April the first is known as a day for spreading practical jokes and hoaxes.
Sadly sometimes as a special needs parent it feels like everyday is April Fools as members of the public, and even at times schools and professionals, say things that are absolutely crazy.
I know I have had some really bizarre and funny things said to me about my two children with autism but I decided to see if anyone else had had anything strange or silly said to them too.
Here is a collection of what people told me. All of these are true accounts:
1. Now your child has glasses it will cure his autism.
2. The best way to stop your child from smearing is to change him more often.
3. Your child's difficulties are because you worked while you were pregnant.
4. Your children have autism because you don't love them enough.
5. They probably have autism because they are twins. Twins always have problems you know.
6. It is because you had post natal depression. You are to blame for your child being disabled.
7. Your child is like that because you are not strict enough with them. They would never be like that if they were mine!
8. Are you sure they have autism? They don't look autistic to me!
9. Vegetables, your child needs to eat more greens and then they will be fine.
10. It is because you breast fed them for far too long!
11. Your child needs to control themselves better.
12. Are you sure it isn't you with the problem? Have you thought about counselling?
13. You must have really done something terrible in a past life to have a child who is blind.
14. Have you tried praying more?
15. She is non verbal because you don't speak to her often enough.
16. He is just lazy.
17. They never had anything like that in my day you know.
18. He'll grow out of it.
19. Have you not thought to use essential oils?
20. They just need a good skelp!
21. Once he starts talking you will never know he has autism.
22. Disability is just an excuse for poor parenting.
23. Your child has that because you neglected them.
24. It is learned behaviour because their brother has it. They are just copying you know.
25. He just has too much screen time. Take his iPad away and he will be fine!
26. All kids do that.
27. It's just because you have anxiety. That makes a child disabled.
28. She isn't talking because you are deaf so you can't teach her!
30. He's fine in school you know!
31. Fillings. If you have fillings in your teeth it makes your child disabled.
32. Peppy Pig is what makes your child autistic.
33. You need to feed them the right stuff. Organic, gluten free, sugar free, wheat free...
34. It was probably for the best you had a miscarriage as you would not want another child like your son would you?
35. Cool they have autism! What's their special gift?
36. He's always fine with me you know!
37. It's because you and your husband separated.
38. There's no chance he has autism because he gives good eye contact.
39. There's no chance you have autism...you have a job!
40. Are you sure they actually got diagnosed with that?
41. You just sent her to the wrong nursery!
42. Vaccines. I got my child immunised and made them disabled.
43. They just need more fresh air.
44. Dirt. Apparently, my house is too clean and that has caused my son's autism!
45. Have another child. If he has someone to play with he will be fine.
46. She can't have autism, she's a girl!
47. She is way too social to have autism you know!
48. You do way too much for him. Doing that makes them disabled.
49. You just want people to feel sorry for you because you have a disabled child.
50. Mixed race marriages. It isn't right and that is why your child has problems!
Some of these are laughable, but some actually made me cry.
None of the above were actually said as a joke nor were the devised as deliberate hoaxes for a day like April Fools. In many ways it would be so much easier for families if they were!
Instead every single day of the year we face remarks from others that are hurtful, inconsiderate and offensive.
Special needs families do very much have a sense of humour...we need it more than others to cope.
But we also need respect, support and understanding and none of the comments above offer this in any way.
Please read the statements again and make sure you are not an April Fool this year by saying any of them.
We sure don't need to hear anything like that today or any day.
Think, care and learn. Don't be a fool to families with children with additional needs.