So my son and I set off to do some grocery shopping recently. This is an activity that we enjoy doing together and honestly since covid started, it has been much more pleasant shopping in the grocery store because it is not crowded and you can move around quite easily.
This is a good life skill also for my son. He can bring the list and find the items and put them in the cart. He is always in charge of the cart and keeping up with me and moving around the store.
He is usually pretty attentive to things and is quite familiar with our grocery store.
So this particular day I was in front of our son, looking ahead at the next section we were moving to. To my surprise, I heard this lady talking to our son in a negative tone. I turned around to see what was happening and it was then I realized that he had hit her foot with the cart. I can’t remember the exact words she used, but she was very upset and basically asked what’s wrong with you (to him).
He immediately apologized but that was not enough. So I came over and also apologized. I told him that my son has autism. She then changed her tune and patted his arm (why I don’t know?) and said okay or something like that.
I was kind of taken aback. First of all, I don’t know why I told her he had autism, like if that was an excuse for him hitting her? I guess I figured she would be more understanding. I don’t know. I don’t know what my reaction should have been. Also, did this woman actually think someone would ram into her on purpose? I have hit people before with my cart when it was crowded.
This just really made me sit back and evaluate the situation. What should I have done? What should I have said? What shouldn’t I have said?
Is it okay to bring autism into it? Why do I feel like I always have to defend something that would be no big deal for a typical child. I don’t know. But this situation just made me sit back and think about these things because I don’t know what the right answer is in this situation. I just know that this is something that I need to have answers for in the future.
I would love to hear your feedback or suggestions on this matter!