Yes, my Kid is Screaming. Also, I’m an Awesome Mom.


Here’s the scene: I’m out in public with my 2-year-old. He was recently diagnosed with autism, and doesn’t deal well with strangers (or really….anyone) talking to or approaching him. So being out with him in public is usually not a pleasant experience. Nonetheless, I want to get him used the world and to experience all the fun things we can do together. But, per usual, my son starts to scream because he can’t communicate something to me, and that’s when I see it: the judgmental glances and eye rolls. 

Yes, I know my kid is screaming.

And yes, I want him to stop. But sometimes it’s out of my control, and it’s hard for me to accept that. It’s been incredibly hard to wrap my head around the needs and challenges of helping my son. Going out in public has become something I dread. And it’s because every time out is always unpredictable, and as a mom who loves a firm routine and pure predictability, this is my nightmare.

Unfortunately, autism often can’t be visibly seen. My son looks like every other two-year-old. But I know that he’s not. And I know I have to ignore the judgmental glares that are thrown my way when my son has a meltdown. The thing is….it’s hard. I want to shout out to the world that my son is struggling and to back off, but I know I can’t. Maybe if I just explained the situation to these strangers, they would understand?

My husband often reminds me to ignore those mean glances, and I know I have to if I want to stay sane. But as mothers, it’s become ingrained in us that our children have to act certain ways in order to reflect that “good mom” persona. We all want to be good moms after all. But just because my kid is screaming doesn’t mean that I’m doing something wrong.

I’m new to all of this. I’m doing my best to try and help my son and have a positive attitude about this difficult transition. Being positive is tricky sometimes. Most days, it’s easier to not leave the house than to deal with those stares. Some days those stares can really drag me down and make me question everything. Every time that happens I have to remind myself: they have no idea what we’re going through.

And that’s been one beautiful thing I’ve gained since becoming an Autism Mom. Empathy. I see the world, and other parents out there so differently now. Everyone is dealing with something, no kids or parents are perfect. And knowing this, helps me rise above the judgment and focus on what’s really important: my son, the feisty, LOUD, and wonderful two-year-old.

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Tara is both a full time mom and boss lady who recently moved from the city life to a new home in Muskego. She lives with a whole heap of boys - her husband of almost 10 years, 6 year old Beckett, and 1 year old Ellis. In addition to mom duty and obsessively decorating her new home, she runs the small greeting card and design company, Cracked Designs. (which is like her third child.) In addition to her passion for all things design and illustration, she loves indie music, road trips, and enjoying craft beer.


  1. I too am a mama new to the autism scene (my 3 year old was recently diagnosed) and it’s so hard some days. I always feel the need to explain when she has meltdowns. Today, luckily, she waited until the car ride home, but it was an epic meltdown to say the least.

  2. I have a question and because tone can’t be read I want to state this is sincere. Please don’t read any snark or other negativity into it. I also understand you don’t represent all moms and I would like as many answers as people want to give. What would you like people to do? Ignore it, smile, offer help, all or none of those things?

    • This is a great question, and I really appreciate your thoughtfulness!! 🙂
      I am SO new to this all (my son was just diagnosed this past October…), so I guess it would just be nice if people ignored it. Overall, just basically not stare. It’s already hard enough (and embarrassing) dealing with an outburst in public, so I’d love if people, especially other parents, didn’t stare at us. Even though I’d love if someone tried to help, I don’t know if it actually *would* help, just because my son is very wary of strangers. Hopefully after I have more months of experience with this, I can have more insight in how other could help in public. But thanks for asking this, because I never really sat down and thought about how I’d like it handled!

  3. Thank you for sharing your (new) experience. My son will turn 18 yrs old at the end of the week. He was diagnosed with ADHD at very young age but also has other sensory & coping issues. And he looks completely “normal”. It’s been a lifetime of stares, eye rolling and should haves and shouldn’t haves. But, like you, I have empathy. No one has the perfect family. No one.


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