Stares. We eat them for lunch almost literally. On almost every time we take both kids out to lunch, there would be people staring. In a country where staring is almost a hobby and traffic jams can be caused by drivers who slow down just to see and judge who is at fault at a fender bender incident, who wouldn’t stare if a kid makes so much noise while eating French Fries? Or if her parents let out a firm “Sit properly. Use your spoon and fork.”
My wife and I are used to people staring. And it’s nice to know that, these days, there are more people who stare out of surprise and instinct and less out of disbelief and intolerance. There are now more people who are open minded about children with autism. We still get the worse kind every now and then and, even if it ticks me off, I have learned to be more understanding. Funny, I have to be more understanding of regular people than them of my irregular kids.
But recently we had to deal with a different kind of stare; one that I am not ready to understand yet.
Sam and Jared started summer classes at a new school this week. It was just the second day of class when Sam threw a major fit in the school waiting area. But there was nothing unexpected there. These children get challenged with routine changes. We braced ourselves for tantrums. What we did not expect was some of the adults in the school waiting area who were staring. And it was not the good kind.
I may need to tell you that this school specializes on children with autism. All of the children who go there are in the spectrum one way or another. So these people are parents and/or guardians of children with autism. I really don’t understand why I would get that from people who are experiencing, have experienced, or will potentially experience that with their kids. We have been to other schools before and we have not experienced this kind of intolerance. Aren’t these institutions a safe environment for our children? Aren’t we supposed to be on the same team and the same advocacy?
I guess it doesn’t immediately follow.