Jan 22 2013

Where Is The Understanding and Compassion?

I have a little bit of a rant today!

Last night I was lying in bed around 1:30 a.m. trying to sleep and couldn’t.  My mind was focused on my son’s skiing lesson, but not the fact that he had had an accident on the hill.   I was seriously upset about the fact that I had a run in with one of the higher-ups at the ski school… actually, as in true fashion for me, it was the guy at the top!

My son has done this program for the past four years.  It’s a program that is set up for individuals that have challenges, be it physical, mental, emotional or otherwise and up until last night it has been a great experience.  With it being a specialized program I would expect that everyone involved with the program should have a degree of acceptance, compassion and understanding even from those at higher levels.

Last night this was proven wrong and so wrong at that. When my son was reacting to the fact that he had an accident on the ski hill… was hurt and trying to deal with those feelings… was upset with everyone that had anything to do with his accident… I was trying my best to cope with his severely overloaded system while trying to get him out of his ski things and assess his injuries.  All he wanted to do was ‘escape’, but due to one of his injuries, I was doing my best to make sure that he wasn’t able to run but in turn this just upset him more… understandably.  So, yes, he was upset!  Anyone could see that!!  Then to have an individual, that should have had at least some compassion, come over and start to reprimand my son for his behaviours??  I knew right then and there, we were going to have a problem!

I stood there for a brief moment dumbfounded at what was happening and sadly in that time, this individual was able to say more than he should have been allowed.  Before what was happening got any more out of control, I quickly stopped him asking him if he knew anything about autism.  I nicely explained that this type of behaviour was not unusual, but was part of his inability to cope with this situation.  Did that stop the lecture?  No!  That was the sad part… he apparently felt that he was helping by lecturing my son… really?!?!  I don’t think I have ever gone up to a child that I didn’t know and lectured them for their behaviour… especially not understanding the situation behind the behaviour.


I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the number of times I have experienced ignorance in relation to autism, but last night it hit a whole new level and from individuals I didn’t think I would ever experience this from.  I really do like to believe that there is a lot of good in the world… but each time something like this happens, that ability to believe is taken down a notch or two.

I had to apologize to my own son last night for someone else’s behaviour.  I had to try to explain to him that it wasn’t anything that he did and that there is nothing wrong with him the way he is!  My son, as does every special needs child or individual, deserves the same respect as those without challenges.  It saddens me terribly to think that this type treatment will probably never end… as hard as we, as parents, work to advocate for our children.

So today, my heart weighs heavy as I try to reason how some people can be so cruel… so ignorant… and so incredibly insensitive to these children or individuals that truly are so amazing… if people would only give them a chance!

Until next time…


As a Canadian blogger and the mom of a child on the autism spectrum, Jen shares a lot about life while having a child with autism... raising autism awareness and the need for acceptance. She is an active advocate both online and in the community for those with autism but also service dogs. Also as a volunteer for the I CARE Foundation Jen shares a great deal of information about international parental child abduction (IPCA) in an effort to help raise awareness and educate parents about the risks and warning signs of international parental child abduction. Mom-ology has been ranked in the Top 25 Canadian Mom Blogs for 2012 & 2013, one of the Most Influential Canadian Mom Blogs for 2013 as well as placing in 1st (Disability) & 3rd (Activism & Social Justice) for the Canadian Weblog Awards 2013.

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  1. Tracy @ usingtimewisely.com

    Sorry, Jen! My heart hurts for you, and I would have gone ballistic on him. I will defend my children no matter who is right. It is my job as the parent to handle it, not anyone else’s.

    Hope Bean recovers quickly from his injury and that the next lesson goes much smoother. Hugs to you! <3

    1. Jen

      Thanks for your kind words Tracy. Means a lot! I totally agree and as I said in my post, I would never think to do that to someone else’s child. You are right… as a parent it is your job to handle it – not anyone else’s.

      He’s doing OK… and yes, the question of the next class is still up in the air! He’s not too keen to head back… Hugs back my friend… wishing you the best as always ♥

      1. Tracy @ usingtimewisely.com

        I don’t blame Bean. What you or I could blow off as ignorance, he cannot. Sometimes it is best just to cut your losses and move on. Wishing you wisdom as you make these decisions.

  2. Cindy Dwyer

    So glad to hear he’s doing ok. Such a terrible thing to literally add insult to injury.

    1. Jen

      Thanks Cindy… it really did :( He’s doing OK and we’ll hopefully get him back on the hill. Appreciate your comment and kind words :)

  3. Tara @Don't Lick the Deck

    That’s really cruddy that someone you are trusting to have sensitivity would betray you like that. I have sadly experienced that lack of understanding from medical professionals quite a bit. I stand there shocked when the doctor asks me why she won’t come down the hall and in to the examining room. I feel like asking them if it’s their first day on the job.

    1. Jen

      Thanks Tara – it’s funny that the people that we should be able to ‘trust’ the most as far as our kids go sometimes seem to have the least amount of understanding and knowledge. Sorry that you are having issues with doctors these days… I get that too. Thankfully our family physician admits she is not really knowledgeable, but there are lot of others that aren’t so up front! You would think with 1 in 50 kids in the US on the spectrum… there would be a better understanding! THanks for stopping by :)

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