Yesterday I went to the eye doctor. And I had to drag poor Cathy with me.
There was a man there in the second waiting room (don't ask) using an iPad. I want an iPad. We got to talking. He mentioned that his daughter, who was born with a terminal condition and has spent her entire life lying in a wheelchair, could use the iPad very well. He went on and on about her. She is 14. She has some sort of neuromuscular disorder.
Of course, I didn't mind hearing about her. And he showed us a very nice photo of her at Disney World with Minnie and Mickey. But Cathy has Aspergers and one of her “things” is not doing well hearing about diseases. She was looking more and more queasy as this conversation went on.
I kept asking her if she was doing okay. She said yes, but indicated that she really wanted a subject change. Several times. The man did not take this well. He scowled over that quite a bit.
It is interesting that a man who has spent over 14 years with a seriously disabled child for whom he must have constantly needed and demanded understanding from others could not grant an iota of understanding to my child. It clearly didn't even cross his mind that she might be different, just that she might be rude.
I guess anyone can be tolerant of differences. As long as they're your own.