I really wish there were no judgmental people in this world, but there are. Autism is a condition which is difficult for many to understand and, once again, our family has experienced ignorance.
This post is to all of the people that have seen and judged my daughter lately - a six year old child sitting in a jogging stroller whining and crying, yelling and screaming, kicking her feet, repeatedly pulling the visor down and demanding things. This is what YOU see. You might think "What a spoiled brat!" or "She's too big for that stroller." She isn't doing it to get her way. This is Autism. Let me explain...
She rides in a stroller because it's the safest place for her. Crowded, fast-paced and noisy environments cause her anxiety, which triggers a sensory overload and she tries to flee. She also has Joint Hypermobilty Syndrome that makes her to become very tired and causes pain in her joints.
Although she tries very hard to conform anywhere she is some days are harder than others. When her routine is changed on short notice even if it's for something fun, she will have a difficult day. When she has conform for too long or when she is hungry, thirsty or tired, she will have a difficult day. It really could be anything. It's hard enough trying to keep her comfortable and calm so we can enjoy a family outing without those little whispers behind our backs.
April is autism awareness month and it's clear to me we need much more awareness. Not just for thirty days, but everyday! So the next time you see a family like ours trying to enjoy a fair, movie or even just food shopping remember my words, don't judge.
From a fed up special needs mom