HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - In this 22-year-old’s room, you’ll find every Disney movie ever made.
He has autism, and while that’s difficult enough on its own, COVID-19 has made his condition even harder to manage.
“When people walk by him in Walmart with a mask on, he literally hits the wall,” his mother says.
She wanted to keep her and her autistic son’s identity private, but she isn’t letting anything stop her from sharing her concerns on a possible mask ordinance in Alabama.
“He doesn’t have the verbal capability of saying, ‘I’m scared. What you’re doing is scaring me.‘”
Unable to understand the concept of masks and social distancing, her son can experience traumatic episodes, causing him to lash out and even become violent.
“He’s going to hit me, and he’s a big boy,” she says. “I’m not a big person, and he can really hurt me.”
His episodes have already cost her a broken cheek bone, busted lips and chipped teeth. Still, a single mother, she has no option but to bring him along.
“You take away my ability to go to the grocery without wearing a mask… I have no one to watch him,” she says. “There is no one that can take care of him but me, and you literally take away my ability to feed us. You take away my ability to go shopping of any kind to get even necessities.”
To make matters worse, she and her son both have lupus, so she understands full well the fear of COVID-19.
“If we get this virus, there is no doubt we will die.”
So, she says she gives everything to God, trusting He determined long ago what day would be their last.
She also asks that masks in public be a choice.
“My son has the right to walk out of these doors and not be terrified of you just as much as you have the right to walk out the door and not be terrified of getting a virus.”
To those who do choose to wear masks, she asks you not be quick to judge those who aren’t. You may not know the circumstance.
“Walk my shoes. Walk my mile... God knows I did not say, ‘Please, Lord. Give me two autistic children.’ That was not the life I planned, but it is the life I have. This is the child I have, and I will defend him unto the ends of this earth because if anybody is God’s child, it’s that little boy.”