Friday, September 16, 2011

Bed, Bath and Beyond

Tonight I took Josh on a quick errand to Bed, Bath, and Beyond. It was going quite well since there were no other children there, including his sisters. We were in line to pay for my item when Josh started happily nuzzling a big pile of pillows that were near the check out counter.

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?


  1. I am so sorry this happened. Your outrage comes through, and I can only listen and agree with you. It sounds like an awful experience.

  2. Greg R once told me that he was missing a filter that most people had -- the filter between what is in our head and what comes out of our mouths. I hope your clear, direct response helped this dude reset his filter. Sheesh.