It never ceases to amaze me what people will say to the disabled and their caregivers. And one of the toughest things this community faces is prejudice against people with disabilities you cannot see. Turns out if you can’t see ‘em, you must not have ‘em. A friend of mine was at Disneyland with her 6′ 6 autistic son. With thick, dark wavy hair and cool glasses he looks for all the world to be, well, as normal as any of us get. But since tight crowds and lack of personal space can cause extreme stress issues and a full-tilt meltdown for him, they use a disabled pass. (This is obtained at guest services with a doctor’s letter.) They were waiting patiently by one ride’s exit, (exits serve as the handicapped access for many of the park’s rides) when an attendant began to get huffy with them. Although they asked for no special treatment or even to be admitted before others standing in queue, the attendant continued to give them grief for their handicapped status. When my poor exasperated friend finally asked what the problem was, the attendant pointed an accusatory finger at her son and blurted out, He’s not handicapped enough to have that pass! Enough? Really? You want my son to be more disabled? Thanks. By the way, hope enjoy your career as a cast member in the Happiest S*&thole on Earth. I don’t know how, but my friend did not say that. I don’t know how she didn’t explain to Mr. Pimply-faced Ride Operator in excruciating detail what’s it’s like to deal with an autistic person who’s stuck in their own emotional cul-de-sac. What it’s like to manage someone twice your size who’s determined to hurt himself. What it means to see your child so far gone into his own mind that even you, his own mother, cannot get him out. Instead, she did the sensible thing and called for a supervisor who finally let the kid on the ride. This same poor soul, plagued by years of insomnia, was told that if she got a colonic that this might release the toxins keeping her from desperately needed rest. So exhausted she was willing to try anything, she gave in and climbed up on the table for the procedure. The technician quickly got to work. Whilst in the midst of this, ahem, delicate procedure, she asks my friend if she had been unhappy at any time during her pregnancy (thus contributing to, and making her liable for, her son’s autism.) Vulnerable, prone and trying to accommodate medieval instruments in sensitive places, she elected not to get into a debate about how the lack of cheery moments during gestation gave her son a life-long disability. And so it goes.