Bringing the kids to the grocery store can be challenging for any parent — those impulse aisles at the cash register were practically designed for a tantrum — but for a parent of a child with autism, the struggle can be next level. Just ask Australian mom, Katie Maree, who recently shared a recent unfortunate experience while shopping at a Coles supermarket.
“Dear lady at Coles Coolum. Yes my children were rude and using revolting language. I apologized to you twice but in your ignorance you chose to have a go at me about my children’s behaviour,” she writes.
According to the post, both of Maree’s kids are on the autism spectrum and happened to be having a particularly bad day.
“You can’t see autism like you can see chicken pox. Every day is a struggle for my children, my family, my whole community and it is so disappointing that someone like you can just so easily make it that much harder.”
“My kids didn’t choose to be this way, they didn’t ask to be born with autism. They truly are great kids.”
Maree explains how she was mortified to the point of tears at the behaviour of her kids and that having this stranger give her such a hard time on top of things only made the situation worse.
“Please educate yourself on autism and try a bit of empathy. I’m trying so hard to help my kids. Next time you feel the need to have a go at someone about their kids how about you stop and ask ‘are you ok.'”
Many were quick to come to Maree’s defense in the comments section, telling their own tales of judgement due to misunderstanding.
“The amount of times I have glared at people and shouted ‘does it help you to know he has autism?’ In the middle of the shops. The look of regret that they even opened their mouth has always been somewhat satisfying. Don’t let ignorance get you down,” said Matthew Bloomfield.
“I’m so sorry that you were judged like this. I too have a son with ASD so can empathize completely with you. People need to just think before they speak,” said Nicole Forbes-Hood.
But others defended the woman’s quick judgement.
“Unfortunately there are so many badly behaved children out there who also use revolting language that it doesn’t make it easy for people to understand those with special needs,” said Jo Frankish.
“To be fair, she may be on the spectrum herself and loud kids may be one of her triggers. ASD kids grow into ASD adults. Or she could be a cranky cow that needs to mind her own business,” said Melanie Zanki.
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