Was It Rude of a Stranger to Just Assume My Nephew Was Autistic?

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“Do you guys find it rude that a lady assumed my nephew was Autistic from him flapping his hands, which I know is a sign sort of but he is still young barely 1y old? And babies/toddlers do that. My son does it too or do you think she was just trying to be sincere and see if he really was or not? Just wondering how you moms would feel I’m just a bit confused on how to react with that same with my sister.”

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The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

“Neurotypical kids hand flap at certain ages too”

“Maybe she wasn’t trying to be rude. That doesn’t mean she wasn’t. Strangers need to mind their own business.”

“Could be sensory processing. My son has rocked since he could sit up. We went through the entire process for autism diagnosis but turns out he has a sensory processing disorder.”

“I’d ask yourself why you think it’s rude… To me, it implies autism is shameful”

“Not unless you think autism is a negative. It’s just a different type of person and not a bad thing. Ppl should never assume anything about ppl but I don’t think it was rude.”

“You cannot tell, just from that. Odd that she felt she had a right to even comment on it. NT kids flap and stim too. It definitely doesn’t always point to autism. Just like all autistics do not flap.”

“I think I would have to hear the tone and her wording, to give an honest opinion. She could have a young family member who’s been diagnosed and just trying to connect to the world. She could be a judgemental witch.”

“As a society, I feel as though we are put between a rock and a hard place with all the “dos and don’ts” you’ll get opposite answers almost every time depending on who you ask. As people reading this, we don’t have a ton of context so it’s really hard to say whether she was being rude or not. But generally speaking, I’m going to go with unless she said something derogatory about kids with special needs that NO she was not being rude.”

“Sounds like she meant to be helpful but he’s too young to make this statement based on this symptom alone”

  1. "You’re acting like Autistic is a negative word.
  2. As a mom who is literally taking their 4yr old for testing Wednesday, I WISH someone else (besides my husband) had said something (not strangers, obviously) but people close to me.

No one else mentioned anything, so I felt like it was ONLY one seeing it, my husband agreed but he basically agrees with everything Once I started saying what all I was noticing, my friend was like “Yeah, I have thought that for a while” but she didn’t want to “offend me” and honestly didn’t know how I’d react. Which is valid because some people lash out and are crazy offended for no reason. My pediatrician even seemed scared to even SUGGEST it to me and looked relieved when I said “no, I’m on the same page as you.” Because I’m sure he’s had parents freak out on him. Like being autistic is the worst thing in the world. Please. It isn’t an insult."

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