A guilt question for all SPD parents/grandparents

by MaryC
(Hamilton, NJ)

I participated in an interaction between my son and another adult, and I am not sure I handled it correctly. I consider myself not a perfect mom, but one who deals with my SPD/highly functioning, verbal autistic son pretty well, but I can't pinpoint my feeling; I believe it is guilt about sharing his diagnosis or just discomfort with how I handled it. Perhaps I'm just so mad at the woman who wouldn't stop badgering my son. I'm not sure, but my question --- how would you handle this situation? Did I handle it okay?

I went to the doctor's office and sat down in his manager's office to talk payments. My son walked in behind me and was so polite, sticking out his hand for a shake and said hello. I was so proud of him. The manager complimented him on his manners and he stood behind me. She said that he looked like he was tired and not feeling well (I must say that he is skinny, pale skinned, and was wearing black that made him look paler), so she asked if he was okay. He said "Fine." Then she said alot of people are having allergy difficulties, does he have allergies. He said no, and I said he is fine, Thank you. Then a third time, she said that he looked like he wasn't feeling well, so he leaned against the wall, went down to his butt, covered his face with his baseball cap and hands, then went quiet as if to deal with the overstimulation and the uncomfortable focus on him. After an attempt at a fourth question from the manager to my son about how he was feeling, I grabbed the pen and paper that were in my hands, wrote a single word, pointed at it with my pen, and held it up for her to easily see. The word was autistic. I again said, my son is fine, thank you for your concern in a more stern voice. She finally got the message, took the attention off of him, and went back to interacting with me.

Was I wrong? What would you do in this situation or have you handled this situation before? All experiences or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Billy's mom

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