Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thursday


I can't really think of a better title for this post.
I'm a social worker. A nurturer by nature. I can't help myself. I would probably give the shirt off my back if someone needed it. I have spent my adult life working with kids. I find mental disabilities, disorders and illnesses fascinating. I think Autism is one of the more frustrating disorders. I am thankful for my children.
I have a friend. She is a new friend. She has a son with Autism. I know this. Maybe it affects the way I deal with him. I'm not sure. Most of the world does not know this about him. They probably assume he's just a strange or rude kid. I have watched how my friend handles him. I think she does a great job. I can't imagine how stressful and difficult it would be in addition to taking care of her other children.
Something happened tonight that has resonated with me.
We were watching our girls. The Dudes were crawling and climbing all over the place. Her son was sitting in the corner playing a game. There was another woman and her little boy in the room with us. The Dudes kept bothering my friends son. He didn't want them messing up his game. As I have seen with a lot Autistic children he is very blunt and to the point. He says what he is thinking. No filter.  He got up and walked over to the window away from where we were standing. My friend and I were watching the little kids. The Dudes learned how to crawl up on their stroller and we were trying to keep them from jumping off. Next thing I hear is the other mother in the room telling my friends son that "He wasn't talking to you. You don't have to be rude." Her tone of voice was very hateful.
First: This is a grown woman talking to a 10 year old boy she does not know.
Second: I don't know what happened leading up to this. I can imagine what happened. BUT, I'm not sure how I would feel about this woman saying that to my child.
Third: I was not okay with her saying this to my friends son.
My friend calmly looked at her son and had him go sit back down in his seat in the corner of the room. She never said anything to the other woman. She walked over and said something to her son that I could not hear. He sat there the remainder of the time we were in the room. My friend never said anything about it.
Every fiber in my body wanted to tell this woman to back off and leave my friends son alone. I'm a hot head. I won't deny it. I often speak and then think. Not the best way to do it. When I think someone is being mistreated I bristle up.
I did not say anything to the woman. My friend and I did not talk about it. I have thought about it the rest of the evening. Was my reaction wrong? I told Mr. Mayer about it. He was appalled at the woman's behavior as well. I told him that my friend never said a word to her or told her that he had Autism. Would that have helped? I'm not sure. It might have just made the other woman feel bad. However, it may have made her think before she spoke in the future.
How would you have handled that situation?

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