5 Best Comeback Lines for Comments or Stares

We’ve all had the experience, especially those of us who’ve been in the autism trenches a while, of dealing with unsolicited comments and stares regarding our children’s behavior. It’s hard to believe that people could be this hateful with all the struggles we go through as a family, but It comes with the territory. Sometimes others’ reactions are minor enough to let them roll off our backs; other times they’re so caustic that we cry over it later. And it’s later that we always think about what we should have said to those people, or what we wish we had said, or thought to say. Sometimes the situation is so bad that you can’t come up with anything except “I’m sorry for the disturbance. My child has autism.” That’s what I’ve resorted to many times, feeling exhausted and defeated, ready to start screaming myself.

Well, no more! I’ve decided that unless my son’s behavior is harming someone or damaging property, I am not apologizing any more! Yeah, right. Easier said than done. But instead of leaving a situation wishing I had thought up a witty retort, I’m doing it now. Here, then, are the five best comeback lines for unsolicited comments, stares, or “advice.” This is just a start! Please, feel free to add to the list. I need all the help I can get!

5. “Got autism?” (I admit – I saw this on a T-shirt.)

4. “What? You’ve never seen autism before?”

3. “We didn’t have a social story for this.”

2. “This is Teen Autism coming to you live from ______ ! [insert name of location of incident]”

Okay, here it is . . . the Number 1 Comeback Line for Stares and Comments  . . . wait for it . . .

1. “Too bad Michael Savage isn’t here. He’d know what to do!”

*UPDATE Oct.’08: You can also now substitute Denis Leary for Michael Savage! Even better!

4 thoughts on “5 Best Comeback Lines for Comments or Stares

  1. mama mara

    Ha! Great ideas. And I bet everyone who visits this post can offer at least one good comeback. We’ll never be speechless again when confronted by rude stares and comments.

    Here’s mine: I once had a woman with a baby take a look at my son, who was spinning in mad circles in the line at McDonald’s, and she snarled, “What’s his problem? Is he mental?” I said, “No, just autistic. And, you know, when he was a baby he used to sit in his stroller exactly like your baby is doing now.” Hope it made her think.

  2. Karla Akins

    Priceless! I posted your link on my autism tumblr blog!

    I’ve also signed up to get updates. I have twin boys, age 13, with autism, and I’m wondering myself what’s next!


  3. Bonnie Sayers (autismfamily)

    Great lines. My two kids are 12 and 13. When they were about 2 and 3 CPS was called here the night before Mother’s Day. The gal at the counter where I had picked up food stamps saw me shake the stroller and called on me.

    I filled a notebook with my revenge acts against her. I wanted to call police and say I saw the girl behind counter pocket a hundred dollars and I wanted to picket their store to let others know they call CPS.

    The place was a laundromat/check cashing and like a 7 -11 forfood and my older son was opening and closing refrigerator doors while the one in stroller was walkng himself around. I made bookmarks laminated in eng/span after that and handed topeople in stores who stared.

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