We have to run some errands today…

Just Jerah is excited to go Bye Bye

Jerah is excited. Momma is not. Jerah hasn’t been in public since the car broke down on the 3rd. I was sort of glad it broke down! He doesn’t always tolerate the public well. It is nerve wracking for me to take him places. Prior to his four month residential stay at Hawthorn Center, he was regularly becoming violent and hitting and headbutting random people… He is doing so much better now, but the fear of going into public remains the same for me because we haven’t been in public much since he came home on the June 30th.

So we chose an appropriate shirt today… it is appropriate for autism, but also quite appropriate for the pandemic! It reads “I am a fan of space. Both outer and personal.”

I am a big fan of attitude T-shirts. He had one when he was a little guy that said “I have autism, what’s your excuse?” Because people were pretty rude to us when he had a melt down in public. Once time he was having a melt down because I said no to buying yet another can of Pringles (he had a cupboard full of them at home, not a shelf in a cupboard, but an entire three shelf cupboard, with at least 30 unopened cans of Pringles in it… enough was enough… I had to draw the line! And of course I drew it way too late so the outcome was a huge melt down). He was only maybe 6 then, so I could still sort of get him into an arm lock and lead him out of a store pretty swiftly. On the way out the door with him screaming at the top of his lungs “Chips! Chips!” A kind passerby, hoping to help, said to me “If he were my kid I would whip his ass.” And see… I have a mouth on me that doesn’t know how to stop when people meet me with ignorance and intolerance… so I responded, “Good thing God gave him to me instead of you then because you can’t beat autism out of a kid.”

Another time when Jerah was only four we were on a big trip to our local zoo. I had Jerah on one of those cute back pack leash things because he was completely non-verbal and he was what we affectionately call “an eloper.” It was an adorable contraption. It was a fuzzy monkey back pack and it had a long tail which wrapped around my wrist so he could walk if he wanted to (which he always does want to walk, he LOVES walking, it’s his FAVORITE), but I wouldn’t lose him in the crowds. Some lady I had never met walks up to me with that judgemental look in her eye and I just knew I was really (not) going to appreciate whatever idiocy she was about to say to me…

She puts her hands on her hips and says “You are a horrible parent! How dare you put that child on a leash like a dog!” Grrrr! I smile and I say “Hello. I’m Rossetta and this is Jerah. Nice to meet you. He has autism and is non-verbal. He wants to be able to walk like everyone else, but if he gets lost in these crowds, he won’t ask for help and he won’t answer if we call his name. Rather than lose my child or force him to ride in a stroller, I made the choice to use this adorable backpack. I am sorry that you do not approve… um… what’s your name again? Oh. Right. We’ve never met.” And I roll my eyes. Her husband or boyfriend standing next to her says to her as he grabs her arm, “See, I told you to mind your own business!” I laughed and said “You should listen to him; he seems smart.”

I have so many stories of people in public being “helpful” like that…

This is why taking Jerah out is not my favorite thing… that and he won’t wear a mask…


Published by justjerah

I am Mom to Jerah (a super cool 14 year old diagnosed with autism), a social worker on the side, a recovered drug addict established 4/15/2014, and a highly creative person who needed another artistic outlet, so welcome to our blog.

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