I was tired from all his appointments, beaten from his constant barrage of angry, and mentally exhausted from all his doctors not listening to me and my concerns regarding my son.
We just came out of his therapist meeting, and with another diagnosis. This time it was for ADHD-C, the combination of ADD and ADHD, and PTSD. Due to his unwillingness to participate in some of the tests, a lot was left untold, but I went with it. She prescribed a new set of medications for him, and I was on my way to go get them filled.
He was already struggling that day, so I decided Wal-Mart would probably be the best choice, especially since the medications there are so much cheaper than they are at the pharmacy down the street from me. That, and Wal-Mart has visual eye candy that is perfect for the over active, majorly attitudinal little boy.
As we were standing in the new prescription line at Wal-Mart, my then seven-year-old, had a horrendous meltdown because I wouldn’t let him have a Ring Pop. I calmly tried to diffuse the situation, and I was able to get him to calmly sit down on the bench. I breathed the biggest sigh of relief, which was very quickly interrupted by an older lady behind me.
“I would have beat his ass!” She said under her breath.
I ignored her at first, I didn’t want to be that person, but she refused to let it be. Again, she repeated the same phrase. This time, my son heard it, and that triggered another emotional meltdown from him. Tears welling up in my eyes, I was so angry that a complete stranger had the gall to tell me what needed to happen.
“You need to have your ass beat!” She said bending down.
It was at that point I lost it. I unleashed every ounce of frustration I had at the lady in line behind me. The children behind her quiet, her face completely appalled at the verbal onslaught I laid into her. The customers in front of me watching the scene unfold. I was embarrassed as tears were flowing down my face, but I stood there in line, until I was able to get his medication filled. After, I sat in my car and just cried. My son apologizing profusely for his behavior, because he thought I broke down because of him. And to be truthful, some of it was, but I never let him know that.
That incident, though three years ago, still lies fresh in my mind. Because it’s not just that one time, it’s all the time. I hear that phrase when we’re out at a park, an outing, or even just grocery shopping. And it brings me to tears every single time, because my child is not your neurotypical child.
Please stop telling me to “spank” my child. I’ve tried it, trust me, and it does nothing but make me cry and him feel even worse.
Please stop telling me that my child needs help. You don’t think he’s been to therapists, hospitals, doctors? Well he has, and we’ve finally found one that works for him.
Please stop telling me to relax when out and about. I can’t relax, I wish I could. However, me constantly getting up and making sure he isn’t left to his own devices, prevents most meltdowns and incidents involving his impulsive self.
Please stop isolating my child. He requires a little bit more attention than most, but that doesn’t mean he deserves to sit out of things because he isn’t considered your “normal” child.
Please stop judging me when I’m doing everything in my power to make a simple grocery shopping trip go smoother. I live with him everyday, I would hope by now I know what works and what doesn’t.
Please stop telling me that sending my kid to school would “fix” his behavior. I tried that too, and the system failed him miserably. The school isolated him and made him a martyr, exasperating the situation even more. So much so, he didn’t even want to get on the bus.
Instead of judging or mumbling unnecessary things, try to understand. Educate yourself on the struggles on raising a non-neurotypical child. Ask me how I’m doing. And I mean really ask me, because sometimes having someone care can turn a really horrible day into a really good one.
If you see a meltdown happening, don’t sit by idly judging away. Instead try asking him how he’s doing. You’d be surprised how many times a store worker has walked up to my son mid-meltdown and just asked for a high-five. It changed the entire mood and made his day. I know because he runs up to me after as a completely different child, and it made my trip so much easier.
Please show empathy, sympathy, and understanding.
Please stop judging, whispering, and opinionating.