-Think before you speak & if you’re an idiot or an asshole, then do us all a favor and tape your mouth shut.
Sometimes people just don’t know when to keep their mouth shut. It ASTOUNDS me how people can be so cruel and I am even more astounded how misinformed and judgmental they can be when it comes to SN people, children, and families. Tonight, I wanted to give a little insight on some run of the mill sayings and phrases that one should NEVER say to a special needs parent, and what we think (well, at least I think) when such things are said. **Caution for the “take myself too seriously crowd”, there are some VERY sarcastic responses below that may offend some people.. you’ve been warned!
WHAT NOT TO SAY TO A SPECIAL NEEDS PARENT (and appropriate responses as seen & sometimes said by me..)
ANYTHING that starts with “well, have you tried…”
Nope.. I just sit on my ass all day and toss her a bone every once in awhile
“If you could’ve known this would happen before she was born, would you have gotten an abortion?”
I should ask your parents the same thing..
“God will only give you what you can handle…”
Well, I feel like He’s being OVERLY generous **props to the husband for this witty remark**
“What’s wrong with him/her?”
Nothing is wrong with her, but what is wrong with you?!
“She doesn’t look disabled..”
Well, you don’t “look” like an idiot and yet you are
“Remember, you have to take care of yourself so you can take care of her.”
I don’t see you offering to babysit so I can “take care of myself”
“I don’t know how you do it, I sure couldn’t handle it.”
Well Muffin, i’m not surprised
“She just needs more dicipline”
How about I practice some discipline techniques on you first..
“Oh don’t worry, she’ll grow out of it”
It’s not like clothes..
“Stop spoiling her, you’ll only make it worse.”
Look in the mirror Susie
“She needs to learn to control her behavior.”
How about you control your mouth first
“Nothing is wrong with her, she’s just playing you”
At least she’s a child prodigy at something
“She’s just saying/doing that for attention”
What’s your excuse?
“I’ll be praying for ya’ll”
Man, isn’t that helpful.. try not to wear yourself out
In a restaurant/public setting.. “Your child needs to calm down or you will have to leave”
I’m sorry that my child’s permanent disability is making YOUR day inconvenient..
These are just a few of the “helpful and well meaning” tidbits of advice we as special needs parents get on a sometimes daily basis. Sometimes sarcasm is the only piece of “ourselves” that we have left (at least that’s how it feels for me.) When it comes to “helpful” or “well meaning” advice from a friend or loved one.. a simple “thanks” or silent smile & nod usually does the trick. And while I am normally a Mrs. Manners person (see quirks & vices post!) this DOES NOT apply to me when some stranger in the grocery line makes a rude remark or comment.. it has become my personal policy to say something rude or snarky back. Childish, probably so.. but at least there is still some of the sarcastic “me before special needs” in there somewhere!
Now remember, the above responses are MOSTLY just thought by SN parents. Because most of the time we are just ready to get out of the damn aggravating conversation in the first place so a quick “thanks” or silent nod or smile are what actually comes out.. and then there are those
glorious days when your smart ass level is at DEFCON 5 and the sarcasm just rolls on out! At least you can get some good remarks from this posting!
I’m always interested in how others would like handle these types of questions from friends/family/strangers? Not HOW DO YOU/WOULD YOU HANDLE THEM, but how would you LIKE to handle them & don’t give me some watered down “kindness is the best medicine” type of thing because let’s get real people… sometimes you just wanna throat punch someone..