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Does anyone have a special needs child that could help me do the right thing?

I hope this doesn't offend anyone and I hope I'm not crossing a boundary or anything, I truely want to do what's right but I'm not sure what that is... there is a boy in my daughter's swim class that is special needs, I don't know any details or anything like that, but I sit in the bleachers with his mom and I don't know how to be about it. She's very nice we just have small talk, I imagine she's got it tough with her son. I don't know if I'm supposed to say something about it, ignore it or what... Please teach me how to do the right thing.

 
Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 12:32 PM on May. 27, 2009 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • I would talk to this Mom like you would any other Mom of a kid in the class. Talk about schools or friends or playdates or whatever. Obviously, if this child is in a regular class with your daughter, than his mother is encouraging "normal" activities. Just be her friend for now & as you get closer, she will share what she wants to share. My son has speech therapy so I guess technically he is special needs but we never think of him that way--he is just my son. I'm sure that Mom feels the same--that boy is her son & they are probably both happy to make new friends. Have fun!
    funnyface1204

    Answer by funnyface1204 at 1:13 PM on May. 27, 2009

  • Start simple. Ask her what school he goes to .
    rkoloms

    Answer by rkoloms at 12:34 PM on May. 27, 2009

  • Dont be afraid to ask questions, most moms will answer questions if you have any. Are you just wondering what his disability is? That is a normal question to me, now if someone asked me a more personal/rude question like how can you handle him? Then I might get a little ofended because it sounds like your saying he would be more hard to take care of him because hes not "normal"-otherwise if you have no real questions just leave it alone and take it as you made a new friend :) (was typing this fast, some stuff might not make sense lol)
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:38 PM on May. 27, 2009

  • my thinking is dont say anything unless she says something.i would small talk and maybe she will say something.i would say ya my daughter is having a terrible time doing (lets say)the crawl stroke.lead into it maybe.there is a girl on my daughters soccer team and i think she has special needs but i dont think i would ever say anything because it looks like she also has a growth disorder.my daughter has a learning dis.with a iep.you would never know it though.she doesnt talk much because it is hard to formulate her words but she is in a regular class she just gets pulled out for speech and reading.but she is a good swimmer.either that or maybe go on the internet.figure out what her disibilities are then go online .you will unfortunaltly be able to figure it out.it may not be exact but you will get an idea.
    raineydays377

    Answer by raineydays377 at 12:41 PM on May. 27, 2009

  • Don't be afraid to ask, I wouldn't start the conversation that way but don't see any issue with asking in the middle of small talk.

    I have an almost 18 year old son that is special needs, speech/language and comprehension which is pretty bad, even today, and in the last month he was also diagnosed as bi-polar. I would prefer to be asked then have a parent sit and wonder. I think most parents of children with special needs feels this way.
    luckysevenwow

    Answer by luckysevenwow at 2:21 PM on May. 27, 2009

  • I think you should be open with her. As long as you are sensitive, you could ask her about her son's medical condition. Ask how she's doing? Sometimes it's hard to deal with medical/developmental problems, and she may need someone to talk to. I have a special needs child (he has Asperger's) and I actually love talking about him. Ask her about her son's favorite things, what he likes to do, would he want to have a play date with your daughter? It will be beneficial for your daughter, too, if she grows up with friends of all abilities. She will develop empathy, cooperation, and recognition of the value of all people. I applaud you for wanting to take the first step. I think you should just be open and honest, and she will appreciate it. Good luck with your new friend!
    Jodie118

    Answer by Jodie118 at 2:33 PM on May. 27, 2009

  • I see no reason to bring up his disability to her.Why don't you try to invite her for coffee or lunch and talk to her.If she brings it up,you can ask her how she is doing.If you come right out and ask her at swim practice,she might take offense.I have a son with autism,and would be taken aback if someone were to ask me how I coped,no matter if they were sincere or not.I don't consider my son's condition to be small talk material.We mom's like to feel that our children don't stick out as much as they might do.If your child were to ask about him,that could be your "in" to talk to her,make it a learning experience for all.
    TMJ121099

    Answer by TMJ121099 at 3:35 PM on May. 27, 2009