DS2 (5) has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and sensory issues. He is desperate to be independent and the same as other children his age but he really needs a wheelchair for anything other than really short distances otherwise he gets overtired, overstimulated and hyper. It's normally a battle to get him in the wheelchair as he hates being stared at or people making a fuss of him. DS1 (7), on the other hand loves the attention and always wants to push the wheelchair because random strangers come up to him and tell him what a kind helpful big brother he is .
So yesterday I needed to nip to the shop after school. DS2 got in the wheelchair reluctantly after being bribed with a treat from the shop. A man came up to me and started pointing at DS2, saying things like "can he walk?" and "is he always going to be in that wheelchair?" DS2 was getting annoyed and so was I tbh. In the shop a random woman came up and made noises at baby DS4 and was saying about how lovely it was to have 4 boys and they will be able to play football together. Then she looked at DS2 and said "you can play in goal" (as DH said later, an insult to both disabled people and goalkeepers!). Of course by then DS2 was fed up of it all and insisted on getting out to walk the last few yards to the bus stop. The first bus driver wouldn't let us on because there was already a buggy on board (don't get me started on that) and the 2nd bus was late. By that point DS2 was hyper, overstimulated, overtired and screaming. DS1 was crying because the first bus driver "broke the rules" and that had upset him (the community paed says he isn't on the spectrum but I beg to differ).
I just wish people would mind their own business. I don't mind when people who I'm going to see again ask about DS2 like parents at school but why should he and I explain ourselves to random strangers? I don't mind if children ask, although DS2 does so I try and encourage him to ask something back to make it more like a conversation. I'm sure a lot of DS2's meltdowns would be avoided if people would treat him as they would any other 5 year old.