Monday, February 08, 2010

Back off dude . . .

I just read an article over at 5 Minutes for Special Needs that got me to thinking. Run on over there and check it out. If not, it speaks about "giving in" to our kid's with special needs. The author, Ellen, was taking about a trip to McDonalds when her son really wanted to sit at his "normal" table that was already taken. The kind father and daughter who was sitting there got up and moved. Another father gave her a snarky look. Ellen admits she could've simply been too sensitive and misconstrued his look, but who amoung us has not mistaken a look as being aimed pointedly in our direction.

I am well aware that some families chose to keep their children's disabilities private. But I am the woman who would use this kind of moment to educate people. I suppose if I was unsure if the dad was being snarky or not I would direct my attention to the dad who was kind enough to move tables. I would profusely thank him for noticing that my son was quite fond of that table and with his particular special needs routines are important and he doens't really understand boundaries. I would of course do this at a decibel level that would be sure to be heard by possible snarky dad. I would tell them that "some people" don't understand my child has special needs and I appreciate his kindness. I would also ask my child to say thank you.

If I was well aware that the snarky dad was indeed being snarky and possibly mumbling about me giving in to my child, I would direct my attention directly to him and let him know that my child is special needs and even though he may look "typical" he has organic brain damage. My volume would be in direct corelation to the volume he used showing his displeasure.

For those of you who have not been reading here that long, I had this happen once in Sam's Club and once in Pizza Hut.

How would you handle it?


Tudu said...

We have had a few horrible interactions with strangers. One time I was kicked while I was restraining one of my kids, had the police called on us too many times to count, and tons of comments about birth control. I carry a card that explains our situation and they have stopped. I can't tell you how much it has helped.

mommytoalot said...

I tend to overreact though. I get all red in the face and feel like crying. Just yesterday when Joey was told to wait in line to pay for what he wanted, he got mad and hit a display with granola bars on it..nothing fell , but the lady behind us says to him," stop, you can't do that! Someone could get hurt"..Ok..shut up lady..I had him and was dealing with it ..but I didn't say that of course, I just removed him..he ran off and he did not get the c.d he wanted.

Miz Kizzle said...

I don't see anything wrong with letting kids have their way sometimes. If it means a lot to them to sit at a certain table or take a particular shopping cart, what's the harm, as long as no one is being inconvenienced?
Some parents seem to be obsessed with imposing their will on their children for no reason other than to show them "who's boss."
Then there are the people you see when you're out and about with the kids who give children a sour look just because they're laughing and having a good time, not being rowdy but just enjoying themselves as children do.I don't understand sourpusses like that.
I'll admit that I'm a pushover about the little things when it comes to my kids. We have to be strict in so many regards that it's a pleasure sometimes to tell the kids to go ahead and take the last cookie or to let them choose where they're going to sit at a restaurant. As long as they're polite and considerate of other people's feelings I don't worry about them being "spoiled."

MomInTheTrench said...

Yikes. I don't get this yet. My son looks too little, and he's so darned cute! I just get those looks and comments about loving him enough.

You've really made me think. I guess I will probably go the "educational route" with you.