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dealing with another parent whose child is autistic

Post » Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:46 pm

ok here’s another rant which brings us to three:

we were at the park this morning on Clapham Common, off Grandison road. my son was playing on the big train when another boy, older and bigger, came barreling past, and threw him face-first into the wooden frame. my son is not quite two; i’m guessing this boy was six. i was horrified, my son was distraught, and my husband was outraged.

the boy’s father was standing just feet away. he did nothing. as my son screamed in pain, sobbed and clung to me, we all stared in anger at this man, who did nothing whatsoever. elicited no reaction at all. he never actually stopped smiling, as if he was having a brilliant day. we all began to talk at once, loudly and in anger. his response?

“what’s the big deal?” ...literally.

that was what tipped the balance. had he apologized, had he told his son, sternly, that sort of behavior was unacceptable, that would have been that - an accident. but under the circumstances, i read him the riot act. you don’t let your children act like that.

his only attempt at explanation - or defense - was that his son was autistic. as if that were carte blanche to go around pummeling other children. it wasn’t what he said so much as the way he said it: “he’s autistic,” a shrug.

it was as if, having observed his son’s condition, he were free to saunter away. as if he couldn’t possibly be expected to supervise him. or his effect on other children.

confronted with the statement that the boy was disabled, I could only counter with the accusation,
“that’s all the more reason to set a good example!” this elicited a blank stare. I insisted,
“that’s not the point! if your child hurts someone, you apologize.” he asked,
“what’s wrong with you?” to which I responded,
“no wonder he’s autistic. his father’s an idiot.”

i’m not proud of this. but it happened in the face of the worst grinning idiot I’ve met since George W. Bush. I met Bush. He gave a talk at my graduate school. this guy was just as oblivious. and in consequence, just that offensive.

for a point of contrast, though my son is not yet two, he is tender and kind with other children. if he kicks a ball and it goes astray, he shouts, “Sorry!” he came away with a scrape on the underside of his chin - thankfully, nothing worse.

I don’t blame the boy. i blame his father. it’s not normal to shove a smaller child into a door frame. it’s not normal to leave him hurt and crying. any other parent would have apologized. any other parent would have told his son that that was not acceptable.

as a parent, you are responsible if your child hurts someone. having a child with a disability does not absolve you. you are still responsible. if anything, even more so, because your child is not equipped to learn from the encounter or avoid it.

the real danger of this pattern is, his son still has no idea that you can’t go around hurting people for fun because it suits you. if your child poses a physical danger to others, and you’re unwilling or unable to take the situation in hand, you don’t belong at a public park.

there’ss a park on Bolingbroke Road designed specifically for disabled kids. it’s large, well-equipped, and staffed by professionals. i’ve passed it many times. that’s where this man should take his son. he belongs in a place that’s safe for him, and our children deserve a place that’s safe for them. they don’t belong together. someone else will get hurt.

i didn’t broach the topic this morning. I was so angry, there was no way it would have sounded like anything but an insult. I didn’t want the boy to hear someone talking about him this way in front of two dozen people. but I don’t feel comfortable with the notion that this could happen again.

what if he pushed someone off the top of a climbing frame? or off the top of a slide?

if i see this father and son again, how do I ask them to use the park for children who are disabled, instead of the park on the Common?

what do I do if they refuse?
is there anyone to talk to at the Council?
thoughts and suggestions are welcome, with many thanks.

 

Cals_mum_silly
 
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Re: dealing with another parent whose child is autistic

Post » Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:22 pm

"They don't belong together"?!?!!!!! You can't be serious. April Fool's Day is 7 months away, maybe try reposting this then?

 

Squinkle
 
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Re: dealing with another parent whose child is autistic

Post » Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:36 pm

'He belongs in a playground for disabled children' ?!! This is a truly shocking post.

 

Pud1
 
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Re: dealing with another parent whose child is autistic

Post » Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:43 pm

Ummmmm wow!

Upsetting if your son was hurt, and shame on father for not apologising........ But advocating segregating disabled children?!?! Wow. Horrific.

 

SusieL
 
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Re: dealing with another parent whose child is autistic

Post » Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:50 pm

I was so horrified when I read this post I had to refresh my screen to believe it really says what it does. Yes, if your child knocks over someone else's it's normal to apologise but for a variety of reasons it doesn't always happen. Your only course of action is just to keep a close eye should you find yourself in the park with him again. The only way to guarantee your child is not knocked over hurt in the park is to not go - it happens- my son was purposely pushed off that train when he was 2 and no apology was forthcoming, you simply remember the face & keep an eye out the next time. I'm really sorry but the truly awful things you have just gone on to write make you seem like the irresponsible/unpleasant adult here.

 

nuttymummy
 
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Re: dealing with another parent whose child is autistic

Post » Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:58 pm

I agree with Susie L.

I was just about to say that he should of apologised and should of said something to his son Autistic or not. He should of done but seperating disabled children is just outrageous!

 

Minnie
 
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Re: dealing with another parent whose child is autistic

Post » Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:30 pm

I had your back for the first half of your post. Then you suggested segregating children. My jaw dropped.

I have a nephew and a niece who are autistic. My niece is six, the same age you assume the other boy to be. She goes to a mainstream school, despite her 'disability'. Had she behaved like that boy, her parents would have reprimanded her and apologised profusely. But the thought that she should be in a *special* playground because she's autistic, whilst her siblings, cousins and friends get to be in a *normal* (not sure what other word to use) playground just utterly horrifies me.

 

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Re: dealing with another parent whose child is autistic

Post » Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:08 pm

While no one wants their child to be hurt by rough behaviour at the playground, your comments about this child "belonging" in a playground for disabled children whilst children without a disability play in another playground is ignorant and insulting! If a parent of a disabled child chooses to take them to a specific environment because they feel that's what works best for them then that's their choice - but you absolutely cannot tell them that their child cannot socialise with others.

This type of attitude that people with disabilities should be kept away from mainstream society because they're deemed to be unable to function in it is precisely what has enabled the institutions in which the appalling and unforgivable abuse of vulnerable disabled people has taken place.

For too many generations disabled people have been treated as second class and it is vital that we take responsibility to ensure that our children look beyond disability and simply see another member of society.

I recall your post Cals_mum_silly about being ignored by another parent. I felt sympathy for you until today - perhaps there is more to that than meets the eyes if that parent heard you voicing such ignorant views.

I'm sorry your child was hurt and that your exchange with the father of the other child was unconstructive but there is absolutely no excuse for what you then went on to advocate.

 

B&BsMum
 
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Re: dealing with another parent whose child is autistic

Post » Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:41 pm

Also, to say to a parent that their child is autistic because their father is an idiot is unbelievable upsetting and nieve.
For the record, the wonderful Lady Allen playground has play equipment that allows disabled children, and their siblings, to access the same kind of play experiences that other children take for granted. It is a great local charity and well worth supporting.

 

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Re: dealing with another parent whose child is autistic

Post » Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:17 pm

Wow. I'm speechless (ok not quite)

Assuming you are not trolling (which reading your previous posts does seem a distinct possibility), you are being totally unreasonable and your statements about disabled people are unacceptable. The park is not for your personal use. It is for everyone to enjoy. Sometimes that means people will do things that you don't like. If you live in London you are going to have to learn to be more open minded, accepting and tolerant.

 

CSML
 
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Re: dealing with another parent whose child is autistic

Post » Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:27 pm

Did you never hear your teacher telling you OP to re-read before you hand over anything or in this instance before you click on "submit".

Hope you can still look at yourself in the mirror tomorrow morning. You lost all sympathy when you decided to segregate and patronise.

Sorry for your son but yes this happen in a playground where kids are v excited and run like crazy.

 

supergirl
 
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Re: dealing with another parent whose child is autistic

Post » Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:34 pm

Speechless....there is no excuse for your behaviour and your response to the father. And to then go on to suggest a separate playground for autistic children is horrendous. Really the most shocking post I have read on this site....

 

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Re: dealing with another parent whose child is autistic

Post » Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:38 pm

Quite right OP. Better still, let's just keep disabled children in cages - or maybe just gas them like the Nazis did?

Horrible horrible woman. You posted before questioning why other mothers were hostile towards you, blaming everyone but yourself.

I think we have our answer.

 

Jen66
 
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Re: dealing with another parent whose child is autistic

Post » Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:54 pm

I thought perhaps I was over-reacting or misinterpreted your comments so I cut and pasted it into another forum I belong to.

Nope, everyone there is of the same opinion as the replies you've had here. Nasty, bigoted excuse for a human being.

That the father's response wasn't apologetic has nothing whatsoever to do with the autistic child. Children can be rougher than we'd like, no matter what *disability* they have - or don't have. *Normal* children can be less than gentle, too, you know.

 

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Re: dealing with another parent whose child is autistic

Post » Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:03 pm

OK, i was the father you're talking about. I really don't want to get involved in an internet slanging match, but i just wanted to clarify a few things.

1) As you say yourself, it was an accident - and by the way one that happens every day in busy playgrounds (i.e. big child runs past small child and inadvertantly knocks them over).

2) Nevertheless of course i would have apologised but before i could say anything you were shouting in his face. For a 4 (not 6) year old autistic child it doesn't come much worse than a stranger shouting in your face.

3) I told you he was autistic as i thought it might stop you shouting at him but you then started shouting at me instead.

4) As I really didn't want to spend my sunday morning arguing with strangers in a playground, i then walked away (also i was with his two younger siblings). If i was smiling it's because i couldn't believe you were trying to carry the argument on - and what other response is there to the line "no wonder he's autistic, his father's an idiot". By the way, after you left two other mother's came over to me to ask if i was ok (thanks by the way).

I'll end by just saying if you had any idea of the journey my wife and I have been on over the last four years as we gradually realised that all was not right with our gorgeous little boy, who faces more challenges in a single day than you or i have probably faced in our entire life, then maybe you would think twice about posting such hurtful and unpleasant twaddle.

And if it's any consolation, i don't like Bush either.

 

riccione
 
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