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Special needs children in public...

How do you react in public when you child acts up, or has a screaming fit or displays behaviors common to their disorder? Especially when you know that you have done all that you can to calm them.

There are times when I have removed my child from the situation but other times I just can't do that. The other day I was depositing a check at the bank and my son hit the alarm and the cops came. The officer as well as the bank staff assured me that it was fine, they were not upset but I was mortified. I felt like I was a bad parent but I had both kids with me and both have special needs and while trying to keep them in line, sign papers and talking to the teller, my son slipped away from me and in a split second had pushed the button.

He didn't go behind the counter, the bank had desks set up for new accounts against the wall and he crawled under one of them.
I was really surprised that no one got angry with him or with me. In other situations I have been asked to leave a public place because of daughters high pitched squeals and hand flapping and constant noise making. So it really depends I guess on where you are and who you are around. Some people are understanding and others look at me with disgust.


Asked by AnonNdrag at 10:50 PM on Apr. 10, 2013 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 19 (7,783 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • When I was growing up it was still not all that cmmon to see people with any kind of disorder out in public. When I was in high school was the first time I had seen any one in a school setting that was not just like everyone else. That is not to say that I had no experience, I had one aunt that was always "at home" and had been all her life My father was very active in Boys Town and consequently so was I. There were all types of boys there and I was priveledged to meet many of them. Most people were not as lucky as I was and I think that even though children are "mainstreamed" more and more many people simply have had to little experience with anyone who is not "perfect in every way". I aplaud those brave parents and children who go out knowing there might be stares and even rude comments because you are the ones who make others aware of all children. All children are a blessing but I think it takes experience to

    Answer by Dardenella at 11:13 PM on Apr. 10, 2013

  • the blessing you have not yet had a hance to experience. I know that it can't always be easy for you to step into a possible meltdown situation. But people need to see what happens and how you do help your child and that they are not scarey. People are by nature a bit on the stupid side and fear the different and partly because when they see you child's struggles they know deep down inside them, that that could just as easily have been their child and they fear tthey would not be up for the task.
    The child that I do not want to see is the brat that the parents allow to run around and terrorize every table because MOMMY is to busy to notice anything their child does.
    I just hope the next time I smile and wave at "your" child. Your family will smile and wave back.

    Answer by Dardenella at 11:21 PM on Apr. 10, 2013

  • KA, that's appalling what the woman in the restaurant said to you! I wish I'd been there so I could have threatened to cut that dumb bitch's tongue out with a dull kitchen knife.

    That being said, I'm not surprised. When I got engaged, a complete stranger at Burger King came up to me and a friend of mine and said she could tell by the ring on my finger that someone was going to marry me, which was quite a surprise to her, and that hopefully I'd been fixed so I wouldn't have a bunch of blind babies the world didn't need. It was like a punch in the gut, and I was so shocked I couldn't even breathe, much less speak. But my friend told the woman that she should make an appointment with her doctor to get herself sterilized because we didn't need any more stuipid people to reproduce, there were enough in the world already.

    Answer by Ballad at 12:07 AM on Apr. 11, 2013

  • Like you, if possible, I remove my DD from the situation if I absolutely can't calm her. But sometimes, it's somewhere we have to be. I'm very glad no one got upset, but I can't say I'm surprised. I have found, in general, that people tend to be very kind. Most realize that the little one can't help it, & it goes a long way when it's obvious that mom or dad are trying. Sorry you were embarrassed, it happens to all of us at some point. Hugs!

    Answer by KA91 at 11:27 PM on Apr. 10, 2013

  • People can either accept that kids aren't all the same, or they can play a nice long game of hide-and-go-fuck-themselves. Sorry, but to me, that's just the way it is. Besides, there are a lot of parents with so-called normal kids who act worse than any with special needs do.

    I don't have a special needs child, but I was one, and it used to bother my mom to no end that we were stared at and whispered about. Her way of dealing was to take it out on me.

    Even now, I have to remember that if someone wants to be stuck up, it's her loss and not mine. People have left restaurants because they didn't want to sit near me and my service dog, or refused to serve me or take checks from me because they doubted that I could manage my own accounts.

    Hang in there, Mama. Don't let 'em get you down.

    Answer by Ballad at 11:37 PM on Apr. 10, 2013

  • That's awful, Ballad! It amazes me sometimes- I have met people who are the very souls of compassion, who have been kind when they had no reason to & it gained them nothing. & then I have met people like those women, who have somehow made it through their lives without learning to step outside their own lives & see past the ends of their noses.

    Answer by KA91 at 12:15 AM on Apr. 11, 2013

  • However, upon reflection, I now feel compelled to add that I have gotten looks of something close to fear when my DD is moving in a strange way. I have smacked a cell phone out of a 7 or 8 year old's hand because he tried to take a picture of my DD having a tantrum after I asked him not to. & I have been approached by a complete stranger in a restaurant, who proceeded to tell me that my precious child was my "punishment for my sins", that she shouldn't be in public, & this woman then asked if I'd been sterilized. Some people will always be ignorant asses.

    Answer by KA91 at 11:34 PM on Apr. 10, 2013

  • It's never been much of an issue for me. Sure, I've had a few instances where people are complete and utter asses, but they are few and far between.  If people are rude, what comes around goes around, I respond in the same manner I am approached.


    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 9:04 AM on Apr. 11, 2013

  • KA91 and Ballad, that is horrible that people reacted to you that and said those things about you but sadly I can relate. When I was at the dr.s office with my son waiting to see the neurologist, a woman sitting beside us was just making small talk and wanted to know why we were there and I told her that when I brought my daughter there to be diagnosed, I liked the dr so well that I wanted him to be the one to care for my son as well because he is so good with autistic children. She asked if my son had autism as well and at that point we didnt have a clear diagnosis but I said that he was delayed and on the spectrum and she asked me after I knew about my daughters disability why I didn't just abort my son rather than take a chance at having another disabled child. I told her that it wasn't his fault so why punish him and she then told me, no it's your fault and people like you that have all these kids just so you can...

    Comment by AnonNdrag (original poster) at 4:54 PM on Apr. 11, 2013

  • collect a welfare check and not have to work. I was like all these kids? I have two and I also work so that blows your theory out of the water. The idiot got up and left but omg did I want to punch her.

    Comment by AnonNdrag (original poster) at 4:55 PM on Apr. 11, 2013