waiting list for these things. That she can get it scheduled for 6 months after she starts receiving services but it has to be done 90 days before their 3rd birthday when they age out. I gave her the name of the group we took Avery to for her evaluation. I wished her the best of luck and we then left the store.

Two more stores and by the last one Avery was at her limit and it was time for lunch. She did well for herself and was a happy camper when we got home and ate lunch.

I told my husband about my experience at Walmart this morning and I mentioned I should just get cards made up with the basic information for a family starting EI or starting their therapy journey. It would have to be an 8x10 card because of all the information you need to know though.

My experience this morning reminded me of two Mom's I met at the Autism One Conference in May. The first Mom was the mother who was of Asian descent who had a hard time expressing herself and didn't know where to get help for her child. The second Mom this reminded me of was of another mother who's son had Autism and she said that she's always telling people at her kids school that he has Autism. She said she didn't want to feel alone and needed to know who was like her.

I think I want to help Mom's like the first one I described because if you don't know where to start it's a hard road and it's only better if you can get help from others. I feel like the second Mother because I'm not afraid to tell people my child has Autism. There are more and more kids with Autism today than when I was growing up and someone almost always knows a family with a kid on the spectrum but sometimes you meet that Mom who's not sure if her child does or does not and needs the help in finding out.

There is nothing wrong with saying to others my child has Autism. You never know if the next person you tell will be someone who needs help or just a push in the right direction in getting help not just for their child but even for themselves.


  1. I'm glad you're willing to share with others as it truly is a daunting thing to deal with. I tell people only when it becomes obvious or it needs saying, reason being---My son's almost 8 and he's acutely aware of everything I say so I have to be careful not to offend him. But I do get a mouthful in when he's not around!

  2. I agree with you
    I think its good to share
    I also think I will have to rethink my stance when R is big enough and take his opinion into account