When People Stare

I recently shared about taking our son with autism out to the park. While we see Logan regularly, it had been a long time since he had been out in public. That is other than church, and our church has known about Logan long before they met him.

We had a lot of fun, but one of the things that we notice was that some people gave us some funny looks. I had forgotten what that was like.

Why would people stare?

Logan makes some interesting sounds, including humming and some strange laughs. He also scripts from movies. In addition, he usually has some sort of square shaped toy wrapped in either a sock or a plastic bag (or both). Some of his behaviour is not typical of a sixteen year-old boy.

Is it okay to look at people with disabilities this way?

There is nothing wrong with looking. I tend to notice people with disabilities and they get an extra look out of interest.

The fact is that I look at people who have interesting tattoos or who are wearing rock shirts featuring one of my favourite bands. I won’t even mention people-watching at Wal-Mart!

If you want to take a look at my son or daughter with autism as they walk around, go for it. They may make some some funny sounds or do some strange hand gestures.

Just don’t judge. You will have no idea of the intelligence (intellectually or emotionally) of my children after just observing them for two minutes. They are much more than just what you see or hear.

The people you see in public may or may not have a disability. Have some grace and perhaps say a little prayer for the people you see. Maybe someone will do that for you as well.

Stephen Bedard

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4 thoughts on “When People Stare”

  1. I have a wonderful teenage grandson with autism. Please continue to write more about autism and the Christian……………..I hate to say this but church is not a good fit for him. He has accepted the Lord but was not baptized due to some quirky ideas he has about the process. I worry about his future.

  2. Thank you for sharing. People will always look at something/someone that is unusual. Whether it’s because they are autistic and are stimming, or whether they look or act different due to a disability, or dress differently, people take notice of things that are “unusual”. Unfortunately, this is part of human nature. We can try to minimize the distraction, but others must understand that it is not being done on purpose.

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