Just another site

Motorcycles and Birthday Parties

on June 16, 2011

The other day, when Alex and I were playing out front, there were some older neighbor kids across the street from us that started coming home from school. A couple of them, one boy and one girl – I’d say young tweens by the way they acted – were running after one another and shrieking. I looked up to find Alex watching them closely. For a while, he just stared, and then at one point, he seemed almost poised to run, like he wanted to go play with them. I stopped him; these were much older kids and he’s only 4 after all. I didn’t feel it was an appropriate situation in which to indulge the curiosities of a 4 year old with ASD. But it made me think about that for a minute as I watched them chatting in a driveway. Eventually, they pulled out a motorbike (um, yeah, definitely glad we didn’t pay them a visit), and began to fire it up and start giving kids rides on it.

Alex simply said, “Motorcycle.” And I said, “Yeah, that looks like a motorcycle, doesn’t it, honey?” He didn’t answer, he just continued to stare.

I couldn’t help but wonder. I couldn’t help but ask myself about the future, when he’d be the age where kids had something like a motorbike (or maybe something more modern by then!) to give friends rides on…would they offer him a ride? Would he have typically developing friends to play with, or any kids to get a little crazy with? Will kids like the ones across the street laugh with him…or will they laugh at him? Eventually, the kids took off, one by one, sometimes two at a time, riding the motorbike around the block.

Still Alex stared. Maybe he longed to run and catch them on the motorcycle. Maybe he just wanted to chase it (he likes to run). Maybe he is starting to understand socialization better. Maybe he just wanted to watch.

I looked at those kids with him, and I almost wished they would call out to us (they do know me after all, and technically their father is a friend of ours). I wouldn’t have let him ride the motorbike, but they pretty much ignored us anyway, so it didn’t matter

You know, tweens ignoring preschoolers is pretty typical. I get that. I know it wasn’t necessarily because Alex is a special needs kid. But I will say that I get a little tired of being ignored. And I’m not just talking about situations like this example. I’m talking about peer situations where Alex could be a part of the play that other kids are engaging in. I’m talking about adults ignoring my son because they don’t know how to deal with him. Are they bad people? No. But could they try a little harder? Yes, absolutely.

For instance, we get invited to birthday parties sometimes. Well, we used to get a lot of invitations to birthday parties. Until the adults started to find out that Alex is focused on Alex, and not necessarily on the manners most children have grasped about behavior at a birthday party. In fact, at the last birthday party, I not only had to restrain my son from singlehandedly ruining the birthday cake (by grabbing chunks out of it), not to mention him stealing the presents to play with for himself, but when we made the birthday boy cry, that was the end of it. Not the most ideal situation for anyone. And you know what? Out of probably 7 or 8 adults present, just 1 Mom asked if she could help me with my screaming child as I tried to get him ready to walk out the door. 1 adult (a grandma) was actually angry that we accidentally left with one of the birthday boy’s toys that day. I got out of there so fast, I left my child’s SHOES behind.

My dearest friends still invite us to events, but I understand that Alex is difficult in those types of situations, so I have a tendency to make excuses and I imagine they probably breathe a small sigh of relief when I’m not looking. Do I hold it against them? No. But it still hurts.

It’s not even about me. I just want my son to be accepted. I love him so much, and I just want others to see how great he is, too, even if he doesn’t understand life the way typically developing kids do. And I don’t want HIM to hurt later on.

This is part of the reason I blog about these things. This entry does not have a happy ending, and not all of them will…but did it make you think? Will it affect the way you might deal with a child someday who appears to be”different?” If so, then I have done my job. Let’s all teach our kids to be loving and caring toward ALL kids, not just the ones who are easy to be with.

Thanks for listening <3Kristi


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: