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Nava R. Silton, Ph.D

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To the Woman at Target Who Shamed Me & My Son


A collection of stories, experiences and uplifting tales regarding the world of disabilities and the individuals who have them.

To the Woman at Target Who Shamed Me & My Son

Nava Silton

Parents of children with autism are used to the stares and dirty looks from strangers when they are trying to run an errand while their child has a meltdown. When one stranger took it as far as forcing a pamphlet about discipline on a mom, the mom went to the internet to write a letter to “the woman at Target who shamed her and her son.” Mom, Rachel Wallenstein, was trying to get the few items she promised her older kids from Target, while at the same time taking care of her 3.5 year old son with autism. The 86 degree heat, plus all of the people and sounds, and a lack of routine (due to no school) was the perfect storm for her son to have a meltdown. When the meltdown occurred, one woman felt it was her duty to share her discipline program with Wallenstein. Although Wallenstein explained that her son was not having a tantrum and was having a meltdown, the stranger said her discipline program still applies and put her pamphlet on Wallenstein’s car window. Little did that woman know that Wallenstein knows plenty well how to handle her son, previously she had let her son watch the doors open and close, on an agreed upon five times before entering the store and then five more times before they started shopping. Additionally, she has gone through multiple toddler-hoods with her older daughter. Wallenstein knew that all her son needed was to get into a moving car to calm him down. Wallenstein hopes this letter will prompt people to think before forcing their parenting advice upon others.

Read the full article here