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 all gave me the "look". No one offered to help me get the kids 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 and come back for the other one. I had to wait until one kid could walk and slung the other one over my shoulder and ran to the car. We never went back to that church again.
So when Smockity Frocks wrote her piece and had it pointed out that the 4 year old girl in the library was probably autistic, and was unrepentant (until now), I'll admit it triggered emotions from long ago...anger, and even more so pain and sorrow.
This morning a friend told me that Smockity Frocks has apologized. This is what she said:
I prefer not to hold onto the anger, because it only hurts me. I don't want to become bitter. I feel like we accomplished what we wanted to, making Smockity and others aware of more than a statistic, they realize our kids are everywhere, even in the library, and they will be more charitable towards our kids and any kid, even those who aren't autistic.
From the very beginning, I have always wanted this blog to be a blessing, something to help others, and never to hurt. I wanted to make people laugh, even in the midst of parenting trials.
It has become evident that I have not achieved that goal. I have unintentionally caused hurt and pain and for that I am truly sorry.
When I described a situation I observed recently, I was seeing in my mind and describing on my blog behavior that I have witnessed dozens of times in my own seven children and hundreds of students during my eight years as a school teacher. The behavior I described was nothing more to me than childishness and impatience, but I can see now that the words I used were viewed as symptoms of autism and many people were offended.
The most grievous part, for me, is that this has brought dishonor to the name of Christ, and that is wholly the opposite of my life’s mission.
It is my sincere hope that this apology will bring healing and peace.
Given the nature of many of the emails I have received, please understand why I feel it is necessary to close the comments on this post.
I think anger can be a good motivator, and I feel channeling it to make a difference in our kids lives, and the lives of autistic adults hopefully, is what my goal is. Who knows how many people who never commented, or those first 23 commenters on her blog alone, will now maybe not even just cut our kids some slack, but could possibly do something in the future for our kids?
If we hang onto the anger and continue to point a finger, it could backfire and cause resentment amongst those parents. They will effectively close their minds and not even try to think or help anyone with autism, or could even hold a grudge. That is what happens when people are told, "no matter what you say, you are an asshole, and I'm not giving you a second chance."
People make mistakes. If they try to understand a different point of view, and sincerely say they are sorry and have learned from their mistakes, I will forgive them. I have made and still make a lot of mistakes, and I hope people will forgive me when I say I'm sorry and am sincere about it, and change my thinking.
Smockity Frocks has apologized very sincerely. I accept her apology and wish her the best of luck in life. I believe she has learned from us and will not be judging a child's behavior nor mocking a child again. I think this is a very good start to "Autism Awareness Month". I know that I am grateful for having "met" a lot of special needs parents through the blogs and on Facebook in the last week. Even though many of us have are in different countries or have different point of views, we have found common ground in our children, and wish to make society better and more tolerant of those who are different...and maybe even, hopefully, embrace our children to celebrate in their uniqueness.
For me, this is what "Autism Awareness Month" is all about.
I would like to give a shout out for a blog called "Respect For Infinite Diversity". It is a wonderful blog by two new and dear friends:
A Call to ActionWhere are the organizations that help individuals?
Where are the organizations that provide mentoring or someone to listen when you need an ear?
Where are the organizations that will help individuals find the help they need?
Help us become that place.
It's a start. A new beginning. A chance to make a difference.