Burning The Souffle

"A Woman Happily In Love, She Burns The Souffle"

Well, I feel like a jerk. September 27, 2008

Filed under: the world around me — Rachel @ 12:20 pm

Last night D and I went to that suburban mecca otherwise known as wal-mart. We felt like doing a jigsaw puzzle, but quickly realized we had already done all the ones we had at home (have you ever noticed that they aren’t as fun to put together the second time around?). So, off we went to wal-mart, to buy a puzzle and all the ingredients for dirt.

(Yes, we are like two giant twentysomething kids…oh we also spent a copious amount of time drooling over the Halloween costumes and candy.)

Now, onto the part where Rachel and D sound like big jerks!

There was this kid, probably about 11 or 12 years old, so a big kid, darting around in the toy aisles (where we were looking for puzzles) . We didn’t think much of this until the kid started darting between us. D sort of gave the kid a “where are your parents” look, and went back to looking. Then the kid darted between us again, nearly knocking me down.  This earned the kid a “what is your problem” look from both of us. Then the kid’s dad saw us. ” Oh, don’t mind him,” he said, “He’s autistic.”

Ouch. I officially felt like a jackass.

“Oh, I understand,” I said. “I’m going to be a special ed teacher.” I really, really, wanted to apologize further, but couldn’t think of anything to say. What really bugs me about this is that I feel like I should have realized that this kid had something going on. I know what autism looks like. I know that typically developing 12 year old boys don’t run around in the disney toys aisle of wal-mart meowing (echolalia). I know!

I mean, the dad didn’t seem mad or anything, and I know it’s not like we technically did anything wrong, but still, I felt like supreme bitch of the universe.

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2 Responses to “Well, I feel like a jerk.”

  1. Sadly, some kids are just obnoxious, so you may not have been far off the mark. But once you’ve been in the classroom with them a few years, you start to pick up on it right away. Also, if you have not read The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Nighttime by Mark Haddon, you should, right now. It’s told from the perspective of an autistic boy, and written by a special ed teacher.

  2. Rachel Says:

    I will have to check it out! I know what you mean about some kids being obnoxious, and I don’t think that autism is a get out of jail free card. Some kids with autism are obnoxious, some aren’t. Some typically developing kids are obnoxious, some aren’t. I just didn’t want the dad to think we were totally insensitive or something, and I REALLY didn’t want the kid to think we were judging him for being different.


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