Just because a disability isn’t visible, does not mean it doesn’t exist!
Xavier has Autism. The amount of people over the years that have said to me “he doesn’t look like he’s got anything wrong with him”…!!! ARGH!
So when we used to go into a supermarket and he would have a full on melt down because he couldn’t cope with noise/smell/lighting or whatever, I would get the most horrendous looks from fellow shoppers and people tutting at me and judging that my parenting skills were non existent and that my child was a brat.
When the neighbours or even half the town, could hear murderous screams from the bathroom because Xavier was having a hair wash. He hated the sensation of water on his head.
When Xavier was a baby and had such bad constipation he would cry and cry and cry. Rather than come and ask us if everything was ok we even got reported to social services on a couple of occasions!! Yes…. really!!!
When Xavier freaks out in public toilets when someone dries their hands with the hand dryers.
When Xavier can’t be on the same side of the road as a dog being walked by its owner and i have to grab his hand to make sure we cross over to the other side safely because he is petrified and has no road safety awareness and would just bolt across the road.
I could go on and on.
People are so very quick to judge.
People also take lots of things for granted. I myself am actually guilty of that one sometimes now that a few of these issues have improved.
Xavier is now quite water confident thanks to swimming lessons with his wonderful school. He loves his baths now but we could do with a wet room or similar style of bathroom as he splashes about so much that more water ends up on the floor than in the bath!! This would be wonderful!!
I have to be quick but i can take him into a supermarket now if we are just popping in. I always hear kids screaming and always think of the parents knowing that people will be looking at them and judging.
The constipation issues are thankfully a thing of the past now and i am so so grateful for that. There is nothing worse than seeing your child in so much pain and not being able to take it away.
Ok so the hand dryers and dogs are still an issue but we are working on those.
Parents/Carers of disabled children/adults (no matter how obvious the disability is) have so much to plan and think about in and out of the home. Going away on holidays, or even just a trip to the local shop. Please don’t judge. Just because someone may look “normal” you really have no idea what they have going on.
Life can be tough enough as it is without people who don’t even know you passing judgement!