You see it all of the time. Another child is rude to your autistic child. What if the other child is an Aspergers teenager? Yesterday, my son was at therapy with his CAP worker, and had an encounter with a teenage boy that was there for speech therapy. My son’s CAP worker told me that the other teenager referred to my son as a baby, and she corrected him. She told him he wasn’t a baby, that he was a full grown boy just like he was. Then the boy said that there was something wrong with him, referring to my son. Her reply was that there wasn’t anything wrong with him. She said it was all she could do not to snap at the other teenage boy.
I stopped and thought about it. In a different setting, I may have been offended. But, they were at the therapist’s office, which has a large autism clientele. I asked our CAP worker if the teenager was there for services, and she said that he was. He was there for speech therapy. Then I thought, well, speech therapy plus poor social skills, sounds familiar. I told her that it was possible that she was talking to an autistic boy. She said that he looked and acted normal. Does that sound familiar? She also went on to say that she was shocked that the mother just sat there, and didn’t say anything.
I then proceeded to put on my advocate hat, in benefit for the other teenager at the office. I told our CAP worker that he could be an Aspergers teenager. You should understand that this lady has been with us for awhile. She is great with my son, and she is very protective of him out in the community. I love this about her. For everything she has learned about autism, there are a few things that she doesn’t know. One of them is Aspergers. I explained it to her, and she looked like a light bulb had gone off. I explained that given where they were, the fact that he was there for speech therapy, the fact that he seemed to have poor social skills, and the fact that the therapists there see a lot of children on the spectrum, she may have had her first encounter with an high functioning autistic child. That he may easily be an Aspergers teenager. I then had to explain about where on the spectrum an Aspergers teenager falls, and the difference between him and my son. She realized that there was a good chance that I was correct.
She still didn’t understand why the mother didn’t speak up. I told her that maybe the mom felt that she was handling the situation fine, and that there wasn’t anything for her to say. She could be tired of explaining about her son to strangers, and didn’t want to speak up. She could have also been thinking about the fact that her son was about to go into therapy, and didn’t want to risk upsetting her son. he may have decided that she should wait and address the situation at home, in private.
I don’t know for sure that the other boy has Aspergers. I think that he deserves the benefit of the doubt. I think that his mother deserves it, too. If the situation was reversed, I would want the same consideration.