Lately I've found myself feeling angry about things. Not about the kids, but I'll remember an incident which happened years ago and suddenly I'll be even more pissed off than when it actually happened.
Two which have been preying on my mind are when a father picked Alex up to yell at him for knocking into his daughter and when another father began yelling at him during a visit to Cosmic Adventures and then accused me of being a horrible parent for allowing my child out in public.
Here's what I would have liked to say to them:
"You are an adult and you have just terrorized a special needs child. I hope you feel proud of yourself for using your size to intimidate and pick on my child. Maybe for your next trick, you can knock over a couple of kids in wheelchairs for hogging space on the sidewalk or attack them for moving so slowly."
Because there is no difference. Attacking a child with autism for not picking up social cues is like attacking a child in a wheelchair for moving slowly on the sidewalk.
But it doesn't matter. Because I'm sure both of those fathers wouldn't care. That's the problem. Violating social expectations is something which will always make people upset, some of them will withdraw and some of them will get angry and attack the outlier. They feel justified and in some cases, obligated to attack, lest someone think they are also an outlier.
I think I've been feeling angry about it because I'm tired of constantly being on guard. I'm tired of wondering when the next blow is going to come and I'm tired of fighting all the people who insist that these things simply don't happen. That people aren't offended when Alex breaks the social rules and that the world will just accept him as is because he's trying so very hard.
The world doesn't care about what you're trying to do. They only care at what you fail to do.