Miffed about comment from friends ds5 about dd 7 (ASD related)

(58 Posts)
Aeroflotgirl Sun 06-Jul-14 15:25:29

Today I was looking after my friends dd and ds, the slept the night as the mum was in hospital. The ds woke up and immediately said: my mummy told me dd not normal. I was stumped I didn't know what to say, I told him she is a child like you who needs a little more help.

I felt hurt, is that the way she sees dd? Is that how they talk about dd at home?

Pagwatch Sun 06-Jul-14 15:32:15

I wouldn't assume anything except that your friend probably struggled to explain the nuances of ASD to a young child.
Once you start reaching for simple words that a child can understand it gets harder rather than easier.

When I was explaining DS2 to DD and her friends I realised how tricky it is. How would you explain your child's difficulties to a 5 year old?

I think you should forget it.

DinoSnores Sun 06-Jul-14 15:32:51

It is impossible to know how they talk about your DD at home from that statement from a 5 year old. Perhaps your friend was just trying to explain to her son why your DD does or doesn't do something, for example, or might have been encouraging her DS to be patient with DD when they are playing together and to stick to the rules etc? (Making up examples here, obviously, but 5 year olds do come out with odd unconnected things!)

Thumbwitch Sun 06-Jul-14 15:34:23

His mum may have told him things in a far more complicated way, and he's reduced it to "she's not normal" in his head to understand it.

I try to explain things to DS1 (who is 6) and it's very difficult to pick the exactly correct words sometimes, especially as he doesn't always understand them, so you have to paraphrase and then end up accidentally using the wrong/less appropriate words, and they are always the ones that stick in his head hmm <sigh>

I wouldn't worry, he's only 5.

Greyhound Sun 06-Jul-14 15:36:43

That would have upset me too. Even if it is a little kid saying it, it's hurtful.

shockinglybadteacher Sun 06-Jul-14 15:39:51

Totally what others have said here. I have a DN (7) who if you explain things one way to her, will invariably choose the most terrible sounding way to explain things to other people. Conversation could have gone like this:

Friend's DS: Why can't (DD) do X thing? It's normal to do X thing
Friend: Well not all people can do X thing like you you know. (DD) just can't do X thing, don't bother her about it
Friend's DS: thinking So (DD) is not normal! My mum said she wasn't!

Although she had said no such thing. Kids add 2+2 and make Z.

phantomnamechanger Sun 06-Jul-14 15:40:25

the teachers used to explain antisocial behaviour (in reception) of one little boy with ASD by telling my DC "his brain doesn't work properly so he doesn't understand like you do" - in a child's head this is easily translated into "he's not normal" when that it not what the adult actually said.

Aeroflotgirl Sun 06-Jul-14 15:40:51

I know that's exactly what dh said as she had a mealtdown at their party, and her behaviour I guess it's difficult explaining to a young child. But it still hurts a bit when it's tge first thing the ds says to you when he wakes up.

Aeroflotgirl Sun 06-Jul-14 15:42:36

Exactly it's their interpretation on it. My friend is lovely and really likes dd and I can't imagine her of her dh talking about dd like that. So it seems very out of the blue.

phantomnamechanger Sun 06-Jul-14 15:43:22

you're the adult and he's 5 - try not to feel hurt because he did not intend hurt thanks

Aeroflotgirl Sun 06-Jul-14 15:45:22

I know phantom thanks smile

GrannyOnTheSchoolRun Sun 06-Jul-14 15:51:47

Not everything is said as an insult, or used as a slur.

Not normal, not NT - same difference but one is way harder for an child to use.

Pagwatch Sun 06-Jul-14 15:57:55

Well no, it's not really the same difference hmm

But a 5 year old wouldn't get that one is upsetting. Most adults are intelligent enough to know that one is loaded and shitty whilst the other isn't.

GrannyOnTheSchoolRun Sun 06-Jul-14 16:16:46

Well as the mother of young man who has profoundly severe ASD, Tourete's, and additional mental health issues, I'll continue to not be offended by the innocent use of a word when no offence was intended.

NT, normal - there is no difference

PolterGoose Sun 06-Jul-14 16:24:27

phantom as a mum of a child with ASD I would much rather you explained my ds's brain as 'working differently' rather than 'not working properly' smile

I can understand why it hurt Aero but I suspect it's probably a child's interpretation. I find 'normal' particularly horrid because of the way it can be used eg abnormal and subnormal. For me 'typical' is so much better, my ds is atypical not abnormal/subnormal.

Aeroflotgirl Sun 06-Jul-14 16:25:09

Dd is doing so well, her speech is really coming on and mealtdowns reducing since starting her Autistic school. I guess their mum might have clumsily tried to explain to them why dd is the way she is. Mum comes from a Mediterranean country originally and they tend to use very ok'd fashioned terms. Mum mum is from Cyprus and still uses old fashioned terms to describe disability.

Pagwatch Sun 06-Jul-14 16:26:05

For you there is no difference.
For many of us there is a huge difference.

Being typical, a typical child is not a loaded term. Not being typical is fine too - positive even, it has tones of being unusual and quirky and those are often deemed positive.

Being 'not normal' is never, ever said as a positive thing.

I won't list my 'mother of' credentials. We are talking about general use of language. I might regard 'awkward little fucker' as fine but I'm not sure how relevant that would be.

Aeroflotgirl Sun 06-Jul-14 16:26:25

I agree poltergoose, it's the negative meanings of normal, not normal, subnormal. Not like us, not a proper child etc

Aeroflotgirl Sun 06-Jul-14 16:27:21

I meant my mum is from Cyprus sorry

Aeroflotgirl Sun 06-Jul-14 16:28:04

The ds mum comes from a med country

MrsWinnibago Sun 06-Jul-14 16:28:11

You could try to model the correct way to explain things to your friend....next time you get the chance you could say "We like to say that DD's mind works in a different way to others' minds....everyone is different but DD thinks in a way which is completely unique to her." We don't say she's not normal.

Aeroflotgirl Sun 06-Jul-14 16:32:38

Goid idea mrswinnebago I will when I hear her say something. She rearly does though to me. What she says at home I don't know.

Aeroflotgirl Sun 06-Jul-14 16:33:20

I will incorporate it into conversation when talking about dd.

GrannyOnTheSchoolRun Sun 06-Jul-14 16:44:39

But surely you would only think of it in a negative way if you think negatively.

Ive never once looked at my son and thought he wasn't a proper person, or he is not normal, or he is subnormal. Absolutely never. But he certainly isn't normal/nt. He is in actual fact one of the wonders of the world.

Some of you don't have get your knickers in a twist about nothing and I think your best left to your outrage.

Pagwatch Sun 06-Jul-14 16:50:35

I don't get my knickers in a twist about much tbh. And 'some of you' is a pretty smug and dismissive way to brand anyone who has a different viewpoint.
I think 'not normal' is unplesant. You think it's fine. I'm allowed to disagree with you without you trying to pretend that anyone who feels differently is being over sensitive. That's just wanky.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now