This is the second time in a year that I have heard one child say this to another child. It happened right in front of me and I had to use everything within my mind, soul, and body to remain as adult and professional as I could without “going off” on the child.
After taking a long, deep breath I explained to her that the statement was ignorant, rude, and offensive. I explained how intelligent Autistics are and how they think and see the world differently. I encouraged her to do some research. Then I proceeded to show her my huge autism pin along with two autism bracelets that I was wearing proudly!
It made me extremely sad for the entire day. I kept thinking, “Where are they getting this information from? Of all of the things that could have been said, why was “autistic” chosen?” It showed me that WE STILL HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO! If we want our kids to truly be accepted, then kids and adults must be educated about autism. I also wondered, why did I hear it? Is this something God wanted me to hear for a reason?
Towards the end of the day, the child did apologize but it didn’t change the way that I felt and still feel. MJ does not deserve a world that thinks so little of him.