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Feeling embarassed in public...[blush]

(16 Posts)
mysonben Sun 26-Jul-09 22:58:24

I absolutely hate feeling like this...embarassed by ds 'attitude when we are out and someone (like one of DH work collegue on friday) starts to talk to ds (3.9, asd) asking his name, how old he is, does he like being a big brother to dd,... and ds hides behind dd's buggy and growls!
The person eventually stops trying to engage with ds (phew!) and just give us the sort of look that demands an explanation, iykwim?

DH just stood there, smiled and changed the conversation. Me, i don't know what to say. Part of me wants to come up with something smart and funny to stop the questioning stare ,and part of me wants to say "ds has autism, he will not answer you" straight to the point.

I tried talking to DH about it, and DH is not embarassed at all (good for him) , he says just say ds has speech delay (which he has anyway) but no need to mention the autism.

Same situation , different scenario , when ds has a bad tantrum in public , i feel like i must explain to people! Which of course i do not. sad

I feel angry with myself for feeling like this, i mean when ds1 (NT) was a misbehaving toddler i never felt this way.

TotalChaos Sun 26-Jul-09 23:04:48

oh it is a mare when well meaning people ask questions your kid can't understand. for random strangers if I could get away with "oh he's a bit shy" I would tend to just use that as an excuse - as I don't want to go into DS's medical history. I can completely understand why your DH would feel happier with saying speech delay (which is kind of evident), rather than going into the whole ASD thing, but of course different people have different approaches.

mysonben Sun 26-Jul-09 23:15:19

Totalchaos, thanks for your reply.
Yes i suppose we can get away with the speech delay answer but for how long... if ds continues to behaves like this mainly the growling bit and hiding , soon or later the speech delay explanation won't be enough.

What would you say to people then without expanding on the autism bit?
I am so rubbish at finding quick appropiate replies on the spot. wink

ChopsTheDuck Mon 27-Jul-09 09:17:07

I used to jsut say he doesn't really talk much yet!

Now it's slightly different, and he often doesn't shut up, and explaining why he is sitting in a wheelchair shouting 'I am a KING!!!' over and over is a bit harder! grin

Woooozle100 Mon 27-Jul-09 09:57:38

haha chops - that's ace! And a king has no need to explain himself to anyone

I've long given up offering any explanation. To questions of can she walk / talk / understand I just say 'no' and smile loads. Generally that kills the conversation

I was all for giving people the whole story originally. But got sick and tired of it. I don't need to explain my dd at every opportunity. Tis obvious she has lots of issues. If people can't accept and back off then bollocks to them (I also have this thing about talking about dd in front of her. Like what if she is understanding / picking stuff up at some level. Think its rude and disrespectful)

sc13 Mon 27-Jul-09 10:27:42

I go for the 'he's shy/doesn't talk much/he just likes running about' line. Mentioning a speech delay usually elicits further questions. It's more difficult with the screaming - what does one say, oh, he likes to scream?? (which is what it is really)
One's shrugging-one's-shoulders-and-ignoring-funny-looks skills are becoming very well developed...

busybeingmum Mon 27-Jul-09 12:43:59

Message withdrawn

BriocheDoree Mon 27-Jul-09 15:37:20

Advantage of living in a foreign country! People hear us speaking English, and just assume that DD doesn't understand French! (She does, some anyway). Always find it v. awkward in the UK because that's the only time I have to deal with it. Suddenly having a 5 year old who runs up to people shouting "You don't need to have Madeleine's dress!!" can be quite an eye opener grin

Marne Mon 27-Jul-09 17:06:38

I feel the same sad although i am getting used to it, Dh also finds it hard and rarely comes out with us.

Dd2 just looks straight through people (no response at ill), she has just started talking but rarely talks when we are out.

Dd1 (AS) is the opposite and will talk to anyone and doesn't know when to stop.

I often tell people dd2 is shy, sometimes i will tell people that she has Autism (eg, when getting shoes fitted).

mumslife Mon 27-Jul-09 17:25:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TotalChaos Mon 27-Jul-09 17:29:15

mysonben - it's absolutely up to you what you say - you might want to say he's behind with his language and social skills, or you might want to say something different - that he has ASD - or not say anything at all. whatever you feel most comfortable with, and it's likely to vary depending on whether you are with family, friends or random members of the public you will never see again. tbh a few times I have tried to explain DS's language delay I have had people be sceptical and try and tell me he's fine, you just can't win!!!!

mysonben Mon 27-Jul-09 22:32:05

Thank you ladies for your advice and experiences.

I suppose i better get used to the questioning glances of people , because as ds will grow up some of his behaviours will definately look unappropriate to some. Hopefully he might come out of his shell a bit eventually, if not the "he's a bit shy" should work fine (minus his growling ! wink).

And like totalchaos said with some people you just can't win! So i might as well save my breath for those who matter and care. smile

5inthebed Mon 27-Jul-09 22:41:24

It depends on the situation as to what I say to people. If we are somewhere (say the local council office) and DS2 is really acting up, then I feel the need to let people(staff) who we will see regulary know about ds2, so that when we go there again they won't be so judgey judgey. Same with the local bus. DS2 is well known on our regular bus route. Most of the bus drivers are great about him stroking the bus headlight before we get on, about him standing by the doors until they close, and about me dragging him back down the aisle screaming when I refuse to sit at the back of the bus with him.

Sometimes as well, if we are in a park, and he starts acting inappropriately towards other kids, I will go and apologise to their parents about his behaviour, usually when we are leaving at the same time.

And sometimes I just say he is obsessed with doors, a bit shy, having a silly day today.

Nyrrem Tue 28-Jul-09 13:36:36


I think dh work colleagues is one of the particularly difficult social situations, (I mean when an ASD child behaves in a non-NT way). I think that you really have to respect your dh's views in this case, as it's his working environment. Pretty much everywhere else you can do as you see fit.

I learnt this by not respecting my dh's views, in pretty much the same situation (different stimming). What I did was leave ds with dh, found the most understanding, bright and yet most gossipy person I could find and carefully explained our situation. It has made me feel better about visits to dh's work, because now I just relax and let it happen. Wasn't the most grown up thing I've ever done tho.

Barmymummy Tue 28-Jul-09 16:10:19

Yep can relate to this too. For example this morning we have been shoe shopping for DS hmm not one of my or his fave past times I can assure you. As per usual he bounced off the walls or me, made silly noises and was generally like a firework zipping here there and everywhere. Laid down when the lady fitted his shoes and then said loudly "mummy I haven't got TIME for this!" when asked to stand up.......blush The lady who was fitting the shoes was looking a bit odd at him and I knew what she was thinking as I was calmly telling him to calm down etc etc so I said to her "I'm sorry he is being difficult but he has ASD and he finds shoe shops particularly hard to cope with." She visibly chilled and suddenly started acting different and really nicely towards DS. Even gave him a sticker for being so 'brave' and some little trump card thingys. In this instance I was glad I said something.

However, in Sainsburys this morning (DS loads better in there now) we bumped into a friend of mine he didn't know and instantly he switched. Went commando crawling along the floor, barking like a dog and generally being DS when he is 'uncomfy' in a social situation. This lady hadn't met DS before and therefore knew nothing about him but for some reason I didn't feel the need to explain his behaviour away. I just commented "aren't the summer hols fun?" grin She laughed and said "typical boy eh?". As soon as she has gone he was back towards being a bit more NT, iykwim.

I did feel embarressed in both situations but dealt with them differently. Am getting there very slowly with accepting his behaviour in public and as long as he isn't doing anything dangerous I tend to let it ride within reason. It is embarressing though when they don't say hello which seems so flipping simple to do. He is brilliant at saying goodbye though so I make a big fuss about him saying goodbye which always leaves a more pleasant feeling that the hello did lol!!!

Barmymummy Tue 28-Jul-09 16:12:15

Sorry meant to add that at Xmas by DS would never have replied to anyone asking him his name or age without shouting GO AWAY or hiding behind me. However, a few months on and with increased speech skills he will more often than not answer them now so have faith, I am sure he will learn this in time.

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