Started with this article off the AP wire in the World's Worst Newspaper. Money graf is that 1/8-ton autistic 13-year-old gets canned from church for his tendency to "spit, wet his pants, made loud noises and nearly run) over people".
So, I'm thinking, here we are with the Peeper, who has become the all-world little drama king and Lord of the Tantrum Dance.Michael Flatley has nothing on my boy for kicking his heels. And we're in church, or a restaurant, or a library and he starts fussing, crying and screaming.
We're outta there.
I don't care if I'm literally carrying him like a screaming toddler sack. We're in the car going home. It's not the business of the other parishioners, diners or readers to have their eyes and ears assaulted by my uncontrolled offspring.
It doesn't matter to me if he's not being "bad" or naughty. It's not a question of "punishing" him for his tantrum. It's my personal conviction that my child's, and my family's emotional outbursts are not your or anyone else's problem. You, and they, shouldn't have to listen and watch for longer than it takes me to remove my kid from the area.
I feel a little less responsible in noisy public places like parks, pools or supermarkets. If he melts down there we just move away far enough for the screaming to be lost in the crowd noise...
Now obviously autism is an unusual case. But I'm not sure how this makes the circumstances different. Here's one of the moms from the AP article:
Barbara Coppo, whose 30-year-old son, Kenny, was banned from a Vallejo, Calif., health club for screaming, said Americans need to learn about living with autistic children. "Autism may frighten people because so little is known about the disorder," said Coppo, who wrote a book about her son. "The cause has not been scientifically proven and the victims often act in ways society doesn't understand."While society may not understand, I damn sure understand that my treadmill workout isn't going to benefit from a thirty year old man standing next to me screaming like a factory whistle in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. I don't know at that point whether he's autistic or just being a dick. Take it outside, Jack; your "why" is not my problem.
My opinion has always been that my right - and, by inference, my kids' rights - to swing our fists ends at the tip of the other person's nose. I'm not talking here about finding stuff to be offended at; violently objecting to, say, a mother quietly nursing on a bus or kids playing quietly in the library. I'm talking about out-of-control stuff like my little boy's tantrums. Like the dirty work in a Shakespeare play, I think it's my - and the autistic parents' - responsibility to ensure that it happens offstage for the rest of you. The "why" my kid is screaming is not your problem. Should it be? Is this an issue of public civility or basic rights for everyone to be in a public space?
So what do you think?