Tag Archives: advice

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!

Autism T-Shirts

Yesterday I noticed at Café Press that there are a lot (thousands!) of great autism awareness T-shirts available. Some of my favorites can be seen by going to this link and then just clicking through the pages. “What? Is my autism showing?” is good, “Hang on, I know I have a social story for this” made me laugh, “Yes, my son has autism. No, he’s not like Rainman” is another good one, “When children cannot learn, it’s time to change the way we teach” hit home with me, as did “Parenting advice not appreciated unless you also have an autistic child.” Amen to that! I think I’ll buy that one! Wish I had it years ago!

There are so many good ones. One I really like is “got autism?” styled like the “got milk?” ads. I don’t know how Nigel would feel about wearing it, though. His favorite T-shirt has a silhouette of Bigfoot on it and says “I believe” across the bottom. He proudly wears it everywhere.

And then I saw a T-shirt that read “Autistic and proud” and I got chills and a lump in my throat. Nigel would probably feel self-conscious about wearing it. But I think the reason why it resonated with me is because I’m so proud of him. Yes, there are plenty of T-shirts that read “I’m proud of my autistic son/daughter/brother/sister/grandchild/etc.” on them. And those are great. But ultimately, I want my son to be proud of himself and all that he has accomplished: wanting to communicate, learning to talk, which was so difficult for him, figuring out how to filter his sensory issues (equally difficult), learning about all the social expectations of this NT world and dealing with its ignorance. But even if he hadn’t done all of that, I would still want him to be proud of his unique, amazing self. All auties should be “Autistic and proud.” I salute every one of them.