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#1 of 24 Old 02-18-2008, 01:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Was at a child's b-day party today and I was chatting with a mom about her son who she was a bit worried about. She was told he might have APD (what my DD has) and I was reassuring her about the evalution process and what good services there are in the county.

Another mom was listening in. Her kids go to the same preschool my DD used to go to before she was diagnosed. She said a few things I thought weren't the most sensitive - but no big deal. But then later, in front of a room full of people, while I'm holding younger DS, she says "about what you were saying about your daughter earlier - did it make you think twice to have another child?" I was like "huh?" - then she mentioned some other parents from DD's old preschool whose child is actually now in her SN preschool class and she said "Well when they found out he was autistic, they said they didn't want any more."

I just kind of stumbled through a short response "well DS was being born when we were going through the evaluation process with her" - but now I wish I'd just said something like "no and in fact I wouldn't mind having several more just like her!"

Anyway, it just kind of bugged me and I can't really put my finger on it, but it sounds like kind of a bad judgement of my DD. Yes she has issues, but we're doing what we can to help her cope and I expect her to lead a relatively satifying life, with a few adjustments for her learning style. Why would it make me not want to have more kids? Is this because of that stupid Autism Speaks video that people think this?

grrr....what do you guys think?
peace,
robyn
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#2 of 24 Old 02-18-2008, 01:46 AM
 
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It would make me bypass uncomfortable into flat-out outraged.
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#3 of 24 Old 02-18-2008, 01:55 AM
 
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wow. I'd say she has a disorder where the filter between brain and mouth doesn't exist, and wonder if it made her parents question whether to risk having another rude, uncouth child. I'm surprised you even dignified that question with an answer :

DD1 7/13/05 DD2 9/20/10
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#4 of 24 Old 02-18-2008, 02:50 AM
 
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Sometimes stunned silence is the best answer!

Or feigned misunderstanding "I'm sorry, I don't understand your question. Why would we ever think that?"

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#5 of 24 Old 02-18-2008, 09:43 AM
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I never have snappy comebacks, but I later would think "once your parents realized you were such a -----, did it make them proud or did they think they should stop having children?"

On the bright side, I bet every person in the room just got all the evidence they needed about that woman.
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#6 of 24 Old 02-18-2008, 12:28 PM
 
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Grrrrr..
Yeah it would of pissed me off..I can see why it made you uncomfortable.
When I found out I was having twins, after DD was diagnosed with Autism, my sister in law made a foul comment about prenatal tests. Ugh!
I have heard ignorant comments in the past and I just am not quick enough to respond and usually am too shocked to say what I really want to say. I am practicing in my head though so I pity the first person to say something stupid once I get my act together..lol.
My biggest pet peeve about these type of comments is when they are said in front of the child with the diagnosis. My daughter pays attention and understands ALOT more than anyone gives her credit or then she lets on and it upsets me that she is subjected to ignorant statements like that.
When my daughter was getting her hearing checked I told the Audioligist (sp?) that DD might not follow all of her directions and that she had Autism. She said, "Oh we see alot of those kids here, it's really too bad." And I said, "Too bad? Why for whom?" and she said, "Oh not for us, but for the parents. They don't want their kid to have Autism."
My daughter was standing right there.
I make sure DD knows I love her the way she is (which is AWESOME by the way)..but it's gotta be tough on these kids to hear stuff like that even from strangers.
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#7 of 24 Old 02-18-2008, 01:02 PM
 
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Ugh. It makes me mad too. DD has Down syndrome and is an only child...we only ever wanted 1 and her having DS doesn't change that. But people ask me all the time if we don't want more because of the DS, and if I'd have lots of testing done to make sure the next one wouldn't have it. NO! I get a lot of weird questions and looks when people find out we knew prenatally...you know, the "why didn't you take care of it when you had the chance" look. People suck sometimes.
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#8 of 24 Old 02-18-2008, 01:13 PM
 
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i dunno... i am uncomfortable whenever anyone makes comments about the lo's hearing, whatever they are, but certainly his diagnosis is one of many many factors that go into deciding whether to have another child - not that we're "afraid" of having another like him, but would we have the time/money/resources to give another baby? part of me thinks that a second deaf baby would be "easier" than the first - it wouldn't be a surprise, we already "know" what to do (with regards to learning to listen, asl, managing hearing aids, etc), but then the idea of *two* sets of appointments every week is daunting... or maybe they could go together? not to mention the cost of daycare... part of me thinks maybe we should just wait until lo is in school (cutting daycare costs) and then adopt... we probably wouldn't have to wait long if we expressed interest (and ability to care for) a black deaf child (my husband is black).

none of this changes the fact that we love lo to death and wouldn't change any part of him for anything in the world. but special needs kids have special needs, annd not everyone has the resources/wherewithal to deal with more than one (or even one)
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#9 of 24 Old 02-18-2008, 04:39 PM
 
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Well....I'm going to be the most unpopular person here, but after I realized the extent of my toddler's issues, yet before we got pg with #3, we decided that we didn't want anymore kids. Not b/c another baby might need extra help, but simply b/c we felt maxxed out and that our personal/family resources were at their limit. I had no worries, concerns or misgivings about a 3rd child having extra needs, but I did, and still do at times, feel ill prepared to manage our family now that we have yet another child.

I DO think it's fairly insensitive to have this type of discussion with a casual acquataintance, but among close friend or family, I don't think it's inappropriate. Because for some of us, it IS a deciding factor. Damn near would have been for us too, if dh had gotten off his lazy rear and scheduled his V when he was supposed to.......
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#10 of 24 Old 02-18-2008, 04:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bdavis337 View Post
Well....I'm going to be the most unpopular person here, but after I realized the extent of my toddler's issues, yet before we got pg with #3, we decided that we didn't want anymore kids. Not b/c another baby might need extra help, but simply b/c we felt maxxed out and that our personal/family resources were at their limit. I had no worries, concerns or misgivings about a 3rd child having extra needs, but I did, and still do at times, feel ill prepared to manage our family now that we have yet another child.

I DO think it's fairly insensitive to have this type of discussion with a casual acquataintance, but among close friend or family, I don't think it's inappropriate. Because for some of us, it IS a deciding factor. Damn near would have been for us too, if dh had gotten off his lazy rear and scheduled his V when he was supposed to.......
I have to agree here.

I always wanted a huge family, but now, I cannot handle another child with a chronic illness or on the spectrum, and there is no guarantee that our next child would be without "problems". So, yes, it meant for us, no more babies
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#11 of 24 Old 02-18-2008, 04:59 PM
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i have never minded answering that question when people are truly curious and it's inresponse to hearing about all our appointments etc.

i get really snippy when people say "cute" things like "oh i guess you didn't want any more after him" IN FRONT OF MY SON!
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#12 of 24 Old 02-18-2008, 05:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bdavis337 View Post

I DO think it's fairly insensitive to have this type of discussion with a casual acquataintance, but among close friend or family, I don't think it's inappropriate.
yes - I think you're right and when I posted it was the casual acquaintances/strangers whose comments upset me. Why do people think it's their business to ask these kinds of questions?
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#13 of 24 Old 02-18-2008, 05:30 PM
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i don;t know that most of the things i hear like that are the direct result of people being tempted to ignore the dignity of those with different abilities. i hear people saying plenty of things about typical children in front of them. part of this may just be that people feel free to talk about any child that way. not sure if that makes it better, worse, or just a slightly different issue.
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#14 of 24 Old 02-18-2008, 06:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bdavis337 View Post
Well....I'm going to be the most unpopular person here, but after I realized the extent of my toddler's issues, yet before we got pg with #3, we decided that we didn't want anymore kids. Not b/c another baby might need extra help, but simply b/c we felt maxxed out and that our personal/family resources were at their limit. I had no worries, concerns or misgivings about a 3rd child having extra needs, but I did, and still do at times, feel ill prepared to manage our family now that we have yet another child.

I DO think it's fairly insensitive to have this type of discussion with a casual acquataintance, but among close friend or family, I don't think it's inappropriate. Because for some of us, it IS a deciding factor. Damn near would have been for us too, if dh had gotten off his lazy rear and scheduled his V when he was supposed to.......
But see, you make a private, family decision because you have hit the max you can do with the children you have, than to have a near stranger question your reproductive fitness!

FWIW, dh and I are stopping at 2, not because of our ds' special needs (which are incredibly mild to be honest), but because our personal and financial resources are maxed out too! Pregnancy is very, very hard on me physically and emotionally. Dh doesn't want to go through the 6-12 months of depression/anxiety that I get when pg. I don't either.

But I'd still be livid if someone brought up this very personal kind of discussion, especially if they weren't my closest friend!

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#15 of 24 Old 02-18-2008, 06:40 PM
 
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What a rude, unwarrented, insensative, unconsiderate comment. That lady needs a big wake up call. I'm so sorry that happened, and at a party in front of other people! How horrible, and she didn't even understand. I know a very rude lady, and she would say something similar.

I don't have a SN child, but I have a severly handicapped sister. My sister has OCD, Autism, and some very severe physical deformaties. She is perpetually a 3yr old, she cannot talk in an understandable way (unless you know her really well). We don't know how she came to be, she's a one of a kind due to a uterine infection. We get some of the most Wonderful comments, and some of the most HORRIBLE comments from perfect strangers, as well as family. We have had family that won't speak to us because we didn't put her in an institution, and the decision to have another child also was a family destroyer. I have another sister born after Carmen, and she is "normal".

I think people make these kinds of comments because they cannot see the good, productive, fun, happy side of children that need special care. They see the work, the negative aspects that are very real, but they aren't all that is involved with these kids. I think all they see is the disorder, not the child. I try to see the child, and I'm teaching my own kids to see the child, and not the disorder.

Married to Michael and Mother of Jake 9, Jillianne 7, Jensen 5, Jacen 4. I've got severe osteoporosis, a fractured hip and chronic pain-so please be patient with me! Pagan,Crocheter,Reader,Homeschooler- that's me in a nutshell.

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#16 of 24 Old 02-18-2008, 07:17 PM
 
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I think people make these kinds of comments because they cannot see the good, productive, fun, happy side of children that need special care. They see the work, the negative aspects that are very real, but they aren't all that is involved with these kids. I think all they see is the disorder, not the child. I try to see the child, and I'm teaching my own kids to see the child, and not the disorder.

That is a very good way of looking at it. I like that.

As for the OP, that was totally out of line and most of all because she waited until it was in front of everyone else. Nice.

Those types of people make my blood boil. It is easy to say that they just don't know or other ways of making light of it, but I bet she is like that in other situations as well.

I am really sorry you had to deal with that.
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#17 of 24 Old 02-18-2008, 09:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ya'll are so funny with your comebacks!!

I guess maybe this woman thought it was okay to ask that question in that way because I was being so open with the other woman who was there asking about the APD stuff. Maybe she thought that if I was openly talking about my DD's "condition" that that meant I was open to all kind of impertinent questions. Clearly she felt that there was something shameful/too bad about it or something if she had to ask that!

What makes me *really* sad is that she's friends with this other little boy's parents (the autistic child in my DD's preschool class) and she basically just talked about how unhappy they were with his diagnosis. And basically said alot of other stuff that they had said to her that probably was not good to repeat when they weren't even there. It makes me sad for the little boy (whom they are obviously ashamed of) - he's such a sweetheart and really not that much different from my little girl (he's talking so much more and always makes a point of talking to me now that he knows me!) - and I happen to think both he and DD will have great lives since they are getting the help they need to cope. But it clearly gave this woman the idea that having a diagnosis was *bad* and shameful.

Sorry that's a total tangent but next time I'll have more snappy comebacks ready....

peace,
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#18 of 24 Old 02-18-2008, 09:15 PM
 
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there is a difference between choosing not to have more because you don't want the stress, etc., of another one, and choosing not to have more because you don't want to contribute to the creation of any more of "those people." That is usually what people mean when they say things like that. That "those people" shouldn't exist and therefore if you know that your child might be one of the undesirables, of course you aren't going to create one.
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#19 of 24 Old 02-18-2008, 10:42 PM
 
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there is a difference between choosing not to have more because you don't want the stress, etc., of another one, and choosing not to have more because you don't want to contribute to the creation of any more of "those people." That is usually what people mean when they say things like that. That "those people" shouldn't exist and therefore if you know that your child might be one of the undesirables, of course you aren't going to create one.
I agree with this 100%. After the twins were born we thought long and hard about having more. I loved being pregnant, I LOVED giving birth, and I love love love being a Mama. But with our finances and special situation we decided to stop at 3 (DH also has two children -15 and 19- from a previous marraige). I had always wanted 3 so I got what I wanted but after having the twins I had this desire for another. It was a very hard decision not to have another child and it had nothing to do with not wanting another one of "those people".
It was #1 financial #2 our ages and # 3 being able to have the time for the kiddoes we already have when they need us.
DH said if we were millionaires and had the support we need (it's just the two of us) we'd have 10 kids!
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#20 of 24 Old 02-19-2008, 04:17 AM
 
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I had a similar experience the other day. I went to a baby shower where I only knew the Mama and none of the other women. I didn't have Ds with me and they didn't know anything about us at all. (Ds has verbal apraxia along with some anxiety and mild sensory issues). One of the women there was talking about someone she knew who had an autistic child and how that would just be the worst thing ever. Then she talked about someone else she knew who had a severely allergic child and how that person is having another baby. Then another woman said, "I've always thought that when you have one kid who has disabilities, your really rolling the dice if you decide to have another kid."
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#21 of 24 Old 02-19-2008, 07:43 AM
 
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I am not sure about uncomfortable - but deffinatly outraged!...ugh and GRrr!!!

And I agree with this - thats how this woman sounded and thats how I feel most people see it.

Quote:
there is a difference between choosing not to have more because you don't want the stress, etc., of another one, and choosing not to have more because you don't want to contribute to the creation of any more of "those people." That is usually what people mean when they say things like that. That "those people" shouldn't exist and therefore if you know that your child might be one of the undesirables, of course you aren't going to create one
My sisters son, just two weeks younger than my own son, was recently diagnosed with Autism and my mum said to me over the phone '...and she wants to have more children!'...like omg!...like she couldnt believe my sister would actually want more children! I couldnt believe it! Though I do understand in my mums cases its pure ignorance but it still pissed me off as thats how a lot of people think!!!

Mummy me : > Thats Ann! and my beautiful SONS Duncanand Hamish 19/09/05 & 22/04/10!
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#22 of 24 Old 02-19-2008, 01:39 PM
 
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I actually got a maybe-offensive comment from my neurologist recently, although it didn't bother me very much--we were chatting about whether DH and I planned any more kids, which we don't because of my health issues. Neurologist (young guy, not the most socially adept) blurts out "Well, given you and your husband's issues, if you keep rolling the dice, you'll almost definitely come up with one seriously autistic one."

I honestly think he said this as a neurologist who's interested in people's brains, and what happens when you mix them together, and suchlike. Still, I could see how some people might be offended.

I told him we didn't mind, and we both joked about how the jury's still out on Nico. But yeah, I do think that acceptance of autistics is really only going to happen when autistics are accepted, with their differences, as part of the natural population--just another variation. So the more kids we have, theoretically, the more we are contributing to the de-pathologizing and normalizing of the autism spectrum.

That said, I'm thus far blessed with "easy" kids. And I have a chronic illness. So, I can't really claim to "know" how I would handle a child as challenging as a severely autistic child can often be. I don't know how my issues would mesh with that. As an example, I tend to get my little ones out of diapers fast, because diapers bother me. A lot. So, as much as I want a kid like me, I might have some troubles with the delayed-potty-learning that usually goes along with the spectrum. Little things.

Basically, what it comes down to, is that I don't believe in cherry-picking our children. There are positives and negatives to everything. Charlotte is who she is (smart, social, neurotypical, almost a parody of "normal") and it challenges me every day. Nico is who he is (as I said--jury is kinda still out) and it causes us some worry and uncertainty, although he's great fun. I'd love a child like me, but would I love that child more (or less) than a neurotypical child? I think if my answer to that was "yes," I'd have been better off not having children in the first place.

Honestly, I view this whole debate as an example of the pervasive callousness that prenatal testing has wrought on our society--but that's me, and I have issues with anything that smacks of eugenics, and I'm not trying to start a flame war. I do wonder when it became OK to ask socially, as I was asked when I was pregnant, if a pregnant woman is "having tests" and "what she would do" if those tests showed something out of the ordinary. Something about that sort of shallow chatter where potential future children or existing pregnancies (which I, and many others, consider actual children) are discussed in such a cavalier way really bothers me. A SN mom who makes a conscious decision that she probably can't handle another child? That's commendable, responsible, and perfectly fine. That's not what I'm talking about... like Brigianna said, it's the "those people" thing that bothers me.
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#23 of 24 Old 02-19-2008, 01:47 PM
 
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My hubby and I thought about that, that's why there is an almost 8 year different between my son with autism and my 2 1/2 year old.

However, I would have been upset had someone said that to me. I probably wouldn't have said all that I wanted on the spot, as I never think of good comebacks either!
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#24 of 24 Old 02-19-2008, 04:01 PM
 
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I agree that as our kids get older - lots more labeled as "autistic" now - there's a chance our culture will begin to mature a bit in terms of the assumptions made about special needs. Also, I hope the neurodiversity movement will continue to grow, expand, and acquire more of a voice.

Personally, I'm tired of the assumptions most people have about what autism is, and I know this is a result of the limited images of autism out there. At this point in my life, I would make quite a stink to a person carrying around those assumptions at my son's expense. I feel like I either have to make a stink or hide in a cave, and the latter isn't an option. Perhaps this is why no one's made comments like that around me lately - they can probably feel the outrage from me, and so they all stay silent.
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