“Are You Autistic or Something?”

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.









10 thoughts on ““Are You Autistic or Something?”

  1. I understand your feelings. Back in the 1960s and 1970s when Stephen and I were growing up it was the word Retarded. The dreaded R word. The other kids in the neighborhood would make fun of Stephen.
    I think nowadays it shows a lack of home training.
    I remember during a family get together one of our younger cousins Isaiah asked me if Stephen was autistic. I answered Yes and the two of them went back to discussing cars and Superheroes. Isaiah totally accepted Stephen as an equal.
    In fact Stephen was upset that we had to go home! I suppose it depends on how kids are raised.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I, too, was going to mention the dreaded “R” word. I know that my Isabella will be called the “R” word because of her autism. We need to get it out of our vocabulary.

        Another thing I have been thinking about and would like your opinion on: enough with autism “awareness.” The world is aware as is seen in that child’s comment that you heard. We need autism education and understanding.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. True. At the time the rejection. Probably hurt me more because Stephen is forgiveness person. Anyway over 50 years have passed and many of those bullies are probably long dead by now. Time and the aging process brings its own disabilities and drama to every life.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Nicky. You are perfectly right. Sometimes we speak things without thinking how it would affect others. I empathize with you. My son was born with a congenital heart disease (Hypoplastic heart syndrome) so when he was younger he was always blue and could not play outside as the other kids. When he was going kindergarten the young children used to help him to carry his books and bags but as they get older these same children started to bully him and call him retarded etc. I guess the older one gets the more prideful one becomes. It is really sad. But, keep the faith and I pray that God will continue to strengthen and keep you and family. It is a rough road but a fulfilling one. I look forward to your posts. I think you are a brave and caring mom.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So sorry you and your son had to go through that. Bullying is just horrible and can have lasting effects. Thank you for your kind words! I will most definitely keep the faith. You do the same!


  3. Nicky, I’m so proud of you for keeping calm. It saddens me that the “Are you autistic?” question is the new “Are you ‘R’?”
    I just can’t stand it when kids say those awful things, because they’re getting it from somewhere.
    There needs to be more education for everybody (parents, students, teachers, etc).

    Liked by 1 person

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