Kim told me today that Demetrius and another boy we are friends with, also autistic, had some trouble at the park with other boys. The other boys made fun of Demetrius and the son of our friend, and it really upset Maya. She couldn’t get over it. Kim approached the other mom, and she got defensive.
“How could Chad know your son is autistic?”
This is true, how could he? And I think there is a lesson, no matter how freakin’ frustrating, here. When we approach another parent of a child who is teasing, and one we don’t know… one probably has to approach knowing that the parent, when you tell them their ‘little Charlie’ is making fun of a special needs child – they’ll probably have one of three reactions:
- Anger and disappointment
- Anger, misplaced or not, aimed at you, for pointing this out
I suspect that when you catch a parent with such a statement/revelation – that it would be either the first or third bullets. Kim knew this, swallowed it and moved on, but man, I bet that was tough to hear.
I don’t know how I would have handled, and apparently Maya was quite upset. She told Kim that she’s going to grow up and write a book about brothers ‘who are autism’ and she was embarrassed. Why, Kim asked? Well, at one point, at the sand pit, in front of those boys, SuperD put a bucket on his head. How could they not make fun of him (I was that kind of little boy at one point)? Man, I know Kim sighed deeply and then had a talk with our son.
Tough love from Kim. He knows that he shouldn’t do that, and he gets upset when the other boys made fun of him. I wonder if they told him to do it and he did it? Hmmm…. Hope she had a glass of wine tonight.
Any thoughts or advice on how you’ve handled these moments with other parents, from the readers out there?
I think Kim handled it better than most, but any advice is always welcomed….