To the Woman Who Was Critical of My Son Using a Cell Phone
Yesterday I heard you talking about us. I heard your disapproval and felt your judgment.
“Look at that young boy on the phone, isn’t it terrible?”
Initially it made me feel small, ashamed, like a bad parent because, to be honest, part of me does wish my son wasn’t on his mobile phone at the beach. I would like him to be enjoying the beautiful scene before him instead of playing Pokemon. But please don’t judge my choices without understanding my reasons.
In most of the photos I take of my big lad, he has his trusty mobile in his hand.
You look at my son with different eyes…
I see a gadget that connects me to my son. I see an aid that connects our son to us.
I see a tool that takes the focus off the things that cause him anxiety.
I see a family out together, relaxing and enjoying a walk.
I see a family enjoying a drink in peace and a boy happily playing.
I see a boy who struggles with anxiety becoming more confident.
I hear a shy boy actually chatting with the waiter (a stranger) about which Pokemon he has caught.
I feel his enthusiasm and use that to make a connection with him by sharing his passion.
I feel proud of a boy who has started to play out on his own, call for friends and make new friends, too.
Far from stunting his social development, having a mobile has actually expanded it.
His trusty mobile has helped enabled us to get out as a family and explore new places.
I don’t pretend to be a perfect parent; I am a real one! I am not living my life to please others; I am celebrating it for what it is.
I will use whatever tool possible to connect my son with the world and reduce his anxiety. You see, my son has autism.
Yesterday I heard you talk about us. I heard your disapproval, but I don’t care, because I know that being a parent is the easiest thing to have an opinion on but the hardest thing to do.
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Thinkstock image by schankz