In light of comments and disapproving looks from people while we are in public places, I have decided to write a little note about the purpose of the Child Harness. Or, at least, it’s our purpose anyway. I am guessing that if we are dealing with this issue odds are there are other folks out there as well.
I am frequently blogging about the various irritations of other parents and/or those who don't even have kids giving their opinions on what we should or shouldn’t be doing with our kids. Number one, it’s rude to give unsolicited advice. Period. I don’t comment when I see Other Kid slurping up Trix Flavored Gogurt, loaded with red dye and sugar; it would be rude for me to just walk up to Other Parent and say “I can’t believe you are letting your kid eat that! Don’t you know what’s in it?". So I have no idea why I get stares, the shaking heads and my personal favorite the “that’s just cruel” comments when Buddy is proudly sporting his Monkey-Backpack-Complete-With-Tail harness.
Ahhhh ignorance, the bane of my existence. If they only knew that dangers of wandering in autistic children. If they only knew that Buddy has extremely poor spacial awareness thanks to SPD and his off-kilter vestibular system and that “cruel leash” keeps him from running head first into the glass window of a zoo exhibit. If they only knew that the monkey is weighted and provides the sensory input he needs to function better. If they only would research how important it is for children in their early years to have that need for autonomy met and the fact that the harness lets them walk freely without the struggle of holding hands.
I will say what is cruel; it’s the nasty stares that Buddy gets when he is wearing his monkey harness. He loves it and frequently asks to wear it at home. Some people smile and think it’s cute, so he proudly stomps his feet and grins. It makes me wonder, if he notices the positive reaction is he noticing the negative? Is he wondering why that mean lady is scowling at him? There are times that I just want to stay home to avoid all the negativity that is out there. I just wish people would ask questions before they make assumptions.