For Every One Of Them…

…there are 1,000 of you.

I have been following a cheerful blog for a long time about my old ‘hood somewhere in Southern California, near a beach where the sun is usually shining and people are surfing regardless of the weather. I hear about everything from the piers that soared far past the waves with their roller coasters, Ferris wheels and cotton candy, to what is happening at my high school that has been there since before my parents were born. One of the topics of late has been about a man who is special-needs, who rides around on his bicycle, wearing a helmet, and who, from all accounts, likes to make friends with everyone he meets.

Apparently, because of his “special-needs,” he does not realize that staring at anything of interest to him is not always appropriate. He probably stares at the stars, or a harvest moon; one of the lovely wall paintings or at the ocean waves or at a talented musician on the boardwalk. As you might imagine, being a man, he notices when a woman who takes good care of herself is present, not unlike any other heterosexual man on this planet.

But, he is “special-needs” and “unappealing.” My question, in not knowing him, is, “Was it worth publicly posting this?” Can he read? Can his family read? Will anyone who knows and loves him see this? If he doesn’t live with them, he might live near them and they very-likely go to the same blog.

To those of you who posted those comments and said “perv,” I can only say: For every guy like him, there are 1,000 of you who stare at a guy like my son. My son does not stare at anyone. At the park, he swings on a swing, claps his hands and talks to himself. He 19 years old and his facial hair is sometimes a bit grown-out. Either my husband or I or an aide are always near to watch him for seizures and explain to others that “he is autistic.” Still, in restaurants and other public places, my son knows he is being stared at and it hurts deeply. Don’t think it doesn’t, just because his face shows little emotion. He says “I am happy” and “I am sad” with the same lack of expression. That is autism.

So, the next time you think that a special-needs person is looking at you inappropriately, remember the times that you may have looked at another one of them in the same way. Ask yourself, who is the person most-likely to muster-up some self-control?

Next time I blog, I will play a bit with my sense of humor. It seems to have disappeared for the moment!

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