Wednesday, April 27, 2011

On the other hand...

J. had a different friend over the other day, and i was appalled! B. was sitting in a chair on the deck, looking around at the trees, as he often does. I overheard our neighbor's son saying, "He's so boring!" J. just laughed nervously. Then the little boy said, "Make him scream again!" I think he was talking about the happy shouts that B. tends to make when he's jumping around the house. J. was at a loss and just looked at me. I was so disappointed in this boy's attitude, but I tried to think to myself that he's nervous around B., and doesn't understand what's going on. So I did my best to explain autism in a few sentences, but I couldn't tell if it made much impression. I was so annoyed by the whole interaction. I don't know the boy's parents well, but I know the dad is always very kind toward the twins, and invited us to join a camping group he's in. I think I'll ask the dad to talk to his son about it.

Afterward I talked with J., and said there will always be some kids who don't know much about autism, and if he wants, I'll explain things to any of his friends. J. seemed much less concerned about it than I was. Looking back, I'm realizing that the rest of J's friends are amazingly accepting about the twins. Our next door neighbors have a daughter with developmental delays, so between our two houses there's a lot of happy shouting, partially-clad escape attempts, and toilet-training mayhem. To live on our street is to have at least some understanding of six year olds with special needs!

I think it was good to have a wake up call that there will be rude questions and clueless comments from kids J's age, and I need to think up some strategies to deal with them. To me the twins are so adorable, I can't imagine anyone saying anything mean about them, but it is going to happen.


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