Woman Keeps Criticizing Her BIL For Not Taking His Autistic Kid To A Theme Park, Throws A Fit After Getting Put In Her Place

Perhaps all parents are well aware that parenthood is both a great joy and a great responsibility, children give us a whole range of emotions, from joy to sadness, and these emotions do not always come directly from the children themselves.

This, as you probably already guessed, is about the judgments of other people.

It is especially insulting and painful for parents of children with special needs to face such judgments – after all, condemnation often comes not just from complete strangers, but sometimes from those who have never had children at all and they don’t know what it’s actually like. And then, when the parents’ nerves can’t stand it and they break down in response, people simply accuse them of incompetence. All in all, a common story.

For example, the same one happened to the family of this man under the nickname u/Blue_seaAndsky, whose story in the AITA Reddit community has racked up almost 900 upvotes and about one and a half hundred different comments in a few months. Doubly offensive for the author of the post, by the way, it turned out that the condemnation in his case came from one of his family members. However, let’s talk about everything in order…

More info: Reddit
The author of the initial post has three children, two boys and a 4 Y.O. girl

Image credits: Daniel Walker (not the actual photo)

So, the author of the post and his wife have three children: two boys, 9 and 7 years old, and a 4-year-old girl. The OP’s youngest daughter is autistic and nonverbal, so the parents try to adjust their lives and activities to her needs – for example, they have equipped a sensory room in their house where the child is comfortable and where she spends most of her time.

Image credits: Blue_seaAndsky
The girl has ASD and the parents do their best to make her life more comfortable

However, parenting children with special needs is like an iceberg, because most of what parents have to do is simply not visible to strangers, and even to many relatives.

This is what happened to the OP. One fine day, when he and his family were visiting their parents, his brother and SIL were also there.

Image credits: Blue_seaAndsky

During a conversation at the table, the OP’s mother asked how they planned to celebrate the upcoming birthday of their eldest son, who was about to turn ten. The OP’s wife said that she and the boys will go to a theme park where the children will ride the train for the first time in their lives. The SIL asked where their daughter would be at that time, and the OP explained that she would stay at home with dad because large crowds overwhelm her so much.

Image credits: Blue_seaAndsky
The father’s SIL stated that the girl should be taken to the theme park with her elder brothers as it seemed “unfair” for her to stay at home

In response, the SIL unexpectedly stated that it would not be fair to the girl, because her brothers would have fun and walk in the park while she stayed at home. The OP tried to politely explain to the woman the specifics of the nervous system of children with ASD, and that it would be better for the child’s mental health to stay at home, while the older children deliberately asked for this trip to the theme park.

Woman Keeps Criticizing Her BIL For Not Taking His Autistic Kid To A Theme Park, Throws A Fit After Getting Put In Her Place

Image credits: Blue_seaAndsky

It seems that the conflict was settled, but after a while, the SIL again stated that the OP and his wife were bad parents, since they were denying their daughter the joys of going to the park with the whole family. According to the woman, they look cruel to their daughter and are doing a terrible job at parenting. Moreover, the SIL literally demanded that the girl also be taken for a walk in the park.

Image credits: Blue_seaAndsky
Being offended by unjust accusations, the man told her that he doesn’t appreciate parenting advice from people with no parenting experience

The OP’s nerves couldn’t take it anymore. He literally shut up the SIL by saying that he and his wife don’t appreciate being criticized by people without any parenting experience. Apparently, the man found a “pain point” in his opponent, because she and his brother have not been able to conceive a child in any way, and they collected money for IVF. In any case, the woman was offended and fell silent, while the brother called the OP a jerk and said that he definitely crossed the line.

Image credits: Blue_seaAndsky
Some of the children with ASD really cannot go to public places, as expert states

“Children with autism spectrum disorders have absolutely different needs,” states Dr. Maria Makarus, a psychiatrist from Ukraine, with whom Bored Panda got in touch for a comment on this story. “Actually, one child with ASD is not at all like another child with ASD. Some of these kids really cannot go to public places because they have sensory impairments such as hyperacusis, proprioception disorders, hyperesthesia to light (photophobia), smells (hyperosmia) and so on.”

“By the way, smells can lead to so-called ‘sensory overload’, and as a result, there may be a violation of sleep, appetite, anxiety and ‘rollback’ in the development of the child. So the parents’ decision in this very situation is totally understandable, especially if they’d previously consulted with the doctors regarding their daughter,” says Dr. Makarus.

Image source: Dushan Hanuska (not the actual photo)
People in the comments almost unanimously sided with the father, claiming his SIL to be incompetent and insulting

Of course, the vast majority of people in the comments sided with the Original Poster and his wife in this conflict. Some commenters said that, being autistic people themselves, they are well aware in this situation how difficult it would be for a child to travel to a crowded theme park.

Moreover, according to the commenters, it seems that the OP and his wife are accommodating their kid rather than excluding her, and their SIL has absolutely no right and no grounds to tell them otherwise.

Also, according to commenters, it’s a classic when people stick their noses in where they don’t belong and the wrong thing is said.

Yes, the Original Poster’s reaction was perhaps a bit over the top as it touched on a sensitive topic for his sister-in-law, but either way, she was wrong as she initiated the conflict herself on numerous occasions.

Original Poster’s reaction

We’re pretty sure you’ve already made up your mind about who’s right and who’s wrong in this particular story, so please feel free to leave your comments below the post.

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