It came from an unexpected person – someone who should know better, someone who should be more loving and kind. One of those memes on facebook. “In my day, we didn’t call it behavior disorder – we called it being a spoiled brat!”
Ah, ouch. And incorrect. Nope, behavior disorders DO, in fact, exist. And it’s not because the child is a brat, or a bad kid, or his parents have no control or are lazy. Trauma, abuse, and neglect over multiple years does a number on a kid.
I wasn’t sure if I should even broach the subject. It wasn’t just about my hurt feelings, this person could potentially be turning others away from the very place they need to be. And it was rude, and wrong. I asked a couple of people, and they agreed I should mention it.
So last night, I finally gathered the courage to address this leader of many. Privately, via fb message, and I know he saw it last night. I kind of dreaded seeing him tonight. Confrontation is NOT my strong point. I normally would much rather just sweep it under the rug and not worry about it. But I felt this was a time to educate. My family is not the only one in this community to have special needs – there are several families who have far more severe needs than mine. Did they feel the same? What about outsiders who might want to come in? Are they likely to join if the leader thinks their having-a-meltdown-child-with-autism is a brat?
I thought he might address it when I saw him, but instead I was ignored. Okay, then. Perhaps he didn’t read it; maybe he didn’t have time to reply; it could be that he is trying to choose his words, just as I typed and erased several times. I’m trying to come up with a reason for no reply, ignore the mom with the bratty kid.
It’s not okay to dismiss an entire group of people with a derogatory remark. It’s not okay to hold a high position, and alienate people who don’t fit your mold.