Friday, March 26, 2010

Yes, this is what it feels like.

We have found some people who are very patient and understanding of GL. Not only in his special needs baseball league (Little League's Challenger Division) where you would expect to find such people, (If they weren't patient with special needs, why would they hang around a special needs league?) but also in our church and community.

But every time we go out in public, we risk running into people who, instead of helping, seem to be doing their best to make things worse. From making rude and useless suggestions to rolling their eyes or glaring at us, to verbally attacking him or us. There's no point in arguing with these people. They won't learn because they don't want to. So I usually just endure it and try to help GL escape the situation as quickly and quietly as possible, while trying to appear outwardly calm. Disagreeing with these people only makes them worse.

But this blog post describes pretty well how it feels.

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Blogger Arby said...

Great link! I read the entire blog as well as Smockity Frock’s original post and all of the comments. If you’ll pardon its length, please allow me to share with you the comment I left:

It is always disappointing when someone mixes one part judgment with one part condemnation and dispenses it with Bible in hand. Like beauty, humor is in the eye of the beholder, and while I do not find the humor in Smockity Frock’s writing that some people do, I do see her attempt at presenting the situation humorously. Unfortunately, her humor doesn’t mask her lack of Grace in this situation, as demonstrated by her second to last line, “Thus concludes the story of ‘What Happens When Coddled Little Girls Are Over Praised For False Virtues’.” Which one of us is not guilty of lacking Grace at one time or another? In a world of sinners, people sin. Why should we be surprised when they do?

It is unfortunate that SF took down her post. There was a wonderful dialogue taking place in the comments section that was beneficial for all people involved. It was a missed opportunity to open the world of classified disorders to people who have neither the knowledge nor the experience to deal with them. Unfortunately, some bloggers become so used to praise in the comments section of their blogs that they have difficulty handling anything else. SF dug her heels in on this post. I hope that she reflects on the dialogue and handles such a situation differently in the future.

I have one child who defies diagnosis (and there have been many attempts) and has thrown some spectacular tantrums in public. I have an ALCAPA cardiac kid whose care has presented some serious “looks” in public, some truly funny situations when her Mic-Kay button came out (Oy! Do they leak!), and one warning that our use of a backpack carried feeding pump was child abuse and we could be reported to the authorities. For what, feeding our child? In public? *GASP* Not that! I understand exactly what you are writing. I’ve received “the look.” It is in those situations that I have to remind myself that other people simply do not understand because they have not walked a mile in my shoes. In those situations, I pray for God to loan me His extra Grace when mine is insufficient.

March 26, 2010 at 3:38 PM  
Blogger Brownie said...

It's tough when people don't "get it." I may have been guilty of that on occasion, also. I try to look at situations now and try to think that perhaps there is something going on that I just am not privy to. Like the back pack for feeding that Arby talked about.

My problem is with my ultra happy and super BUSY Red. He is still in the process of getting diagnosed... he has another in April because the professionals that have seen him thus far just aren't sure; so now he will be seen by a neuropsychologist.

Once after church when I, once again, sent Blondie after her running brother, I commented on Red's "busyness." The pastor's wife made a comment that she would be able to teach him to sit still if she could have him for a couple of weeks.

REALLY!?!? Bet not. She raised two, quiet and well-behaved girls. But I bet Red could take her down in no time.

But I was annoyed. Just because her two little girls were always clean and well behaved does not make her an authority on my child.

Okay - so I'm venting. I think I also "get" what you're saying. I'm also trying to be more gracious to other parents when their kids are being less than perfect in public.

March 26, 2010 at 4:58 PM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

"she would be able to teach him to sit still if she could have him for a couple of weeks."

I once had the opportunity to take someone up on such an offer. We lived near Kansas City. GL had not yet been diagnosed. I was continually calling my mother in Wisconsin for advice, because she had successfully raised six pretty decent kids, and was nearly done raising a seventh. She kept insisting I was overreacting, or he just needed more attention, more affection, etc. Each time we visited, even when we visited for several days, she didn't think he had a problem; we were just too tense, too overprotective, had too high expectations, or weren't doing it right.

Then one summer, she offered to take GL and BB for three weeks. We took her up on it. On the fourth day, she called in tears saying, "This is NOT normal!" On the fifth day, she drove nine hours to return him. We lost a vacation, but we gained an advocate.

What angered me, and I think most commenters, was not SF's inability to recognize the signs of autism, or even her mocking a little girl with a disability, but her refusal to learn from the experience. But in the process, I think she may have taught a lesson she never intended. She has starred in a morality play about mocking the handicapped and being an arrogant jerk about it afterwards. Shutting down the comments and removing the post has only made her more infamous. “Thus concludes the story of ‘What Happens When Coddled Little Bloggers Are Over Praised For False Virtues’.”

March 26, 2010 at 5:33 PM  
Blogger storkdok said...

Papa Bear, thank you so much for linking, I feel honored!

One of my more traumatic memories goes like this...I remember one day when my oldest son was just entering kindergarten, and my youngest was a very busy toddler. We went to Sabbath school and my older son, autistic, was moved into the kindergarten class. The expectations were a lot more, like sitting in his chair and following directions and listening, no talking unless asked. It was a complete disaster, he wandered around the room humming and flapping, he was listening, and I tried to get him to sit down, but it was difficult with my toddler, who was also all over the place, but I had no one to help me (dh was working in the hospital). I have to say, the class was terribly boring. What kid wants to sit at a table and listen to a lesson being read from a study guide? Finally, the woman who was in charge, who's husband was the CEO of our hospital where we worked, said, "Can't you control your child? What is the matter with him? (as if she didn't know, everyone knew he was autistic, it was a very small church)" I was so frustrated and tired and her remark was so thoughtless, I replied, "He's autistic. What do you expect, robots? When something is this boring, it isn't going to engage him." And I took the boys and left.

As soon as we got into the hallway, they both collapsed to the ground in double meltdowns. I sat on the floor and tried to calm them, but it didn't work. I looked up and saw a group of 5 moms that I knew, I had even delivered two of their babies. They gave me the "look". No one offered to help me get them out to the car. I couldn't carry both of them and I couldn't leave either of them to take one out to the car. I had to wait until one kid could walk and slung the other over my shoulder and ran to the car. Never went back to that church.

So when Sprockity Frickets wrote her piece and was unrepentent, I'll admit it triggered emotions from long ago.

March 26, 2010 at 6:38 PM  
Blogger Arby said...

"Shutting down the comments and removing the post has only made her more infamous. “Thus concludes the story of ‘What Happens When Coddled Little Bloggers Are Over Praised For False Virtues’.”

Absolutely fantastic line!

March 26, 2010 at 10:34 PM  
Blogger Liz Ditz said...

Papa Bear, I'm sorry that I overlooked you in my roundup of posts. I've fixed that now.

The silver lining in this whole to-do is making the acquaintance of awesome parent bloggers new to me, such as Arby and yourself.

March 30, 2010 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

Thanks, Liz. It looks like I have some very interesting blogs to look through.

March 30, 2010 at 4:54 PM  

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