As a mother, I will never give up on my child. As a mother of a child who has autism, I will never give up hope.
I look into his eyes and I see all the potential that he has to offer to this beautiful world and I just know that one day the world can see what I see.

Follow my blog as I share my life and my experiences as a person who loves someone with autism.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Snappy answers to annoying comments about autism

Top 10 snappy answers to annoying comments about autism

by Lisa Jo Rudy

If you're a parent with a child on the spectrum, you've probably responded to the same annoying remarks and questions a thousand times. Here's a handy list of responses that... you'll probably never use out loud (but are fun to imagine using)!

1. “He can’t be autistic -- he can talk!” (or make eye contact, smile, engage)
And yet, amazingly, he’s still autistic! Y’see, autism is a spectrum disorder, and that means …

2. “Oh, she must be SO good at math!” (or science or music)
Actually, her great talent is in memorizing and reciting lines from Sponge Bob videos! (Or those annoying Thomas the Tank Engine songs!)

3. “All he needs is more discipline, and he’ll get the message.”
Yup', it’s true -- if you give a child enough time outs, he’ll just stop being autistic. And if I speak French to you loudly enough, you’ll become fluent!

4. “You poor thing, it must be so upsetting to have a child with a disability.”
Yes, it can be hard. And pity really helps me to get through the day and feel better about myself and my child. So... thanks so much!

5. “Will he be able to go to college (or get married or hold down a job)?”
Hm. Good question. By the way, has your daughter’s divorce been finalized yet? And I’m so sorry to hear that your son was recently laid off from his job...

6. “I have a friend whose child was autistic, and she cured him!”
Wow! So I guess she’s enjoying the millions she made after figuring out how to cure autism? I bet her second home is a yacht!

7. “If she can’t behave properly, you shouldn’t BRING her to the grocery store!”
Wow -- that would be great. Should I fax you my grocery list, or send it by email? I’ll really enjoy the delivery service!

8. “We can’t include him in typical classes, it wouldn’t be fair to the other kids.”
Hm, that’s an interesting perspective. So I guess you have a pretty big endowment to pay for all the law suits? That must be great!

9. “We can’t accept her at our school because she doesn’t have a learning disability.”
Ohhhh... what a shame! Oh, wait, look, she’s suddenly developed dyslexia! Can she come to your school now?

10. “You should make more time for yourself!”
You’re so right! So will you be babysitting tonight or tomorrow night?

While some of the comments and questions that we get about autism on a daily basis may seem annoying, and in some cases, plain out rude, they are probably coming from people who just don’t know any different. This is why educating people about autism is so important, now more than ever.


  1. these are WONDERFUL!!!!!!!

  2. Thanks so much. excellent.. and yup we've all thought these answers.. and worse.. starting with F.. lol..

  3. Yes yes yes! But these are nicer than what I'd want to say lol. They all get under my skin but #7... No one should ever dare say to my face. My son has JUST as much right to be anywhere that an NT child has. I'm respectful and will bring him somewhere to calm him if he's getting overwhelmed, but we have every right to be at the library, and the grocery, and the bookstore, and the zoo, etc. I'm not embarrassed when he gets overwhelmed and crazy. My son is way more important to me than some snooty people are.

  4. @Gaynell I have to admit, there are times where I'm smiling and nodding but really I want to smack some common sense into people who ask 'stupid' questions or say snarky comments. But I agree, as a mother before anything else, we always protect our children.

  5. I'm so glad you found and enjoyed this article. I have to ask, though, that next time you include at least a link back to, my website. is a part of the New York Times Co., and they get snippy about reprints.


    Lisa Jo Rudy Guide to Autism

  6. @Lisa Jo Rudy Hi Lisa, I didn't find this article on, and where I did find it had no reference to that page, aside from your name. That being said, I have added a link to your website.

    Take care.


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