Public Service Announcement

All people are multi -faceted and are rarely known for just one thing.  The same holds true for people who are on the spectrum.  They are people first, the diagnosis, if it needs to be mentioned at all, comes later.  First of all, Boo Bear is a 16 year old boy.  He loves music, his Ipad, going for long walks, trips to Target, teasing his younger sister, Harry Potter, swimming and water parks.  Oh, and by the way, he is on the spectrum.  But, he is also very much a 16 year old boy, with all the hormones, hopes, dreams and big smelly feet that come with that age.  If you see him out in public, with me, Robert, or one of his PCAs, please feel free to greet him or offer him a high five.  He will likely respond.  Please do not talk around, over, or about him in his presence.  This is embarrassing, demeaning, and he can understand every word that you say.  If you are curious about Autism, please feel free to ask me anything you like, but not in the presence of my son.  You may take me aside, shoot me a text or email, or respond to my blog.  These are all acceptable avenues.  Loudly demanding to know what my son’s disability is, in front of him, is not acceptable.  You would not ask a patient with cancer or diabetes to disclose personal information to a complete stranger.  The same policy holds true for those on the spectrum.  Honestly, it just really is not any of your business.  My son is not here for your amusement, pity, or education.  Thank you.  Please, also do not tell me what a great job I am doing while he is listening.  Boo Bear is my greatest gift, but when he hears you talk pityingly about him, he will think that he is a burden.  He is not, I repeat, a burden.  He is a happy, well adjusted 16 year old boy who happens to like to make pterodactyl noises.