“Perfect”…Or, What I Wish I Said To The Mother Who Commented On My Son

A number of years ago, while my SPD son was in the midst of his therapy and regaining his hearing, I took him to an amusement park wearing a “child leash” attached to his backpack. I was always against child leashes, but I relented for his safety, so he wouldn’t get lost because if he did, he had no skills to help himself be located. A mother looked down at him and whispered a comment to her daughter regarding my son just loud enough for me and my daughter to hear……Here is what I wish I said to her……

I’d never put your brother on a leash!”

I hear you judge my parental decisions

And attempts to keep my son safe.


How lucky for you

That your child is perfect.

Perfect hearing.

Perfect behavior.

Perfect neuro-chemistry.


How fortunate

That your child was born

Without imperfection.

Without disability.

Without anything to cause you concern

Or the need to provide extra security

To keep him safe.


How nice for you

That you will never know

The fear that your child

Will not be able to help himself

Cannot communicate his need

Cannot hear you call his name.


It must be comforting for you

To judge other people

To believe your way

Is the only way.

To offer advice




Because your child has been raised



Does it give you confidence?


To know that I envy you

Not needing to secure your child to keep him safe

Not needing special passes to avoid crowds

Or quiet areas to de-escalate

Or devices and sign language to communicate

Not having to tell ride operators to look for your signal to stop the ride if needed

Not enduring the stares and judgements of others.

Being able to enjoy your perfect child

Without fear or complication?


Have you calmed a sensory meltdown?

Explained your child to a group of children?

Taught yourself sign language?

Applied for handicap access?

Been up all night providing deep pressure to muscle joints?

Counted seizures?

How good for you

That you have not.


I guess that makes you the perfect person

To comment


And judge

My non-perfect







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