You Can Talk!

| Nottingham, England, UK | Friendly | October 7, 2016

(I call into our local pub to book a seventh birthday party in their soft play room for my eldest son. He is with me and is autistic, verbal, and highly intelligent but very wary of strangers. A group consisting of an older and younger couple are coming in as we left.)

Older Woman: *calling to my son* “Hello. Aren’t you at school today?”

(My son ignores her, looking down at the floor.)

Older Woman: “Hey, aren’t you going to say ‘hello’ to me?”

Me: “I’m sorry. He won’t answer you. Please don’t shout. You’ll upset him.”

Older Woman: “He should answer an adult.” *grabs my son by the shoulder and turns him round*

Me: “Please leave him; he’s autistic and nervous of people he doesn’t know!”

Older Woman: *now shouting* “What’s that? Why won’t you let him talk to me?! I only want to talk.”

Me: “Please. He won’t understand why you’re shouting at him.”

Older Man: *to his wife* “Bloody h***, woman. Will you leave him alone? He doesn’t understand!”

Older Woman: *to me* “Sorry.” *to the younger woman* “See, this is all your fault! If you’d only give me some grandchildren I wouldn’t get into trouble all the time!”

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