concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

My son is the "weird" kid in school

Had a kid come up to me the other day and say my son is weird. Had another kid start a fight w/ my son. Parents often avoid me b/c they don't want my son associating w/ their kids. They get mad at me b/c they feel I make excuses for my son's actions, and they believe I accept his behavior rather than try to correct it. I'm fed up w/ the ignorant comments, but I'm at a loss b/c I can't keep people from saying such hurtful things. When my son interacts w/ other children, he often will chase them and even get too much in their face. I agree that this is annoying, but I always intervene, and I try my best each time to teach my son the appropriate way to interact. B/c of his speech problem, he has a hard time communicating, so instead he gets touchy and in your face. Other children and parents misinterpret this behavior and believe my son is being a bully. My son, however, is not an angry child. He is also very social. He just needs to be taught the appropriate way to socialize. This takes time, but no one seems to understand that. One parent told me to my face that my son "needs to be rapped." I even had a kid say, "Your son has anger problems. In a few yrs he'll be throwing things, and it will only get worse." Can you imagine? I just want to cry, b/c no one seems or cares to understand the circumstances behind my son's behavior. The kids have shunned my son, and I fear if this continues, he will have no real friends. The whole thing makes me really sad.



mayamay's picture
mayamay

These adults and children have unrealistic expectations about your son's behavior. You can do some educating, but people still will expect "normal', because that's what normal is.

You are disappointed and frustrated because you have unrealistic expectations about other people's behavior. Their behavior is 'normal. Occasionally you will meet someone who is able to be kind. Kind people are not normal. They are rare. People who are able to step back and suspend judgment are rare. People who are willing to give someone a second chance, and a third, and a fourth, are rare. If you find someone like that, celebrate. If you don't, well, it is normal to be disappointed. Doesn't mean you have to be disappointed.

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

I guess I'm not normal then either, or maybe it's just the way I was raised. I rarely judge people, and I always try to give them the benefit of the doubt. What's most unfair is when others judge you even though they don't even take the chance to get to know you. Often I attribute this to other people's influences. There's no other rational explanation. I can continue to shrug it off, but it doesn't change the fact that it's always in the back of my mind, and it's hurtful.

2xstepmom's picture
2xstepmom

Often see this reaction to children with whom I work who have emotional, behavioral and/or cognitive issues. Typical is a better term than normal when describing a child or the child's behavior. The sad fact is that many people are very judgmental and teach their children to be judgmental by their negative example. Please continue to teach others by your positive example. While the comments of others who have no understanding of your situation are often hurtful, you know you are doing the best for your child. My 32 y/o son is ADHD and my 26 y/o daughter has NLD and Social Anxiety Disorder. I have had to deal with a lot of unthinking and negative comments from others, many of them family members. Maybe you could find playmates for you son from your local Autism group?

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

Thx, 2x. I find that the few friends my son does have are in special ed. Their parents are the ones who understand. I just have a really hard time having a relationship or even a conversation w/ other parents who don't understand. As a result, I'm treated like the bad guy. Are these people really that clueless?

mayamay's picture
mayamay

yes.

Since I have not had a special needs child, I do things like talk about normal, instead of typical.

I think that being heavily, instead of peripherally, involved in classroom education is just a little weird. I think that if you tell a kid something three times, then that is going overboard.

I think that kids ought to be potty-trained at age 2, and that they've learned most everything they can learn from a parent by age 14, and they ought to be out the door and on their own at 18. I think that they should absorb socially appropriate behavior because of the examples of those around them.

These are my prejudices. Because I have not had the experience of intimate involvement with kids that do not fit this typical mold, my prejudices are reinforced.

Despite my prejudices, I do try to be kind. I try to not be a buttinski. I try to keep in mind that I do not know the specific challenges that other people face with their children.

But yes. I am clueless. And it makes you angry. I'm sorry.

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

I never meant to imply that you specifically are clueless, mayamay. I meant the people I have to deal w/ on a daily basis who don't understand my son and his challenges, and who also don't understand my reaction to their comments. I'm not at all angry at you. The mere fact that you can comprehend what I'm saying, even though you've never been in my shoes, and you can say, 'I don't know what I'd do b/c I'm not in your position' to me makes you a non-judgemental person. In other words, you have your opinions, but you don't push them on others. It is those people who make remarks based on their observations w/out knowing what is really going on that are the clueless ones. Those are the people who make me angry and who I choose not to associate w/. Would you?

Neal's picture
Neal

Behavioral expectations placed on children are becoming increasingly unrealistic. There is a great deal of variation and range in children's behavior, and the vast majority of this can be considered in the "normal" range. The problem is that we have, culturally, created a more narrow range of what is considered "acceptable". So, you now have a significant amount of "normal" behavior falling outside the realm of "acceptable". This may be where many of your sons behaviors fall. One solution is to gravitate to the margins yourself, as a family. Avoid the judgmental and bland mainstream and seek alternatives. This may be more or less difficult, depending on where you live. But raising any child to conform to the bland mainstream is, in the end, probably an error. If your son pushes you and your family to gravitate to others who are "different", and bond with those people, you have been done a tremendous favor.