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Lady in shop says "oh, aren't you talking to me?" to DS1 who has autism. What should I have said back?

(11 Posts)
lottytheladybird Sun 07-Dec-14 22:43:53

I was in a supermarket today when a lady started talking to DS1, who has autism. DS1's speech is delayed, so it's very unlikely for him to respond to a stranger talking to him.

Anyway, the lady then said "oh, aren't you talking to me?" to DS1. I didn't want to tell her that DS1 has autism, nor did I really want to say anything about DS1's difficulty with his speech. DS1 understands a lot, even though he can't say as much.

What do you think I should have said to the lady?

Nerf Sun 07-Dec-14 22:47:26

No, he finds it a bit hard, I'll talk to you,isn't queuing boring?

Saracen Sun 07-Dec-14 22:48:55

What about a big smile and a cheerful, "Apparently not!" or were you too cross?

Glittery7 Sun 07-Dec-14 23:09:00

I'd have just said "he's a bit shy with strangers". Think you're going to have to develop a much thicker skin.

ouryve Sun 07-Dec-14 23:34:24

With DS1 "he's very shy with people he doesn't know well."
With DS2 "he doesn't talk." That put paid to any ideas that this would be the stranger they would have the manners to open up and speak to.

TheBuskersDog Sun 07-Dec-14 23:40:36

I always just went with "he doesn't talk" as well.

zzzzz Sun 07-Dec-14 23:56:40

Arf! Depends how shitty they are/I feel.

The lady who repeatedly told him off in Tescos for touching the counter..... I let her get very unreasonable and then put my hand gentley on her arm in my best caring carrot way and said in a rather carrying voice "I'm sorry but my son can't understand what you are saying" grin. She looked like she was going to die. That said it was risky because ds might have said "I do understand" on repeat (although he didn't understand)

Say whatever's easiest. Sometimes AUtism, sometimes language disordered, sometimes shy.....you don't owe anyone private information. I tend to boss people around out and about.

YvesJutteau Mon 08-Dec-14 00:01:53

DD2 is deaf and has a severe language delay; when we get comments like that I generally smile brightly and say "No, she doesn't really talk."

If DD1 is there she then says "She is deaf" but then DD1 tells more-or-less anyone she meets that DD2 is deaf within about twenty seconds of meeting them (I've tried having conversations about over-sharing, but it doesn't seem to sink in).

FridayJones Mon 08-Dec-14 09:32:43

I just say "she's not really a talker", sometimes with a smile as if to say " why would I want want of those"

Sometimes, "she doesn't feel like talking today. "

lottytheladybird Mon 08-Dec-14 10:49:45

Saracen - Love your sarcy response! Not sure I would have been brave enough to have said it though!

Glittery7 - Yes, I think saying he's shy is good. Thanks!

FridayJones - I like your 'she's not really a talker response'! I'll have to practise the look!

adrianna22 Wed 10-Dec-14 08:53:09

I used to tell people that DS has autism, but they didn't seem interested or cared at the least.

So now I just tell people that he has problems with his speech.

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