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Thanks For The Ableist And Presumptuous Compliment!

, , , , , , , | Friendly | CREDIT: VincentValentina | November 26, 2022

This incident took place when I was three years old, so all of the information comes from my mother.

When I was around two, my parents found out I had autism and ADHD when I went to a doctor’s visit. Like the loving parents they were, they still loved me for the beautiful mess I was. However, the 2000s weren’t exactly the best for someone with a mental disability. Ableists were running amok.

Mama was walking with me in a stroller at a park near my old house, which was a townhouse. I was munching down on some Goldfish crackers (this will be important later) when a woman approached my mother.

Woman: “Awww, what a cute little tot! What’s her name?”

Mama: “[My Name]. She’s my sweet little angel. Right, [My Name]?”

I held up a cracker.

Me: “Fishie!”

My mom cracked a smile as I giggled. But one way or another, something touched me. It could have been a bug or the leather of the stroller, but my little mind began to panic. I started to stim, which back then was me tugging or grooming my hair. The woman noticed this and gasped.

Woman: “What’s going on with her?”

My mom paused and then noticed what was going on. She bent down to my level and stroked my scalp, which calmed me down immediately. I then happily went back to eating my crackers. However, it seemed like the woman hadn’t gotten her answer yet. She looked at my mother with a worried look on her face.

Woman: “Is she okay? Why was she tugging at her hair?”

Mama: “Oh, she was just stimming. It happens when she feels uncomfortable or upset.”

The woman was confused, but then it clicked for her.

Woman: *Looking grim* “Oh, she has autism. I’m so sorry.”

My mom is confused as well, but more importantly, she’s a tad ticked off.

Mama: “I only recently found out — about a year ago. She was diagnosed at [Local Medical Office] by [Doctor].”

The woman’s face turned from pity to disbelief.

Woman: “[Doctor] doesn’t have any medical experience. I brought my daughter to him, telling him about her broken leg from falling off of her scooter, and he said it was just a scrape! You shouldn’t be taking anything from him.”

Mama: *Pauses* “I’ve seen [Doctor] before, and he’s the best doctor I’ve visited yet. He’s the only one willing to see [My Name]. Not many doctors around here are open to those with autism.”

Woman: “But she doesn’t have autism.”

My mother gripped onto the stroller handles, wondering how this lady thought she was the professional doctor around here.

Mama: “What was that?”

Woman: “Your daughter does not have autism. She looks nothing like someone with autism. Plus, autistic people can’t talk, yet she can. [Doctor] probably told you she had autism just to mess with you.”

Mama: *Gripping the stroller tighter* “What are you implying?”

Woman: “You don’t get what I’m saying? I’m saying [My Name] is too pretty to have autism. And there’s another thing I can show you to prove that she doesn’t have autism.” *Kneels down to my level* “What is one plus one?”

Me: “Two.”

Woman: *Standing back up* “See, she can’t have autism. Most autistic people are r******d.

My mom was physically shaking at this point. However, before she could retaliate against all of the woman’s BS, I spoke up.

Me: “Mean shark.”

Woman: *Looking down at me* “What?”

Me: “Mean shark, eat salt!”

I then proceeded to throw goldfish crackers at this lady. The woman was either disgusted or annoyed, as she glared my mother in the eye as she tried to stop me from throwing my snack.

Woman: “How could you raise your child like that?! What little girl throws food at adults?”

Me: “Because the dinosaurs died.”

Woman: *Confused* “What?”

Me: “But one lives! It eats salt.”

The woman was enraged by my answer, but she only stomped away. After all, she wouldn’t want a bad reputation for punching a toddler, would she? Finally, my mom said something to her as she was stalking off.

Mama: “Never, and I mean never, assume someone is too pretty to have autism!”

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Has a customer ever tried to cross you and lived to regret it? What happened?

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