Did you really have to say that?

isaac smile

The picture of innocence. Not yet 5. Not yet speaking. Not understanding much of what others say or do. Happy, flapping, chest beating, walking up and down in lines in the pouring rain, red jumper wearing, up all night if you let him, lovable boy.


Blisfully unaware of what others think of him. Or say about him.

O, Thank you God!

Because the world is cruel to him at times. Difference is not yet understood or accepted.

I had a little glimpse of that last week watching Isaac running in and out of automatic doors at a museum. But that was tame behaviour. Compared to yesterday that is. Actually compared to a lot of days really. It’s hard to talk about the screaming, and the biting, and the fighting against you. The public tantrums and refusals, the head banging, the kicking and punching and the hair pulling. The ‘challenging behaviour’ that so often comes as part of the package with autism. The inability to sit at a table when you need him to, the embarrassment of touching things he shouldn’t, the high pitch scream that could empty an entire shopping centre.

Believe me, I know these things are hard to see. They are hard for me to see too.

But do you really have to add to my heartache, my embarrassment and my upset by saying something horrible?

Like ‘children like that should not be taken out where others have to see them’?

Did you really have to say that?

Do I really need to hear things like that?

I’ve also had:

‘Sometimes a good smack is all they need’

‘He’ll soon grow out of it’

‘Maybe you should read to him and he might learn to talk’

‘It’s good he goes to school so far away then you can just forget about him and no-one needs to see him’

‘That’s good his playground at school is an inner coutyard. I mean people walking past would not want to see him licking the fence or making silly noises or the like. Other kids might think that is ok.’

‘They can test for things like Down’s and stuff now. Did you not get that test?’

‘Think about it this way. You get extra money and a car now so that’s good.’

‘You shouldn’t be allowed to park in a disabled space when it’s for a child’

‘The disabled seats are not for kids you know!’

‘They never had such a thing as autism in my day. You just had to teach your kids back then’


I could go on. But you don’t need to hear them. Neither do I.

My beautiful boy is a treasure. He takes a tin of baked beans to bed to hold at night. He gets such delight watching drops of rain falling down a window. He gets excited about going out in the rain. He can spend hours simply pouring coins from one cup to another one. He is thankful for the food on his plate…so thankful in fact he will even try eating the plate! He can hand me a photo of an ice lolly when he wants one. He thinks nothing of watching TV with a swimming ring around his neck:

swimming ring


He is a real child. Someone’s child. My child. He is loved. He is treasured. He is stunning. He is different. But he isn’t less.

Words are so powerful. Isaac may not know what people are saying but I do. You are breaking my heart when you say things like this. You are breaking his dad’s heart. And his sister’s heart. And you are breaking God’s heart.

“See to it that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that thier angels in heaven always see the face of my father in hevaen.” Matthew 18:10

Did you really have to say that?


19 thoughts on “Did you really have to say that?

  1. keep up the great work you do with Issac and his siter,I love hearing of his progress.
    do your best to ignore those ignorant people,we are not all like that.
    God bless xx kate


  2. Wow people can be so cruel.I’m sorry you had to hear that.My son is non verbal autistic and the size of a grown man. But he’s mine and I’d go off if anyone ever said those things to me.


    • Wow… Speechless to be honest…so hard to believe how ignorant and cruel people can be? Please ignore them and comfort yourself in the love, wonder and pleasure this absolute little angel brings you… Isaac is a gift from heaven chosen especially for you and for all the special little ways he displays you simply peel off another layer of wrapping paper to reveal the treasure within holding that smile on your face and live in your heart xx god bless you both xxxxxx


  3. And I’ve been feeling sad that my little boy doesn’t find questions and answers and new people and being calm easy – thank you for giving me some context and reminding me of what we have.

    As for those people – I suppose that somehow or other, instead of running them over, you have to see into their hearts and realise that they are broken, because they have to live lives without kindness and without real love. They are the ugly, the cruel, the stupid, the self-absorbed monstrosities that the world would be better without – not you and your loving family.


  4. That is just awful Miriam. I feel your pain, I have had many comments too re Kayla and it does hurt. Other people are so ignorant and unless they walk in your shoes and see things through your eyes they will never fully understand.

    You are a fantastic mum and never doubt yourself or your beautiful children, well said! X


  5. Can’t believe people can be so ignorant and cruel. My son is non verbal 4 and a half with learning disability and possible autism ( still waiting to be assessed). We get funny stares when out in the supermarket and he is shouting but I am proud of my son and will not apologise for his behaviour he can’t help it.It makes me sad to hear such awful comments. You are not alone. Keep up the good work. Take care and God bless. Marie xx


  6. People can be ignorant or unconscious of the hurt they cause when it’s something they don’t understand or haven’t experienced. I don’t have an autistic child but I had a tragedy in my family’s life and it is unbelievable some of the things we heard from supposed ‘friends’. Luckily, it’s made up for by the people who really care and understand. I hope you have people like that around you.


  7. Beautiful words by a beautiful mummy I was recently slated on a parent and carers site so its not just people with normal children who r hurtful but other parents with sn children can be judgemental and say horrid things too hugs and preyers sent yr way xx


  8. I used to be a nursery nurse. I would only work with special needs childer near the end of my career for the exact reasons you state at the end of you post, because they are wonderful.Nowadays “normal” children are so demanding they need everything, have to have the latest ipad, trainers etc which special childern see life so much better, they see they joy in watching raindrops!! Be proud you have been chosen to have a special child and be proud that you love him for those exact reasons. Parents like you are rare and should be the example to other parents who just give their children all they can afford so they don’t have to interact with them,
    Big hugs
    H xxx


  9. You are one of the kindest hearted people I know. Don’t let these cruel words change you in any way. You are so much better than them. I am so glad Isaac has you has you as his Mum. A special boy deserves a special mum like you. x


  10. This blog is so reasuring to read ,i have an 8 year old with autisum and adhd ,and i have trouble with dealing with him at time and it’s so nice to read that other people go through it an dim not alone ,your blog is beautiful and amazing xxxxx


  11. I love your descriptions of your son – and yes, I have been there too, as my son has a diagnosis of AS. You might like to check out the Autism Treatment Center of America, home of the Son-Rise Program. What they teach is so much in tune with your loving, accepting attitude, and that can be the key to helping our children out of autism. Exciting, but true, believe me! My son has been transformed by it.


  12. Dear, dear Miriam ~~ What a spokesperson you are for Every Family with a special needs child!! The Holy Spirit speaks GOD-LOVE through you So powerfully in words that cut straight to our hearts ~~ words that are Good for all of us to read & take to heart!!! I have learned so much through your pen… May the Grace of our Lord Jesus be constantly with you…


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