It can be a difficult thing when Moose has a meltdown in the midst of a group of people. When he can’t, or won’t, find words to communicate his distress, he resorts to shrieking. He will also occasionally fall prone on the ground, and for added effect, when he’s really upset, thrash about a bit. Basically, it looks like a typical toddler tantrum, from a child who looks like he’s old enough to know better, and his actions cause people to stare, whether they don’t know he has autism, and just think he’s a very badly behaved preschooler, or whether they do know, because really, how can you not look when you hear that sound?
Growing up as a sighted child with two blind parents, I quickly became accustomed to people staring. Even now, I instinctively know, without having to look, when people’s eyes are boring into me during one of these episodes. It doesn’t matter if the looks are angry, disapproving, or simply curious, I can feel it, and it’s uncomfortable.
I can’t help but feel embarrassed when this happens–irrationally embarrassed of myself because I know that people who don’t know about Moose are probably judging my parenting skills and thinking that I’ve done a lousy job of raising him.
It’s my goal, when these situations occur, to leave with him, with my head held high. I will remember that it’s not his fault, it’s not my fault, and if people want to judge, it’s really *their* problem.
It’s something I’m working on.