From a recent post at a group I belong to, it was asked about how neighbor kids and their parent relate to your Autistic child.
I said: it is very difficult to find parents and children that are accepting of an ASD child. We have discovered who our real friends and family are since getting our dx on the children in Oct 2006. We have everyone we know falling into one of 3 groups. Accept us, hate us or ignore us. The largest for our experience is, ignore us. Then hate us, and the smallest is accept us. Unfortunately a lot of family and friends are NOT in the accept us group.
But, like I said, you really find out about people when Autism comes into your life. It hurts for awhile, but we have made new friends and 'family' to replace the old. Find local groups to be a part of, learn from and develop friendships in groups like these and work on developing a thicker skin.
I feel that we, and all Autistic parents, were chosen by God to care for these special spirits he has entrusted us with. And where much is given, much is expected. We have children of light that must not be hidden, but should be placed on a hill for all to witness and enjoy. If ignorant and uncaring people cannot see that they are indeed special, and not in the typical 'special' label way, then that is their failing.
I really believe that the rise in Autism is part of the preparation for Christ's return. If someone cannot be accepting of a child or adult with a disability, then they can have no part in his kingdom. He must separate the wheat from the chaff, the good from the bad. We and our families are his servants doing some sifting.
Now, I'm not saying that I'm some saint or that I'm perfect. But, I do feel that we have been given a task and there may be some suffering, like the early Christians, for us to bear. If we stand strong, do not wilt and move forward with conviction we will be able to increase the acceptance and tolerance of people with Autism. "...when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."
I'll get down from the pulpit now; I hope that I have not offended anyone. I just feel very strongly about our roles as parents of Autistic children.