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