Monday, February 1, 2016

To the woman staring at my son in the store

On the list of things he doesn't like to do I'd say going to the store is close to the top for Dominic. It's bright, loud, and typically a lot of people. If he's there too long he gets a headache. Short trips are sometimes tolerable but he still makes sure to let me know he's not pleased about going ahead of time. 

It's usually not long after we get inside the store that he starts stimming. He flaps his hands, hops around, or says the same things over and over. If we are not there too long this usually keeps him calm enough to make it through the trip without a meltdown. There are times that if it's extra busy or loud that he quickly becomes agitated and we have to leave but most of the time his stimming allows us to get everything we came for.

Last night I asked him to come with me. I told him he could pick out a movie and a treat if he came. He complained of course but he came along anyway. Not long after we got there he was hopping around repeating the same thing over and over. His brother was giggling and trying to go around with him. While waiting for a text back from my husband we stood off to the side of an aisle. Dominic was standing next to me making repetitive hand movements while talking to himself when I happened to notice a woman staring at him with looked to be disgust. As much as I wanted to I decided to say nothing. Dominic had no idea he was being judged and I certainly didn't want him to so I just sat there and stared at her until she realized I was looking at her. She shook her head and went on her way. 

It always hurts when our children are being judged. It hurts even more when you come to the realization that this will be a life long thing. Even before I had children of my own I did my best not to judge the mother of the screaming child in the grocery store. Or the sweet boy making odd movements while repeating himself over and over. I didn't know what these people were going through so who was I to make a judgment. I can only hope that one day everyone has that mentality. Until that day I will be staring back at each and every person who feels the need to judge my son and I can only hope he will never notice.

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