Need advice for a friend — The Bump
Special Needs

Need advice for a friend

A good friend called today b/c she was upset over something that happened with her DD and wasn't sure how to handle it.  I'm not sure either, so thought I would get some opinions here.

My friends DD is 4.5 and has sever ASD (non-verbal, stimming,etc.).  They were at a MOM's Club playdate today and another little girl the same age announced that she didn't want to play with my friends daughter.  I'm not sure what happened after that but my friend wants to say something to the girls mom (who is a friend of hers also) but is not sure what to say.

I know kids at this age do this to other kids ( typical or not)  but it really hurt my friend...honestly, it really hurt me to hear that too:(

What do you say to the "mean" kid's mom???

 Thanks in advance!

-M

Re: Need advice for a friend

  • I'm a lurking school psychologist, I hope my presence doesn't offend anyone since I don't have any lo's with a disability.

    In my experience, when  child that age announces that they don't want to play with a child with a disability it has more to do with them not understanding what is going on with the other child not that they are choosing to be mean.  At that age they are still trying to make sense of the social world themselves and then there's this person who is there age that doesn't talk and might do some unusual things. I think it can be scary at times for them. 

    I know for your friend it is very hurtful and she has a right to be hurt. However, the best thing she could probably do is start by having an honest conversation with the moms in the group about her child's condition b/c most likely the other moms are feeling the same as the little girl.  Most parents of typical children have no idea how to approach this topic with their kids and have their own mixed feelings about the child. 

    She could let them know what she hopes to get out of her lo attending the group, how they can help facilitate play with the other kids and ask to speak to the other children about her condition. There is the Autism Acceptance Book that addresses this issue that maybe she or another parent could read to the group and let the kids ask questions about her dd.

    In my experience, once children know what's going on and that it's ok to play with the child they become more accepting.

  • I would FIRST probably not take the comments as rude, but as realistic for the other little girl because she doesnt and won't understand what's going on until someone explains it to her. However, your friend is going to FEEL the way she is going to FEEL because it DOES really hurt. So, don't demean that part!!! 

    If your friends mom says anything to her, maybe remind her what this all looks like to a very veunerable 4.5 year old girl who doesn't know better first. If she says something, maybe make it in context that she doesn't want to make her little girl uncomfortable and needs to be her child's voice for her. 

    idk. Im not in that situation yet, Ive had plenty of kids/relatives kids ask 'what' is my son doing, but not yet to the point of 'I dont want to play because of that' yet at 3.5 yrs. Im not looking forward to it, but I WILL be his voice when I can.

    give her (((hugs))) 

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  • image-auntie-:

    It's a real gift to see your child as others do. It can hurt like hell, but it is always instructive.

    The thing is, I hesitate to describe another 4 1/2 year old as a "mean girl". That's low. I'm guessing this little girl on spectrum has a lot of challenging and difficult behaviors that are frustrating and confusing to peers. Blasting another child for recognizing that this girl behaves in unexpected ways isn't going to change anything. It would be better to look at the areas where this child struggles and make a plan of rote instruction to teach her to behave in a manner that is more appropriate to her peer group.

    Your friend might find a local support group's ASD meet up a better choice for socialization for her child now than typically developing kids at a general MOMs Club.

    You are right, calling a 4 1/2 year old mean is low, but I ment that more sarcastically than anything...hence the quotes.  I also agree that my friends' ASD child's behavior is difficult and confusing for other children (and their parents).  Everyone in the club knows about her diagnosis but I'm not sure how each parent has communicated this too their child.

    As for finding a support group, my friend already belongs to several ASD support groups.  The thing is that they don't have the numbers to be as organized as a traditional mom's group, so there is no real equivalent to that in our area.  Plus, my friend is hoping that having her child attend MOM's Clubs events will help her DD somehow b/c of the NT peers.  Not to mention that my friend has been in this club since her DD was an infant (and before they knew she was on the spectrum) and she doesn't want to lose this social network for her.

    Thoughts??

  • If she is going to continue going to the group, it will do her no favors to not explain (somehow) what autism really is. Noone really knows. Her mom group friends DON'T KNOW!!!  The media has done a disservice and if she REALLY thinks they are the best ones to continue to social network with 'for' her child, she probably needs to vocally advocate for her a bit. 

    I don't mean that as harsh. If i were talking directly to your friend, I think i would reword that a bit. its late. sorry. 

    [url=http://lilypie.com][img]http://lmtf.lilypie.com/RShCm4.png[/img][/url]
    [url=http://lilypie.com][img]http://lbyf.lilypie.com/5InYm4.png[/img][/url]
    [url=http://lilypie.com][img]http://lbyf.lilypie.com/HFstm4.png[/img][/url]
  • imagebreezy0629:

    If she is going to continue going to the group, it will do her no favors to not explain (somehow) what autism really is. Noone really knows. Her mom group friends DON'T KNOW!!!  The media has done a disservice and if she REALLY thinks they are the best ones to continue to social network with 'for' her child, she probably needs to vocally advocate for her a bit. 

    I don't mean that as harsh. If i were talking directly to your friend, I think i would reword that a bit. its late. sorry. 

     I think that is one of the real struggles for parents of ASD kids...finding a social network for them that "fits".  You want them to be around NT kids but it's a struggle to fit in/keep up, etc but you also don't want their only social network to be other ASD kids b/c that is limiting also.

    I think what is really though for my friend also is that she has made all of these wonderful freindships with these woman and she doesn't want to lose that for herself, which I can completely understand. 

    I do think that she needs to vocally advocate for her child in this and any future situations.  Thanks for the input.

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