Today we had a routine hospital appointment with Freddie. Whilst we were sat in the waiting room I noticed this little boy playing with some toys. As I watched him play I suddenly noticed that on his t shirt in big letters it said ‘I AM AUTISTIC PLEASE DON’T STARE’. I was so bewildered to think that this small boy was walking around wearing this autistic label. His disability being highlighted to everyone. I don’t think the child would of been old enough to understand quite what the t shirt meant but I don’t think that walking around wearing something like that can be good for anybodies confidence & ability to get on with a normal life. If I hadn’t read this message I would never of known this child had any type of disability.
Now since I’ve had Freddie one thing I’ve learnt is never to judge anyone. I came out of the hospital almost feeling guilty for judging this boys mum for putting this t shirt on him & it made me think back to a few weeks ago where having a t shirt like that would of saved some awkwardness on my part.
We were in A&E with Freddie & I was approached by a lady & her young child. I did my best to avoid talking to this woman as Freddie was suffering from suspected epileptic fits & I wasn’t in the mood to talk to anyone. But she came over & started chatting anyway. “How olds your little one” she asked. Freddie was sat on my knee staring into space at the time & when I replied he was 16 months she looked so shocked. Then she started on about how fabulous her 13 month old was doing & how he’s so great at walking & talking. Not a nice thing to hear when your child can’t even bare weight on his legs or babble. She then went on to ask if the reason Freddie was in A&E was down to the fact he had bumped his head, as he has a red lump on his forehead. Luckily I didn’t have time to tell her the red lump was actually down to issues with his skull growth & may need major surgery next year on it as the doctor called me to be seen. Maybe if I had a t shirt on Freddie saying he has unknown syndrome & severe global developmental delay she may not have started questioning me & made me feel so uncomfortable. Maybe the reason this lady had this t shirt on her son was because she was sick of people staring & muttering about her sons behaviour. There’s been times I’ve seen people stare at Freddie & I’d love to just let of some steam on them. Who are they to judge me & my family & who am I to judge this little boy & his family.