So, today I was waiting on the subway platform for a delayed subway train when I hear an older lady saying “He’s a special needs boy, please let him sit down.” Now, I’m all about letting the physically disabled sit down, and I’m all about letting the elderly sit down but why in the world would it matter if I let a grown man with special needs sit down, just because you say so. I really wanted to be like “PROVE IT”.
Now, you may all think I’m being insensitive etc. but let me tell you what I saw.
I understand that not all handicaps are physically visible and I also know that in today’s norm, it would seem insensitive and rude if we did not get up and give up our seat when someone says that but that’s my problem. I am hugely against labeling and stereotyping. Just because the person may have Autism (later on along the subway ride, the woman mentioned that the boy had Autism, also she kept calling him a boy but he was definitely a grown up boy) does not mean that you should be allowed to use that as a reason or excuse as to why a person would need a seat. The person with Autism was perfectly capable of standing and wasn’t even fussing about wanting a seat or anything like that. So, I am confused. Again, later on when we were getting off the subway, I watched the pair and the so-called-special-needs boy was able to stand on the subway and wait for the doors to open. The boy also seemed to know exactly where to go and the older lady for awhile, wasn’t even paying attention to him or following very close behind him. The older lady who I’m pretty sure is his mother, eventually caught up to him but everything just seemed off. From the moment I heard that phrase, to my further observations, I am just baffled by how society reacts and feeling like they used that line just so he could get a seat.
Obviously, not everything can be seen but why would anyone feel like it’s ok to announce to the world that that person has special needs or that that person has autism. How is that right?
I am against labeling, I’m not against special needs or autism or anything of that sort. I am against labeling children with autism as autistic children and other mental/developmental disorders as that person’s crazy or that person’s retarded etc. I just don’t think that any of that right. Just because they see and feel the world differently than us doesn’t mean they aren’t just one of us either.
I hope you understand where I’m coming from.