Parents, carers and disabled parents
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Looks from strangers

Helenx3Helenx3 Member Posts: 17
Does anyone have any advice or a practised reply to people who stare at our children? My son is 16yrs old and undiagnosed so i can't even tell them his condition. Any ideas?


  • HeatherHeather Member Posts: 171 Listener
    Hi Helen
    I'm sure you've toughened up over the 16 yrs! But sure it doesn't get any easier. When we were looking for diagnoses I had guessed it was autism and took it upon myself to describe my son as autistic to stop any questions. Admitted that then led to people telling me about their "friends" whose child had been cured! etc etc Talk to fellow parents if you feel low, sure they have ALL been there and short of educating everyone in the world, there's little you can do to stop the looks and comments.
    Good luck and keep in touch
  • JimJamsJimJams Member Posts: 175 Listener
    Just stand and stare right back, they will soon get the message, or maybe thats a bit much, even just smile and say hello, lets them know you have seen them looking. Most of the time I dont even notice them staring, i am too focused on my wee boy, just ignore it if you can. Good Luck
  • AlistairAlistair Member Posts: 104
    edited June 2014
    I'm an old dad; many people think that I'm my daughters grandad. I just try not to care about what people think. I reckon Marie is right, just stare right back and be proud of your child.

  • Helenx3Helenx3 Member Posts: 17
    Hey thanks for all your msgs, its good to talk to people who know what its like. There doesnt seem to be many fellow parents where i live so i feel very isolated. You are all right - i will stand strong and stare back because one things for sure im VERY VERY proud of him. Thanks again. x
  • AlistairAlistair Member Posts: 104
    Hi, again, Helen
    I'm not just saying this as a doting father but my daughter is very pretty. I just have to shut my mind off to what people think as I try to coax her out of the car (she's 12, no diagnosis), it can take up to half an hour. I'm really proud of her too and also feel very isolated. My family have all (understandably) stepped back one of my sisters offered to look after her...until she got a punch in the face! I live on the south coast, where are you?
  • Helenx3Helenx3 Member Posts: 17
    Hi Alistair, sorry for delay in replying. So im not the only one then, its so hard to understand what they want, i feel i am always treading on egg shells. My family all live in the South (so no help) but i am in the North West now, originally from Devon. How have you managed over the holidays?
  • AlistairAlistair Member Posts: 104
    Hello Helen (and you others out there)
    It has been a long summer and not the happiest, by any means.
    I gave up saying ‘things can't get worse' about 18months ago.
    My daughters' mum (and my now estranged wife) has bipolar disorder and that, along with disability has just turned life upside down.
    I've managed to take advantage of the governments funding for short breaks over the holidays but I'm sure that's dried up now.
    I think as parents and carers of young people with difficulties we need to start making more noise.
  • TeresaTeresa Member Posts: 24
    It is difficult when your child is stared at. Although, I think people do not mean to make you feel self-conscious. Usually, when I do explain to people that my daughter's autistic (only when I have to, like when she's gone up to a total stranger & grabbed their hand, or stolen their bottle of water or whatever) they seem to just accept it. We are all curious about each other, and I know that I've caught myself staring at people sometimes!

    Alistair, sorry your summer wasn't one of the best. Hope things are looking up now.
  • AlistairAlistair Member Posts: 104
    I'm sorry but I think I have to take issue with you Teresa.
    In my experience people with disabilities have to put up with abuse from all directions. There was a time when I thought things were getting better. Children are better educated but that doesn't stop the playground bullying. And adults with a learning disability have to endure daily abuse if they venture out of the locality where they are known.
    I admire your positive attitude, how old is your daughter?
  • TeresaTeresa Member Posts: 24
    Hi Alistair. My daughter is 9. I am well aware that people with disabilities suffer from discrimination and abuse. My comment was in response to this thread which is about how to deal with people staring at our children. I took that to mean the over-curious looks that we get, not abuse or bullying, which are entirely different and, of course, inexcusable. If I felt that someone was staring at me or my daughter in a threatening way my attitude would not be a positive one I can assure you. Thankfully I have yet to experience that - plenty of curious stares though!
  • JimJamsJimJams Member Posts: 175 Listener
    Dont feel so isolated, there are many of us out there, trying to cope with the difficulties of bringing up a disabled child, just ignore everyone and focus on you and your child, I always say at the end of a bad day, as long as we all got home safe and sound then we coped. I have overreacted to peoples stares and comments.. One woman pushed my boy and shouted and pointed in his face. After I got my boy secured in the car, I went back to see her and it was not pretty and my son saw me and that was not good either, I lost it for a few minutes, so would not recommend this approach, I just could not handle someone pushing my son, I flipped, so wont be going to that park for a while. Try and stay strong everyone, your child is as special and important as any other child , dont concern yourself with ignorant people.
  • BarbaratBarbarat Member Posts: 3
    I too get tired of being stared at, my husband came up with a cracking response. He says quite loudly 'don;t you know its rude to stare'. most people staring are so embarrassed that they apologise and move away.
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