Before Passing Judgement: Raising an Autistic Child

Today I saw a poster for the movie Dumbo, and it made me think about being a mother raising a different child in a cruel world that lacks empathy. You might say it touched a nerve.

I know this can be a difficult topic to address, especially when we are talking about our children. Many of you may think, who could be mean to children? You’d be surprised. Unfortunately, seeing children treated badly and being made fun of is something that happens way too much. Especially to children with different abilities.

In my personal experience, there have been people who observed my children’s behavior and the first thing that comes to their mind is that I have aggressive, spoiled, hyperactive, impulsive children. Not once do they stop and think, that just maybe they are autistic with ADHD.

My children’s conditions do not define who they are. 

My son Italo is somewhat shy, but once he is confident and comfortable, he will not stop talking. He has such a humorous personality. Particio on the other hand is very social, and makes friends everywhere he goes. But he has trouble understanding the social interaction norms. They both mean well and just want to play like any other children. 

Sometimes as adults we do not realize that our children are a mirror. Everything we do, they imitate. They observe our behaviors and even use the same words or gestures that we do. Before passing judgment on a child’s behavior, consider the fact that they could be autistic, and teach your own children to be kind to others.

I invite you to treat everyone the way that you would like to be treated. When you see or have contact with someone who has a different capacity, assess your reaction and behavior before you act. Understand that just because they can’t communicate, it doesn’t mean they don’t understand what you are saying, or how you say it. If you check your own behavior, you can actually help break the stigma.

Nobody is perfect, but as they say it takes a village to raise a child. So make sure your village has a kind heart and accepts those who are different.

What do you think?
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Ana Ibarra

Ana Ibarra

Ana Ibarra is the proud mommy of Italo and Patricio. She believes all people with different needs must be respected. She is disheartened by the fact our Latino communities lack early detection, information, and services to help those with special needs live normal lives. Ana believes a lack of empathy for special needs families makes the journey even tougher. Striving to create a healthy present and future life for her children, Ana affirms their diagnosis and disabilities are not labels to hold them back. With the support of parent groups like Yo Soy Tu Voz, Ana continues to advocate for breaking stigmas imposed by our society.

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