I was an activist for Autism long before it affected my intimidate family. I have worked as a line therapist for autistic children for almost 4 years and I LOVE it. The children I have worked with have been all over the spectrum. Literally. I have worked with children who are 10 years old that are nonverbal and still in diapers and 6 year olds who can dived fractions, write novels and have been reading since they were 3! I love my job and have a true passion for it and the kiddo's I work with. Having it hit my home has only made my activism more intense.
One of the main things I hate about Autism, especially on the higher functioning end, is that it is a blind 'disease' That unless they know the symptoms or that the child is on the spectrum, people just think that the child is weird, behind their peers or mentally retarded. People pass judgement on your child and on your parenting. They think that when your child has a meltdown, it is because you are a shitty parent and all your child needs is a good spanking.
Another thing that I don't like, and I have to figure out the right way to say this so I don't offend anyone. I don't like when people say "At least it is high functioning Autism" YES I am thankful and grateful that my son is high functioning, but that doesn't mean that his life is going to be easy peasy. When it is said like that I feel people are minimizing Andrew's daily struggles and what Erik and I are going through as his parents. HFA doesn't mean that he is not going to have trouble making friends, or not have trouble getting a job because he doesn't understand social ques. It does not mean that he wont struggle in school even tho he is bright.
I AM beyond grateful that my son should have the ability to get a job and function in society *hopefully* on his own. But that still does not mean that he isn't going to have to work. So please don't minimize everything that he has to go though daily just because he is high functioning.
Truth is, we don't know what the future will bring, none of us do! Tomorrow he could wake up talking in full sentences or he could wake up and have regressed even further. Your child could wake up tomorrow and your family could be in the exact same position as ours. Your child or another child you love could be 1:88. All I am asking is that you take a step back and try to put your self in their shoes. Realized that that child and parent (who LOVES that child more than anything) that you are judging are probably going though a lot more than you think. Would you want someone staring or commenting while your child was having a difficult time? No? Ok Then.