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?

ouryve Sun 06-Jul-14 16:52:06

I'm doubting that "not normal" was the child's original idea. It's the child's mother you should be annoyed with. And only then if you're sure she wasn't just being clumsy. It doesn't occur to many people that "typical" is a more appropriate word than "normal" - then there's the question to answer "what does typical mean?"

ouryve Sun 06-Jul-14 16:59:51

Granny - I find your "Some of you" attitude to other parents more insulting than the words "not normal" coming out of a 5yo's mouth, to be honest. The 5yo is an innocent child, learning about the world. You come across as rather haughty, as if you think that you're better than "us", that you're right and "we" are wrong.

NickiFury Sun 06-Jul-14 17:00:30

Pagwatch is bang on and I think it's quite rude and unpleasant to reduce her perfectly valid opinions and views into "getting knickers in a twist".

OP at school pick up I used to have smirking kids telling me how "naughty" ds had been that day. I used to say "well firstly he's not naughty, his brain just works differently to yours and secondly I don't really think you should be telling tales I am sure his teacher will tell me if she wants to" big smile.

Aeroflotgirl Sun 06-Jul-14 17:26:39

I just don't like the term, I personally feel it is a negative term. If he had said dd is not normal, I would have thought like many of you, he's only 5, his understanding will not be that good, but he said my mum thinks dd is it normal. He obviously repeated something from an adult conversation. That does smart a bit!

JaneEG Sun 20-Jul-14 01:18:30

So how is it best to explain about disability to my 5 year old? At this age they will stare at anything out of the ordinary - and I mean out of the ordinary to THEM. So in a public situation where a grown up is making noises and not talking 'properly' or behaving as most adults she has come into contact with does then it's hard to verbalise without inadvertently causing offence to anyone why this person is behaving in a way that in a child's eyes is not 'normal'. I've read that 'typical' is a better word to use but my 5year old will ask what 'typical' means. My intention would be to talk about people being different and refer to 'something special' c beebies, and maybe say that their brains work differently to most people which is why they need carers and extra help even though they are grown ups. She'll probably asked if they are poorly to which my answer would be no, but their brains are just different so they don't understand everything as well as she does. Does this sound appropriate/ sensible?

FriendlyAmoeba Sun 20-Jul-14 01:29:32

Well, to be fair, it's not easy to explain an invisible disability to a child. The mom could have said that she's different, and he decided that meant not normal. Or should could have gently explained that she doesn't have the ability to control her emotions like normal children do, and he threw out all tact when repeating it.

In any case, I'd talk to the mother and she could clarify. She probably didn't mean anything harmful by it. Kids with ASD aren't normal, but that's not a bad thing, and not something to be offended by. Honestly, I'd try to embrace it. She's not normal, and that's awesome. Diversity is the spice of life. smile

thornrose Sun 20-Jul-14 01:44:03

She's not normal, and that's awesome to be honest I don't think it's in any way awesome that my child isn't normal.

I'd dearly love her to not have to struggle every day to find her way in a world in which she just doesn't seem to fit in.

Nor do I think it's a gift or any other similar cliché!

FriendlyAmoeba Sun 20-Jul-14 02:22:04

I never said it was a gift. Just pointing out that a kid with ASD is not normal. They never will be.

You can either accept that and stop seeing it as an insult, or you can continue to get upset about people pointing out the obvious.

Perhaps I should have worded it better. She's not normal but she's still awesome. That work better for you?

Jinsei Sun 20-Jul-14 02:31:36

Does the mum speak English as a second language, or do they speak another language at home? Could it be that something has got lost in translation somehow? It must be difficult to explain something like ASD in child-friendly terms when you're doing it in a language that isn't your own.

Tbh, I think it's just difficult to explain stuff like this to kids anyway. I remember trying to explain to my then 4yo dd that one of the little boys in her class behaved as he did because his mind worked a bit differently from hers, and she just said, "yeah, I know, he's got a syndrome". shock She had apparently learnt the term from her friend, whose older sister also had asd, and they had obviously concluded that this child had similar issues. She was totally accepting of the little boy, and meant no harm by it - in fact, she had just been telling me about how she had defended the child when other kids had been making fun of him. However, I was appalled at the idea of her going round the playground and diagnosing other kids with "syndromes" if their behaviour didn't quite meet her expectations. blush Needless to say, we had a chat about everyone being different and not making any assumptions about anyone, but it made me realise how difficult it is for small children to get their heads around issues of this nature.

PolterGoose Sun 20-Jul-14 08:49:27

Describing a child or adult with disabilities of any kind as 'not normal' is incredibly offensive.

thornrose Sun 20-Jul-14 08:52:53

Friendly that doesn't 'work better for me', no.

FriendlyAmoeba Sun 20-Jul-14 09:09:54

Friendly that doesn't 'work better for me', no.

Wow. Sorry you're so unhappy with your child, I feel bad for them. If my kid had a disorder I'd still think they were awesome. sad

PolterGoose Sun 20-Jul-14 09:14:20

Our kids are awesome, thanks, but that doesn't make them not normal (abnormal or subnormal?)

Pagwatch Sun 20-Jul-14 09:15:38

It's offensive.
I'm not going to change how I feel about tht phrase just because it seems too deeply challenging for a few supposedly intelligent people to figure out a phrase that isn't offensive.

I have used
'understands things differently'
'finds some stuff much harder than you do'
'finds it hard to say his words'
Not like average kids'
Not like a regular kid'
His brain works a bit differently

....Off the top of my head

Not normal has horrible connotations and is awful.

Pagwatch Sun 20-Jul-14 09:19:15

Oh that's a gratuitously stupid interpretation of a point of view there FriendlyAmoeba

I'm not unhappy with my child. He is wonderful. So I would prefer that people were not fucking rude about him - because 'not normal' is fucking rude.

Your passive aggressive sad face is preposterous and twatty.

FriendlyAmoeba Sun 20-Jul-14 09:20:22

I'm not trying to be antagonistic here.

But why such a huge emphasis on using words like average, typical, regular, or other synonyms of normal? They all mean the same thing.

Maybe I'm not getting it because it's just not a loaded word here. confused

thornrose Sun 20-Jul-14 09:21:34

Wow. Sorry you're so unhappy with your child, I feel bad for them. could you be any more offensive?

I fucking love my child and of course she's awesome. How dare you feel bad for her you don't know her or me!

It doesn't work because you still insist on using not normal despite being told that many people find it offensive.

Pagwatch Sun 20-Jul-14 09:29:17

Well actually you are being antagonistic, unless you confusion about loaded language leads you to think that "

Wow. Sorry you're so unhappy with your child, I feel bad for them."

was not incredibly crass and rude.

Not Normal /abnormal is always used to imply 'wrongness' . It is used for sex offenders and murderer and a whole raft of evil or odd people sitting outside normal human behaviour.

Not average, not a regular kid might mean tall or bright or other stuff that is not generally deemed bad.

If I say ' you see that bloke over there - he's not normal' would you want to go and it next to him?

WanderingAway Sun 20-Jul-14 09:38:03

It is so hard trying to explain to children why other people are not like them. My friends dp has a serious MH illness and trying to explain it to my dd was hard but I never ever said that he was not normal because I find that word strange. What is normal anyway?

FriendlyAmoeba Sun 20-Jul-14 09:39:08

No I think that saying no that "She's not normal but she's still awesome." doesn't work after saying "I don't think it's in any way awesome that my child isn't normal" does come across as "I don't think my kid is awesome".

I misunderstood you, you misunderstood me.

It is used for sex offenders and murderer and a whole raft of evil or odd people sitting outside normal human behaviour.

That must be a British thing. We don't refer to them as not normal, we refer to them as creeps and other derogatory words.

In as someone who is neuroatypical, I don't find "normal" or "not normal" an offensive descriptor.

If I say ' you see that bloke over there - he's not normal' would you want to go and it next to him?

Depends on context and voice tone.

In anycase, I will hide the thread. Sorry to offend. confused

Guitargirl Sun 20-Jul-14 09:47:04

There are lots of prejudices and assumptions on this thread - including the OP's 'old-fashioned' Cypriot comments.

thornrose Sun 20-Jul-14 09:48:46

I said this I don't think it's in any way awesome that my child isn't normal. normal was in italics as it's a word you used. I didn't say my child isn't awesome. I think you know that though!

Whereisegg Sun 20-Jul-14 09:53:50

Op, at the end of your last post you said that the child had obviously overheard an adult saying this.

I honestly don't think you can guarantee that at all, as stated by pp, you can often tell a dc one thing, but they hear another.

x2boys Sun 20-Jul-14 10:08:33

I think kids understand more han we give them credit fo ds2/is autistic ds1/who s seven understands this and will say to me its/only because he is ortastic ( as he calls it) that he is behaving in whatever way he is behaving he also understands about his brothers chromosome disorder and will frequently tell me his brother has a tiny bit of his chromosome missing .

Pagwatch Sun 20-Jul-14 10:44:32

Presumably you have gone friendlyAmoeba but again, if you find people are regarding a phrase as offensive when you see it as neutral, perhaps try to figure out any national/cultural differences before you reach for
'you're so unhappy with your child. I fel sorry for them sad'

Up there with some of the most deliberately nasty things I have ever read on here.

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