I really don’t like people who are judgemental. Unfortunately, parenting brings out this trait in people. As soon as you announce you are pregnant these people come out of the woodworks! Everyone has an opinion…eat this, don’t eat this, don’t take these meds, these meds are safe, epidural, natural, hospital birth, home birth. You can be judged based on anyone of these decisions. Then the baby is born and everyone is an expert on parenting. But wait, add that your child has special needs…let’s just say, people can be cruel.
Yes, I have already gotten the looks. That look at restaurants when people see her on an iPad, or when we pull out food for her that we brought from home. I got a lot of looks when I used the backpack leash with her! If I had the guts, I’d give these people a piece of my mind, but that’s not how I was raised.
Something happened just yesterday in fact. I was showing some friends and acquaintances a video of Courtney using the footboard to our bed as a balance beam. One of the acquaintances made the comment (in a that’s so cute type of voice), “naughty girl”. This really irritated me. I know she wasn’t being mean by it, but it bothered me because she wasn’t being a naughty girl. She does it because we let her. I’m sure a lot of you have seen my pictures on Facebook of Courtney climbing on couches, furniture, counters. Heck, there’s even a picture of her trying to grab the chandelier while standing on the table. So we kinda give Courtney free range when it comes to her climbing (though we do stop her from the swinging from the chandelier, lol). Why the free range? Well, because she needs it. Her sensory system craves being in high places, bouncing, etc. we have a sensory area for her but we also let her find her own ways to meet her sensory needs. Yes we set boundaries…tables and counters are not to be climbed on even though she still tries. We also are always near her. Using the footboard of our bed for a balance beam and the post for a diving board? Well, that is a nightly routine. Would some say that is a bad idea? I’m sure, but you know what? What works for some families doesn’t work for other families.
So I ask people, when you see that child kicking and screaming in the grocery store, playing on the ipad at a restaurant, climbing things they shouldn’t be climbing, just skip the judging. You just never know. May be it is a child being a brat or maybe, just maybe that child has special needs of some sort and that parent is doing the best the can do.