Musings of a Marfan Mom

The Sarcastic Comebacks I Make in My Head

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Today M had his first visit to the dentist for a teeth cleaning. After the appointment today I have temporarily hit my limit of hearing people who have had less than 10 minute interactions with my child saying “He doesn’t look like he has autism” or otherwise questioning his diagnosis (or just being dumb in general, like that EEG tech last year).

I promise I’m always polite and I do try to educate them about autism being a spectrum disorder, but there are always less than patient phrases running through my head that sometimes I’d like to say instead because those people are just being RUDE. So, here’s a list of some comebacks I’ve come up with. (Sometimes it’s a fine line between sarcasm and sounding bitter. Please understand I’m not the latter.)

“You’re right, after 10 minutes with my son you’re much more qualified than his team of therapists to make a diagnosis.”

“I didn’t realize they were handing out psych degrees to just anyone these days.”

(Grab M’s face and check his forehead, then yell) “Darn that tattoo artist! I guess the ‘this is what autism looks like’ tat wasn’t permanent, after all.”

“Oh, because he’s not flapping his hands or rocking back and forth? Yah, he only does that when he’s giving other babies autism. It’s contagious, you know.”

“Shhh…don’t tell anyone but we made the whole thing up for kicks and giggles. Fooled all his therapists but we couldn’t fool you. You get a sticker!”

What are some comebacks that you’d love to say, but don’t? They don’t have to be autism related!

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20 Comments

  1. Giving other babies autism, heh. That’ll be a popular comeback on the playground for you!

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    marfmom Reply:

    lol. enough people seem to act like it’s contagious so might as well have fun with it, right? :-p

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  2. I love this! I need to make a “The Sarcastic Comebacks I Make in My Head” post. You really nailed it here.

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  3. I love those!

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  4. “I guess all those years in school never taught you any common sense” – to all the docs on my floor that can’t figure out how to open white out or use a phone….makes me wonder how they perform and operation!

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    marfmom Reply:

    lol seriously? yikes!

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  5. I personallylove the last one …. you should find the perfect sticker to hand out for such occasions. Reminds me of the neighbor lady (who I try to avoid) when I was trying to explain aortic aneurysms ….. “they can just remove your aorta, you don’t need it. Uncle Bob had that problem, and his surgeon just took out his aorta, now he’s good as new.” You just can’t talk sense into some people. I congratulate you on your ability to bite your tongue …… but give some thought to getting those stickers. LOL Hugs.

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    marfmom Reply:

    LOL who knew you don’t need an aorta? I think that is my very favorite comment. I am going to pass that story to some Marfriends, hahahaha.

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    Mark Reply:

    Aorta… Appendix… y’know. One of those.

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  6. Maybe hand them a flyer from the Autism awareness group and they can become educated.

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  7. I’m sorry you have to deal with rude, clueless people. I’m sure the last thing you want to do is deal with ignorant, ill-informed, opinionated folks. Those sarcastic little comebacks you say in your head? They’re awesome and totally made me laugh.
    I do have a couple of comebacks for my naive, misinformed family members and friends who keep pushing me to take my ADHD child off of his medication:
    “You know what? Taking him off his meds is a great idea. It’s not like he needs to concentrate in school. I mean, who needs a high school diploma these days anyway?”
    “You’re right, keeping my child on medication will turn him into a druggie and will inevitably cause Bipolar Disorder. What the heck was I thinking?”
    “You know what? I think I’m going to take your advice and take my son off his meds. I mean, who cares if the statistics show that ADHD teen drivers have a higher risk of death or serious injury compared to teens without ADHD? We’ll just take the risk and hope for the best.”
    Rant over. lol

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    marfmom Reply:

    for a minute i misread that and thought the first quote was something someone had actually said to you, lol. i think your first comeback is my favorite :-)

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  8. Ya, I’m a lazy mom cause my autistic daughter is not potty traind at almost 4yrs old. I really LOVE spending 50 dollars on diapers every month..REALLY??

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  9. My mental comebacks include several that are not for PG eyes, but one of my family-friendly faves is: Wait 10 minutes for the next show – we’ll be in aisle 7 when this cookie is finished and he’s bored…

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    marfmom Reply:

    LOL

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  10. *giggle* Sometimes the mental sarcasm is the only thing keeping me sane around here. My daughter is “normal” most of the time, but when she explodes she really explodes. People rarely say things to me, but often give me a look like I made her do whatever she just did. I want to tell them I secretly have her trained to burst out screaming at the most inappropriate times.

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  11. Do you ever find you’ve been clenching your teeth to keep from talking and have gotten a huge headache? People really do say the oddest things. It can be so hurtful. I know they probably don’t mean to be hurtful, but it must be frustrating having to become the spokesperson for autism when you leave your house.

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  12. So… knowing you in real life, I’m sure you’re paying attention to people’s intention rather than just their words, but I can see myself saying “He doesn’t look like he has autism” as encouragement rather than criticism. The translation being “hey, right now he seems like any other kid!” rather than “I think he doesn’t have autism.”

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    marfmom Reply:

    In this particular case, the dentist was saying it in a definitive sort of way, as though she was questioning his diagnosis. And I do realize that sometimes people say it to be encouraging, or as a compliment, but that’s not the way it feels. I’ve been thinking about why this is all evening, and I think I’m going to turn it into a blog post if that’s ok! :)

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  13. Yep, I’d be interested to read it. I could see it might be interpreted more than one way, depending on how you view autism. Is it a negative thing you’re trying to “correct” or is it just one of many things you embrace about your son. One piece of who he is. Not being in your situation, I don’t know, but I do know my intentions would be good. :)

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