The Short Bus Diaries » Confessions About Life With an Autistic Son

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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Dear Woman at the Park

I was informed this morning by my husband that another mother in our neighborhood – even though she had never met me or even communicated with me via email – did not consider hiring me as a photographer because she thinks I’m “so negative”.  What follows is a lengthy explanation of who I am, if […]

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Adrienne - February 4, 2013 - 8:18 pm

Well said. You’re kicking ass and taking names and it’s HARD. I’ve been hit with those: you’re so negative; look on the bright side; just enjoy your son! Gag. My kid’s prognosis is lousy and I reserve the right to hate it and to struggle when I need to struggle. But people don’t understand, and worse are the ones who don’t try to understand. Worst of all are the people who judge.

Patty - February 4, 2013 - 9:25 pm

That anonymous woman, in my opinion, is the one who is negative. After all, she is judging you, someone she barely knows, instead of getting to know you. This is a terrific post. So honest and raw and spot on.

Debby - February 5, 2013 - 7:27 am

Aren’t we lucky that we are typically spared interaction with people such as this? Because we don’t have time to judge others’ lives even if we wanted to. Love…

Sunday Stilwell - February 5, 2013 - 7:30 am

I have run into this issue MANY times. I think as an autism parent we all do and I wish that made it easier to stomach.

It doesn’t.

I get tired of feeling like I have to educate the world around me. To make them bend to accept my sons for who they are.

You keep doing what you have to do and don’t ever apologize for it.

Also, let’s have a playdate SOON. Please.

Dorie Howell - February 5, 2013 - 12:50 pm

First of all, that is not a woman anyone would want as a client. So no love lost there. Let her find her “positive” photographer that will give her warm and fuzzies and also mediocre images. You are doing great under the mantle you wear every single day.

Elaine - February 5, 2013 - 3:27 pm

I only met you in person once – when you gave an incredible amount of information in a condensed period of time on photography. I could tell you were nervous about something going on in your home, but even with whatever must have been going on – you were awesome. And your images are awesome. And it is so unfair that someone thinks they can judge you. I wish we could all operate under the framework that every other mom / person / business owner / child is doing the best they can. It shouldn’t be this hard. I hope the world becomes a more accepting place.

K - March 1, 2013 - 4:16 pm

To negative is offering an opinion of your business/ you to your husband while he’s on a family outing. Who does that? It’s pretty hard to think of a socially acceptable context.

Mom-In-A-Million - The Invisible Boy - March 11, 2013 - 9:34 pm

[…] about sitting there with his arms and legs resting on the rope relaxes him and quells the constant stimulus seeking activity that keeps his parents on their toes lest he break something or hurt himself or steal food off a […]

Ellen - March 14, 2013 - 2:53 pm

If you have never met her and never even communicated with her, why do you care so much about what she thinks?

I’m a small business owner, and people choose not to hire me for all sorts of reasons, some reasonable, some completely stupid. It comes with the territory. Some people will like me, some people won’t. That’s just the way it is. It’s a waste of time and energy to obsess over these things.

Maya - March 14, 2013 - 3:00 pm

I actually haven’t been obsessing about this woman, and that wasn’t really what I was getting at, but perhaps failed to successfully convey. The imaginary conversation I had with this woman is a stand-in for what I would say to anybody who has ever judged me as being too negative, whether it’s in a business context or otherwise. In fact, when people ask me how I am, I wish it was appropriate to tell them how I really am, and how my day is really going, because oftentimes I’m having a hard time. But for the most part, people just want to see the nice stuff, hear pleasantries, and not dig too deep into what special needs parenting is really like. In contrast, if all of us special needs parents had the guts to really tell people the truth, it would likely make the other person feel very uncomfortable, either because they really don’t want to know or because they have no idea what to say in response. So this is me, responding like I wish I really could, when similar situations arise [that have little or nothing to do with business].

[…] son’s “version” of autism, as I’ve mentioned previously, is not a small part of who he is. It’s pretty much everything–at least right now. I […]

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