Next time you are at the store and you hear that kid a few aisles down screaming inconsolably while his mother “refuses” to discipline him, stop and think before you react. With 1 in 88 children being autistic there is a good chance that this child is having a meltdown, not throwing a tantrum. There is a very distinct difference between the two. As I’m sure you already know, a tantrum is usually fueled by wants and selfishness. A meltdown is usually caused by a very real discomfort that the child is experiencing. The store and the outside world in general can be a very scary place for someone with autism. Most people on the spectrum are sensitive to sounds and bright lights and also all of the unfamiliar people around. For many families who deal with autism, simply leaving the house can be a HUGE ordeal. Don’t make it harder on us with your judgmental unknowing stares. Chances are things are already hard enough as it is. Instead of saying things like “Man they need to shut that kid up” or “Does she discipline her at all?”, mind your business and move along. There is a good chance that your insensitive statement just may be the final straw and it may turn out that you get a bigger reaction than you had expected.