Mom Responds After a Video of Her Autistic Son's Meltdown Goes Viral


In 2010, Amie Carter uploaded a video of her son, who was almost 3 at the time, having a meltdown in a parking lot. Now, more than six years later, the video is going viral after talk show radio host Mike Steele shared the video on his Facebook page, captioned “Spare the Rod Spoil the Child,” criticizing Carter’s parenting.

The video, which has now been viewed over 10 million times, shows Carter calmly trying to manage her son. What the video doesn’t show is his diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), intermittent explosive disorder (IED) and bipolar disorder not otherwise specified.

In an interview with SheKnows, Carter explained her daughter was videotaping the meltdown so they could show her son’s neurologist, as he had yet to be diagnosed with autism. When Carter saw her video was going viral, she reached out to Steele to explain the story behind the video.

After hearing Carter’s story, Steele edited his Facebook post, writing:  Michael Steele's Facebook Post

My original post stated “Spare the Rod Spoil the Child” that’s before I learned the truth. Just by observing this mother with her son it appears that it’s a little boy misbehaving and the mother is being patient with her son. Little did I know, this little boy name is Jayden; he is diagnosed with Autism. I didn’t know until his mother contacted me. It’s funny how we can see a video and add our twist to it. Now that we know this piece of info, how would you really react to your child who’s diagnosed with Autism? We probably would have reacted the same way she did… Let this be a lesson to us all and let’s join hands to understand autism as a whole!!! Sorry Amie AND Jayden!!

Since the video has been shared on Facebook, the post has received a number of comments criticizing Carter’s parenting.

neg 2

“Autism or not, that a** is still getting whopped,” one comment reads.

Negative comments

“Slap some sense into him,” another commenter writes. “I gave birth to you and I can kindly reverse that s**t.”

Not all comments have been negative, however.

Nice 2

There is a fine line between tantrum, meltdown, and intellectual disability. If you had any education in psychology, intellectual disability or are able to analyze the situation properly you would know there’s more to the picture just by seeing what’s going on. Most people see a screaming kid and immediately think the kid needs discipline. If it was an adult you would think different. The fact is as people grow up, some learn to control themselves more but still struggle at times, some get worse, some stay the same. Open your eyes a little. Quit being in your own little world. Things are not always as they seem and stop assuming and being so judgmental. People with disabilities process and act differently than people without even if they understand the situation at hand. If you think beating a kid is ok because they are reacting like this kid was just remember. That’s assault. You wouldn’t do it to a grownup and if you did you’d probably get your a** whipped because they would fight back plus their strength during these episodes would surprise you.

Nice

It makes me sad and very upset with the judgmental and ignorant adults who assume things before knowing all the facts! I have a son who is 4yrs old and has development delays border line autistic and I get all the looks cause he looks normal but his speech is not their and he has tantrums I can’t control in public. I just ask that don’t judge the parents till u know all the facts!! Raising a child with special needs is very hard emotionally and physically

“The negative aspect it received only reminds me of how uneducated society is regarding mental illness,” Carter told SheKnows. “To those of you who choose to speak and offer violent solutions based on something they choose to not understand: It breaks my heart to know how hurtful and mean some of you are… I am a Mother Warrior, and I will not stop fighting for my son as well as many others who deserve to be understood.”

Editor’s note: The Mighty is choosing to omit the video mentioned, as watching it is not necessary to the understanding of this story.

Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

Sad little child, boy, hugging his mother at home,

I Will Always Worry About What Will Happen to My Children When I'm Gone

Recently I posted a piece in my various venues talking about what I’d learned about autism in the almost 12 years since my son Justin’s diagnosis. There were the usual variety of comments, some positive, some definitely less receptive (to put it mildly), and although I usually don’t respond to criticism with a “rebuttal post,” this one has been ruminating for [...]
Empty comfortable red seats with numbers in cinema

What to Know About the 4% of U.S. Movie Theaters That Offer Sensory-Friendly Screenings

Loud noises, bright lights and foreign smells can make going to the movie theater or seeing a live performance an overwhelming experience for those with autism spectrum disorder. To make showings more inclusive, an increasing number of theaters across the country are now offering “sensory-sensitive” screenings of movies and performances for people living with autism. [...]
Lydia Wayman.

When My Visible Illness Hides My Invisible Disability Advocacy

Hi! I’m Lydia. I’m a young adult with mitochondrial disease (mito). Mitochondria are in every cell, and they produce energy for the whole body. Well, yours do, but mine don’t do such a great job. It’s like using an iPhone with only 30% of its battery left and realizing your charger is faulty. In a [...]
Kaydence and her younger sister, Piper

'Mommy, I Read There Is No Cure for Autism'

Kaydence and her younger sister, Piper It’s not unheard of for my oldest daughter to worry. It’s actually quite the norm. She is 9 years old and incredibly bright and insightful. These qualities seem to come with a certain degree of personal cost, though. She’s easily overwhelmed and worried by things that wouldn’t register as a [...]