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Playdate with friend's handicapped child

I recently found a friend from high school through facebook, we haven't seen each other in a long time and she wants to get together with our kids. Her DD is 7 years old and mentally handicapped (downs syndrome) and according to her talks/acts/communicates on about the level of a 2 year old.Now I have a very small 2 year old (not a special needs kid) and sometimes when she tries to be loving or playful will kick, or slam her head into someones, or do other things that accidentally hurt me or her dad or others. It's all innocent and not on purpose or to be mean, just because she's a baby and doesn't understand. I'm afraid that her child will hurt my child when she tries to play with her. Also I'm pretty ignorant about what downs syndrome actually entails because I've never known anyone like that. I also don't want to disrespect my friend or her DD who I'm sure is a sweet heart. What should I do?

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 10:08 PM on Mar. 28, 2011 in Parenting Debate

Answers (9)
  • Perhaps the best way to resolve this is to find an activity that will be calming for both children & minimize the possibility of any unwanted 'side-effects' of play. Try engaging in something like water coloring, simple to clean up & you can tell your child 'why not paint how mich you love/like someone instead?'
    EdwinsMommy

    Answer by EdwinsMommy at 10:15 PM on Mar. 28, 2011

  • *much, sorry, bad spelling
    EdwinsMommy

    Answer by EdwinsMommy at 10:16 PM on Mar. 28, 2011

  • So your child "lovingly or playfully" kicks or headbutts people and your worried about this other child hurting her??

    I'd give try and see how things go. You can always cut the date short if you need to, I'd try to be a little more open minded.
    skittles1108

    Answer by skittles1108 at 10:20 PM on Mar. 28, 2011

  • I think it will be just fine. Maybe do a little research on your own about children with Down's Syndrome so that you know what to expect. I have generally found that children (and adults) with Down's are super sweet and friendly. I don't think you will have anything to worry about. I would go on the playdate and stay close to the children for the first date to ease your mind. I'm sure everything will be just fine. :)
    Kword

    Answer by Kword at 10:22 PM on Mar. 28, 2011

  • Generally down syndrome kids tend to be happy go lucky and sweet as pie. I understand that you may have never been around a person with a disability before and don't know what to expect.... that's ok because everyone has to learn at some point. What you may want to do is just be honest with her mom, just say that you have never been around a child with down syndrome before and are not 100% sure how to interact with her.If she is an adult, I'm sure she will appreciate your honesty, instead having you treat her daughter with stereotypes. My best advise is just try to go in with an open mind and relax. A child is a child before their disability, and I'm sure everything will be fine. :)
    Namaste17

    Answer by Namaste17 at 10:24 PM on Mar. 28, 2011

  • jigsaw ribbonWell said, Namaste17!

    Robsmommy

    Answer by Robsmommy at 11:53 PM on Mar. 28, 2011

  • " sometimes when she tries to be loving or playful will kick, or slam her head into someones, or do other things that accidentally hurt me or her dad or others. It's all innocent and not on purpose or to be mean, just because she's a baby and doesn't understand."

    what should you do?

    I'd say before you worry about someone else's kid, you should learn to discipline your own. A two year old is not a baby. A two year can understand 'no'. I've worked with kids my whole life, and it's the parents who make excuses for thier kids that are the one's to be concerned about. Discipline your kids. It's not innocent, lovingly, or playful.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:14 PM on Mar. 29, 2011

  • I agree with Namaste17. Be honest with the mom, tell her you arent sure how to act around her daughter and go in with an open mind. The good thing about young kids is they'll play with anyone who will play with them. We had a little spanish boy next door to us, didn't speak english and my kids don't speak spanish. Never stopped them from playing together everyday last summer. I'd give it a try!
    Apple_Pie2010

    Answer by Apple_Pie2010 at 12:00 AM on Mar. 30, 2011

  • Well you should go ver with your child just make sure you watch them and make sure nothing happens.
    Tanielle

    Answer by Tanielle at 2:15 AM on Mar. 30, 2011

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