Behind your back, words overheard, or most hurtfully right to your face, you may have had someone say something that as parent of a child with special needs you wished you’d never have heard. No matter how you heard “Who’s KID is that?” it’s like a dagger in our hearts.
TRYING to enjoy the Olympics….as a Family….
Joey was 15 (over 6’ tall and quite mobile!), our daughters 12 and 5, and as a family along with Grandma we were trying to enjoy our time at the Olympic Village in Atlanta, Georgia during the 1996 games. I don’t recall what happened to get him going, but Joey began to have a meltdown right in the middle of Olympic Village Park. He wasn’t hurting anyone or himself, but he was having a fit. I stayed about 10 feet away watching. I heard it all—all the on-lookers comments as I pretended not to know him—staying just far enough away not to agitate him yet close enough in case he got more aggravated and I had to intervene.
WHAT got Him GOING?
A child’s acting out isn’t always because they are misbehaved—though there are those times. If you’re the parent, you already know that.
It might be:
- noises that are bothersome
- frustrations they can’t express
- too much to visibly take in
- too many people around
- too many people giving directives
- wanting to see more than they’re able
- list goes on….add your ideas:
Treading where no one else has been successful out in PUBLIC:
As parents, we know certain things might help and other things will just make it worse. For instance, when Joey is watching a sports game on TV and his team is losing, he gets very mad, and sometimes downright nasty. (And thus the reason we seldom take him to a live competitive event.) We’ve learned (at home) to leave the room so we’re not fuel to his fire. Entering our logic to his anger just doesn’t work. But in public, it’s much more complicated. And if “others” further complicate it and lend their thoughts and suggestions, or try to tread where no man has yet to be successful, we just know how bad it can get.
On some occasions we’ve asked people nicely not to be so “helpful!” We’ll never understand why they insist on being the first to figure out our child of 34 years, but they keep at it. On other occasions, we simply need to remove ourselves with an “excuse me.”
I guess it boils down to this: We don’t have all the answers either, so trying to extend more grace and fewer accusations would be so helpful to us! In the meantime, as we try to figure out our own child, we’ll be asking silently, “Whose kid IS THAT?!”