DS4 is autistic with multiple sensory issues. We often have issues when we are out in public, despite him being high functioning. People always have comments whether they are meant to be helpful or to be judgmental at times they all feel condescending. Here are some things we wish you knew:
1. It won't just "go away." It is going to be a lifetime of issues for him. He can learn to adapt to them and overcome the sensory overload that he experiences on a daily bases, but it won't go away.
2. Nope, he's not a brat. He actually is probably the sweetest child that you will ever meet. He gets told "no" and gets disciplined just like the rest of the kids and guess what!? You can't spank the autism out of a child. So your comment about "somebody needs a spanking" is absolutely the closest thing to fighting words you could say to a mom who is already struggling to comfort a child from something that she may not actually know what that something is.
3. "Just leave him at home" Yes, because one this is totally how to teach him to socialize and overcome his issues and two yay thanks does that mean you are going to run all of my errands. Just because a child is special needs doesn't mean that they don't need the social exposure. In fact, they probably need it more than typically developing children. Just because a parent has a special needs child doesn't mean that they can stop running errands or going to the grocery store.
4. Staring just makes the issue worse. Look away.
5. Smiling and saying how sweet the child is despite the massive fit they are throwing is so kind and often is a good distraction for him.
6. Just stop. If you have nothing kind or helpful to say. Don't say it. In fact that is a quick way to get a box of mac and cheese thrown at you. I admit to nothing. Just don't be a jerk.