He was incredibly happy, giggling, and having a full sensory experience of the pillows when I hear someone behind me say, "What is wrong with this child?" I turn around to see a middle aged man standing there with his college aged son. Without skipping a beat, and with out being mean, I simply said, "He has autism." Just three words. There could have been so many.
The man went into full on verbal backtracking mode, rambling about how God has a special blessing for these kids sometimes and that he has a cousin who has a child with polio and that child is the most loving child . . .
I listened for 2-3 long minutes. At the end of 3 eternal minutes, everyone in line was clearly mortified. The college aged son found a reason to move elsewhere in the store. I paid for my item, said goodbye to the man and walked out of the store.
Can someone explain to me why a person would say, out loud, "What is wrong with this child?" right behind that child's mother? Even if there was nothing "wrong" with my child, I would be so offended. What is wrong with my child? What is wrong with people out there?