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Advice is often the one free gift bestowed upon us which sometimes we truly don’t wish to receive. Often these usually well intended words can enrich our lives. However occasionally they can feel like a brutal attack.

Recently whilst attempting to enrol my first born son into kindergarten at the public school closest to home we were faced with a bit of a challenge. The school counsellor decided that he could not attend their school as she felt the child has autism and they do not have the facilities to accommodate him there.

Whether the child has autism or not isn’t really the problem. Immaterial, he is loved and his educational needs will be met somewhere which has the ability to do so.

She then diagnosed my second son with autism. Almost as though it were a two for one special. There was a great deal to take in and I was more than relieved when I was given the opportunity to escape her office.

Not long after I arrived home my mobile rang. It was the school councillor. “You have beautiful children” she said. I thanked her and suddenly felt uncomfortable with the phone call. As though I could feel it wasn’t headed in a positive direction.

“All four of your children are beautiful” she went on to say. I thanked her again all the while knowing that whatever the point of her call was had to be extremely bad if she felt the desire to compliment me this much.

“Don’t have anymore children” she said. I was silent. “You aren’t planning to have any more children are you?” She asked. I didn’t know what to say.

She went on to advise me that four children was more than enough. And of course two out of the four are definitely autistic. The call became increasingly awkward and ended there.

I wish I had asked her to elaborate on her advice. I mean she is a primary school councillor after all. And I would have loved to know why in her professional opinion she gave me the advice that she did.

Did she feel it were in the best interest of my children that they didn’t have any future siblings? Did she fear that my husband and I may produce another autistic child? Or did she interpret that I am in some way a bad mother?

The reality of the situation is that as difficult as it may be to keep ones opinion to themselves, sometimes it may just be for the best.

An individual’s right and ability to reproduce is not something which can be controlled by anyone other than the person who owns the reproductive organs. And simply advising someone not to reproduce is not really adequate contraception. Even if it were, what right does anyone have over another person’s body.

I wish she had kept her advice to herself. At this stage in my life I didn’t need to hear it. But I can’t let her get to me because I haven’t even passed my first trimester yet. I hate to think of what her advice would have been had she known of my pregnancy.


Posted by someonesmother, 1st December 2014


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  • kool

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  • Oh wow that is a horrible experience. I don’t think she should be advising things like that at all. Particularly with the Autism it is not an easy diagnosis so I don’t see how she could diagnose this. I wish you all the best on your 5th Pregnancy.

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  • Oh my goodness, I hope you take her ‘advice’ with a grain of salt. No one should be made to feel awful nor told not to have anymore children based on their personal unqualified opinion.

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  • it is amazing how some people don’t think that what they say could possibly be offensive to someone else. don’t stress about it because it reflects their personality, not yours! i think that you are an amazing woman and you should be getting support and praise for raising your children and not judged or looked down on. i am sure that you are doing your best hun!

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  • Oh My Gosh! On what authority does this person possess to make such a phone call to deliver her “wisdom” . I really hope you take this matter up with the School Principle and ask that she be taught some lessons in good manners. I am aware that often teachers actually have “diagnosed” their pupils and come forth with advice to parents to have their child administered drugs because the child has ADHD.

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  • Wow, some people really are in the wrong jobs aren’t they. You can only laugh as this as it is so ridiculous…I would write a complaint however to the school board to make sure she doesn’t give similar unhelpful advice to other poor mums. I’m pleased you didn’t take what she said to heart and good luck with your pregnancy.

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  • Wow she has crossed the line with those comments, I would try not to take it to heart it is one persons option that should have been kept to themselves

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  • It sounds like she was completely out of line. I have been medically advised not to fall pregnant again – and a doctor is the only person who has the right to give me that advice. And it’s not even clear that she has the skills to diagnose your child with anything! I’d be tempted to complain about her lack of professionalism.

    And congratulations on your pregnancy.

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