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Makes me sad...and kinda angry!

Posted by on Jun. 26, 2010 at 12:43 PM
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Hello all! My name is Amy and I am mother to two beautiful children. A newborn daughter, Jocelynn and my older boy, Elias. Elias is 6 years old and has a Developmental Delay and Epilepsy.

In the last few months, Elias has been playing outside, and a neighbor boy (maybe a year older?) had been joining him. They would usually ride bikes together, but sometimes, would do other things together as well.

As any mom with a delayed child, I felt good about the fact that another child was willing to play with my son, despite his socially ineptness (is that a word??), and overall differences.

In the last few weeks, I've noticed the other boy has started playing with another child in the nieghborhood. At first, the rejection of Elias by the two kids didn't bother me. It's pretty typical for kids their age to find a new friend and decide to do the "your not my freind anymore" to another child.

Well, the situation escalated to more than just words. One day, the other boy went out of his way on his bicycle to "run into" the stroller Elias was pushing. Elias did tell him to "STOP!" so I didn't interfere, but if it would have happened again, I most definitely would have said something. My blood was really boiling that day! Sad thing is, the day this happened was the first time I heard Elias say, "My friend!" when he looked out the window.

Just the other day, Elias approached the lil boy, and said something along the lines of, "Want to race" which is what they used to do when they'd ride bikes together. The boy walked past him saying cruely, "No you don't!" and went into his house.

My son, to my knowledge, does not do well in social situations, and usually will do something really "weird" to get another childs attention like squealing, jumping, giving them a kiss, touching their hair or clothes in some way, or just getting really close to them. I felt horrible knowing my son, who is so awkward in social situations and has no idea how to "have" a friend, makes these leaps ad bounds only to be treated this way.

I have since started telling Elias that the boy is NOT his friend, that he is "mean" and uses "mean words. When he goes outdoors, I tell him the same thing, and tell him "Don't go by him, and don't go to his house." How much of this Elias comprehends is unknown. Just today, I checked on him and he was by the boy trying to talk to him. Ugh!

by on Jun. 26, 2010 at 12:43 PM
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by Lorna on Jun. 27, 2010 at 9:11 AM

Instead of telling your son that the boy isn't his friend, why don't you talk to the boy's mom.  Maybe she saw some socially unaceptable behaviour and doesn't know that your son has some issues.  She may have told her son to stay away from him (or her son may have told her that your son was doing something different).  By talking to his mom, then if she is willing, you both could help these boys develop a friendship. 

It's heartbreaking when kids are cruel.  I have a 16 year old son who does not have any disabilities.  When he was in grade 7, a new boy came into his school and my son's best friend suddenly didn't like him anymore.  There's nothing you can do to stop your child's pain, other than to direct them into other activities and encourage them to develop other friendships.


by on Jun. 27, 2010 at 1:02 PM

    If you think the Mother of the other kids will help, then talk to the Mom.  Sometimes, the Mom of the other child is the problem, and you would be wasting your time.   Is there anything you can do that your son might like?  Finger paints? some activity at the local library in the childrens department?  any other kids he can play with?? 

      Also, I think there is a normal period of time in our lives when we dont understand that people we call friends are not really our friends.   That is probably just something that is very complicated for your son to learn right now.   Keep teaching him that the mean kids are not the ones he should play with.   I hope the Mother of the other kids will help, this is really where a parent needs to step in.  Kids need to be taught how to be good friends to other kids.   If the mother of the other kid does not get involved, this kid will have problems chronically as he grows up, even if he is the "normal" one.   

      Is your son in school? maybe if you contact some of the parents of the kids in his class, they could have playdates. 

        With your newborn daughter, it may be hard to get out places, but that is a temporary problem, so do your best, give your son some other things to do, maybe take him to the bowling alley?  is there a boy scout or cub scout troop he can join?  anything he can do that will shed the light on his skills and abilities is healthy.   The one thing you dont want to reinforce is your son giving all of his attention to the kids who are mean to him.  There are much healthier things for him than that!    I hope it all works out!  I would start with the Mom of the other kid, and see if she will be willing to help.  Love, Diane

by Leslie on Jun. 28, 2010 at 5:19 PM

 I know it hurts us as parents when we see our kids hurting.  But on the bright side, how great that Elias is making that effort!!  Continue to encourage him to play and have fun with others.  Kids are kids and they have bad days just like everyone.  I suspect that this little boy is probably an overall good kid, since he befriended Elias in the beginning, despite their differences.  I'll bet he will come around and the two will be riding their bikes together again soon.  Also remember that children are pretty resilient, so he will probably forget all about this particular incident before you will.  :) 

You have gotten terrific responses here!  Please update and let us know how he is doing! 


by on Jul. 1, 2010 at 7:26 AM

There are many positive statements that you made, (believe it or not).  My son is DD as well but no where near the function of your child.  My son is 14 and still can't ride or bike or comprehend "Let's race", nor have even  said that at your son's age.  As heartbreaking as it would seem your situations sounds rather normal.  I would love  to have my son refer to children as his friends or ride  his bike. 

When we have a child with disabilities we forget,sometimes , to see their abilities.  Your son sound just that way.  He sounds like he has such potential!  I am happy for you that you get to experience "normal" child behavior.  I don't want to belittle how sad it is to see your little one get rejected by a neighborhood child but you do have a child that wants to make friends.  My kid still loves the old ladies.  LOL.  It can be so embarrassing but that is who he makes friends with. 

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