Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Can the Non Experts Please Shut Up?

Why do people, who have very little basis to do so, give advice? Why do non parents want to publicly- in forums, on their blogs, on Facebook, Twitter, blogazines, etc,- want to tell us all of the ways in which we're doing it wrong? Same goes for people who have no medical right to tell everyone else how to eat, work out, and cure cancer or other diseases.

I'm not making that last one up. I've actually, today alone, come across five mentions on Facebook of completely unqualified people telling me and God knows how many others how to "cure" cancer and other diseases. By diet.

Because screw genetics.

However, I'm digressing. What has really pissed me off this evening is coming across a discussion from a non parent of how autistic wandering, or bolting, is the fault of the parents. Not a new concept, I know. However, this is supposedly coming from someone who dispenses advice to parents. I'm finding this puzzling.

I 100% get why my son would run from loud noises. From the wrong sensory input. I get it. But, you know, I've had enough.

If you are a non parent, especially not the parent of an autistic child, back off on the public judgement. To say that autistic children "bolt to escape abusive situations" is pretty heinous. Maybe some do. Who knows? Or that parents called this wandering in order to lessen the guilt when they are bad parents and their children run away? Bull. Shit.

I find it appalling that anyone who is a non parent would dispense parenting advice. It's like someone giving medical advice who isn't a doctor.

How dare anyone infer that children such as Morgan bolt in order to escape abusive situations? My son is not being abused. He's so far from it that it's almost funny to imply there is such a thing in this house.As children who were both abused by our father figures, my husband and I are incredibly careful in our discipline with our children. Other parents might not be this way, I cannot speak for them, only for what goes on here.

I know what it is to bolt from danger. My son is not trying to do that.

However, other kids? Maybe. I cannot speak for them. But when I see discussions going on, more discussions that only serve to fuel this intense fire that blames parents, I become livid. Especially when that fire is fanned by a non parent, someone who is not even parenting by proxy. This isn't just one person, either. I mentioned it earlier this week.

Thing is, I would laugh this off if parents weren't being vilified by so many people already. It's not a "poor us" mentality, either. At least not from where I'm sitting. From this view, it's a "just shut the hell up already, world, because frankly, you're not living your life correctly, either." We deal with criticism (not constructive) from our relatives, our friends, teachers, administrators, and strangers sometimes daily. Do we really need someone else? Someone who is based in the Autism community? Hell no. 

Bottom line? Good parents, like me, blame themselves for things every day that, in the long run probably won't matter that much to our children. Blame the parents who truly are abusing their children. Don't make assertions about situations you have zero experience with or very little firsthand knowledge.


  1. Firstly, not being a parent does *not* mean you can't be an expert in autism. I'm an AUTISTIC PERSON. That alone gives me a lot more insight into autism than being a parent would. Both of us know one autistic person, but I know myself better than you know your son.
    And secondly, while many kids who wander are not being abused, some *are*. I used to elope from school - only from school, nowhere else. The reason was abuse, from both teachers and peers. I knew where I was running to wasn't safe, but it felt safer than school, because no one was calling me names, tripping me, cornering me or trying to restrain me. In my case, it wasn't my parents. But autistic kids aren't only born to great parents. Just as some typical kids have abusive parents, so do some autistic kids. And if they have language issues, or are just too scared to tell, then their reactions to abuse will be treated as autistic symptoms.

    1. Ettina, this was written about three years ago. Since that time, I've developed other opinions on this matter, as well as received an autism diagnosis of my own. Should you continue reading this blog, you will see that my views have expanded. I'm sorry I've caused any hurt to come your way. I know how reading things like this can seem as if it's pointed directly in your position.

      This particular post was written out of anger and spite.