My DD (almost 4 at the time) was having a meltdown in a grocery store that we used to go to all the time. She has autism, and grocery stores are not her favorite places ever, but the store workers were used to her meltdowns and were awesome with helping me when I needed it regarding checking out or letting us have a moment or two when she lost her cool.
This woman in line behind us asked if there was anything she could do to help.
Me: If you could just take a few steps back, she prefers to have her space.
Woman: What's wrong with her? (backing up)
Me: Thanks. She's just upset because she's a bit overstimulated. She'll be okay in a few minutes.
Woman: Does she have that assburgers thing? (Really people, how hard is it to say Aspergers?)
Me: No, Alena has autism. It's a more severe form of Aspergers. (Note: I am not only trying to calm my kiddo down, but also trying to check out, so this woman is already getting on my nerves here.)
Woman: Oh, I'm so sorry. Don't you wish she just had cancer or something? At least cancer kids die.
I am not even kidding that my jaw hit the floor. I think I actually stood up from my daughter, which is just about the worst thing I could do for her. The clerk at the till and the people behind her all reacted about the same way. I swear you could hear a pin drop.
The woman never recanted or reacted in anyway. She honestly feels like this... I don't even remember what I said, but the cashier who knew my daughter and I really well checked us out super fast, and the last I saw of this woman, she was having a conversation with a very angry store manager.