There comes a time for the big revel. You've been there with me. You meet someone new. You do the general pleasantries of what you do, are you married which of course leads to if you have kids.
Then you mention you do. For a brief moment you are on an even playing field. You are a parent talking to another parent. You should have gobs in common. Except...
Your son, while he is 8 is not in the same grade as their kid. In fact he's been in school so long since early intervention preschool days and you kind of panic and forget what grade he SHOULD be in.
He does not ride the big bus home to the bus stop while you wait parked in your mini van with all the other parents. He is dropped at your door by a small bus. (Not gonna lie. This is kind of a sweet perk. My kid's bus stop is my driveway)
His afternoons are not filled with little leagues, being casually dropped off at someone else's house or off to ride alone on his bike. It is get in Mom's car. Go to speech, OT, PT, music therapy, Social Skills training playgroups etc... (Heck getting him to ride a bike was a big effing deal that required a consult with both an OT and PT)
So eventually the jig is up. You really can't pretend to be one of the crowd and you mention that your kiddo is on the spectrum. It's like pulling back the curtain to reveal that The Wizard is just a man. (who just happens to be on the spectrum of course)
You might get one of several reactions.
"Deer caught in headlights" (She is NOT ONE OF US!)
"Oh my neighbor's boyfriend's daughter nephew is on the spectrum too!" (Yeah and? You don't have to prove how down on Autism Ave. you are folks.)
"But he's eating wheat. Don't you know about you can cure him like Jenny McCarthy did?" ( I'm sure she is who you would consult with for all your major medical decisions too right?)
"Oh I see" followed by treating you like one of the gang. (Of course this is a rare but glorious reaction. I have to keep myself from kissing people on the mouth when this happens. Socially inappropriate much? Gee I wonder where the kiddo gets it? )
My frustrations and joys maybe different than yours, I am a parent just the same. At the end of the day, we all are in it together. Cut me some slack would ya? Be nice to me and I might just share a side of fries with you.