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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Unsolicited Parenting Advice

You'd think I'd be used to this by now. Almost every parent who has a child with autism, Asperger's Syndrome, or any number of autism-spectrum disorders deals with this regularly. Some people have this compulsion to give unsolicited parenting advice - and quite frankly, it pisses me off.

Here's what happened today. Someone freaked out because Sam had two doughnuts. I didn't care that he had two doughnuts. He's on a medication that doesn't allow his body to feel "full". Weight gain is a common side effect for Risperdal - Sam has gained 20 pounds since he started taking it in September. I know Sam is overweight. But... it's not like he eats two doughnuts every day. 

This man - who, by the way, doesn't even have children, much less a special needs child - told me that I needed to "curb" this behavior and not let him eat so much or he would grow up to be obese. He was really freaking out that Sam had two doughnuts! It's a really good thing there were other kids around, otherwise I would have told him exactly where he could stick that bit of parenting "advice".

How do you handle the unsolicited parenting advice? Today was a bit extreme - for the most part, the unsolicited parenting advice I've gotten was definitely more gentle. I usually smile and nod and tell them we've tried that already, because chances are we have. We've tried everything!

I ended up just ignoring this man, but if he ever opens his mouth again to tell me how to raise my son, I will say something. Rawr!

1 comment:

  1. I have really been thinking about getting cards printed up that say something like this: "My child has Autism. I know you did not mean to be rude, insensitive or insulting, so here is some information so that you will know better in the future." And then give some basic facts about autism. That way, rather than get upset or tey to stammer out an explanation, I can just hand these peeps a card and go about my business. With the added knowledge that I have helped educate someone!