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.