To still feel guilty about ruining this little girl's evening?

(199 Posts)
DowntonNappy Tue 11-Dec-12 10:49:40

DD (4.11) was at a Christmas party yesterday. Parents were asked to step inside for the last ten minutes to watch the kids perform some carols.

When i went inside, dd jumped up from her chair in excitement to see me. I hurriedly told her to sit back down. She went to do so, but then started crying. Apparantly the child beside her had taken her chair.

I said just sit on the other one then. But dd wasn't having it. She was adamant that was the 'wrong' chair, and the child had jumped into hers while dd had ran over to me.

While dd was crying and telling the little girl that's her chair, the teacher was trying to carry on with the carols.

The other child's mum started getting angry, telling dd that was actually her child's chair and she should sit on the other one.

Dd was still insisting the little girl should move. All the while, I'm trying to calm dd down and get her to sit on the other damn chair, as she was causing a scene. I threatened to take her outside, but this didn't work either. Just as i was about to basically drag her out, the other child starts crying. Her mum goes mad, jumps out of the audience, swoops her daughter up from the chair, and storms out, shouting "Fucking ridiculous. Forget it. Just forget it."

The poor teacher was trying to carry on as normal. She quietly called after the mum, "sorry about that."

I got dd to sit on the other chair (the 'wrong' one). I sat beside her on the one that was apparantly 'stolen' from her. She was sitting on the edge of it, clearly wanting the one i was on. But i couldn't let her have it because all the other parents were looking at me and it would have looked as if I was just pandering to her.

Anyway, carols finished. And teacher gave out presents. She called out the other child's name. Her mum must have been standing just outside the door, because she came back in for the present upon hearing her child's name, saying that her daughter's birthday (had no idea it was her birthday!) had been ruined thanks to 'that spoilt brat'.

I was completely numb at this point, mortified and felt so weak. All I could focus on was keeping dd calm as i didn't want things to escalate. Everyone was muttering in the audience and tutting.

Afterwards, everyone cleared out the hall. I stayed behind to talk to dd, and explain why she was in the wrong and must come with me to apologise. Just then the teacher came over. I burst into tears. DD was so confused, asking what's wrong.

I apologise to the teacher, explaining that dd's autism just makes her very particular/stubborn about things, and asked if she could take me and dd to the parent so we could say sorry. The teacher was lovely and gave me a big hug and said not to worry. And that she'll apolgise to the mum on my behalf, instead of me going to her myself. The mum - none of the mums - know my dd has autism, but the teacher said she'd inform the mum though (with my permission) to explain to her why dd acted the way she did.

I told dd off when we got home, but it didn't register with her at all.

Wow! Sorry for the epic novel. Basically, AIBU for still feeling so guilty? I need to grow a pair, me thinks. She's probably forgotten all about it. But my friend thinks i deserve to feel this guilty. I - well DD - effectively ruined a little girl's 6th birthday, and her Christmas party all at once.

Lesbeadiva Tue 11-Dec-12 10:53:21

Um you did nothing wrong. The other girl sat in your dds chair and the other mother sounds YABU to feel guilty. Don't.

MissCellania Tue 11-Dec-12 10:54:18

Other mother totally over-reacted. Kids do stuff like that all the time, it didn't need to be a big deal.

MerylStrop Tue 11-Dec-12 10:54:48

It was only the last 10 minutes. Other woman over-reacted.

Not sure what else you could have done re your DD. Not sure why the other little girl was so insistent on having the same chair?

DowntonNappy Tue 11-Dec-12 10:55:03

That's the thing though, Lesbeadiva, I'm not sure the other child did steal dd's chair. blush

I didn't see which one dd jumped up from. But the other mum was certain her little girl was had been sitting on that chair all along.

WorraLorraTurkey Tue 11-Dec-12 10:55:20

Oh dear that's something you'll all laugh about in years to come, I promise!

YANBU to feel guilty even though there's absolutely nothing you could have done but it'll pass.

Was there only one member of staff there?

You'd think the school would at least have someone else on hand to help out.

AlphaBeta2012 Tue 11-Dec-12 10:55:27

I don't think you sould feel guilty, you tied to handle a difficult situation in the best way you could. the other mother sounds like she caused more harm than good, rather than helping to resolve the situation.

KenLeeeeeeeInnaSantaHat Tue 11-Dec-12 10:55:40

What Lesbeadiva said. You & your dd didn't do anything wrong, so yeah YABU to feel guilty.

BerryChristmas Tue 11-Dec-12 10:55:43

My son, who is now 28, has Aspergers. I have spent many a Christmas Do, and parties, outside after he threatened melt-down.

Sorry, but you should have taken your daughter out as soon as she started - you should know her well enough to know that she wasn't going to let it go.

And if the other Mums don't know she has Autism, then she will be named a 'spoiled brat' occasionally. Tis the way of the world, I'm afraid.

YANBU!!! Sounds like a total nightmare. My DS used to get funny about things like this when he was the same age...he does not have autism...just typical kid behavior.

Out of interest why does your friend think you should feel guilty?

What?! That mother sounds like a twat. This is EXACTLY the type of thing a 4 year old would kick off about, she should know that, what with having one of her own! Your daughter's autism aside, 4 year olds DO tantrum about the most trivial (to us!) of things! Daft cow.

I wouldn't fucking well apologise to her after her outburst.

BookieMonster Tue 11-Dec-12 10:56:49

You tried to handle the situation as best you could. Stop beating yourself up about it.
Have you had a look at the SEN boards here? They are full of lovely and wise posters who have gone through the same thing.

kilmuir Tue 11-Dec-12 10:56:50

Leave it. wrongs on both sides. Kids can be a pain, as can parents. You tried. Now forget it and have a good Chrimbo

YABU - your daughter is very young and hasn't learnt all the coping strategies for her autism yet, you did everything you could, and to be honest this sort of situtation could easily have happened without the autism... the other mum seems to have escalated the situation which was very unhelpful.

All you can do now is put this behind you and continue to work on your DD's and your own coping mechanisms. I am sure the other child will have forgotten all about it and will have enjoyed the rest of her birthday.

notnagging Tue 11-Dec-12 10:57:46

I felt very sad on your behalf reading your posthmm
Kids are kids. They get over things quicker then adults. It happened, things will calm down.

Knowing your dd, do you think it really was her chair in the first place? I'm guessing that she is very precise about that kind of thing. In which case, the other girl did bring it on herself to some extent. And the other mother fuelled the flames - swearing and storming out didn't exactly help the situation. She could easily have asked her daughter to move out of the chair, rather than make a big deal about it.

Your daughter has a reason for making a big deal of the situation - it was her chair, and she's not the most flexible of people to put up with other people being inaccurate.

Her daughter didn't have any excuse for not moving back to her own chair when challenged, whether it was her birthday or not.

And the mother has no excuse for having a rant about it.

Hope you can calm down and feel less guilty about the situation!

woopdiedoo Tue 11-Dec-12 10:58:13

YAbu to feel guilty.

I don't think you should feel bad at all. Why didn't the mum of the other girl get her to move? All children behave this way at times, especially when they see that they are in the 'right'. I think my dd would have behaved the same way in this situation and she doesn't have SN.

It grates on me when parents are so judgy in situations like this. Fgs, parenting is hard enough without having an audience! I always give an understanding snow and smile to exasperated parents trying to deal with (normal) tantrums.

Don't feel bad op. I think you handled the situation as well as can be expected. And from the sounds of it the other mother didn't.

thefirstmrsrochester Tue 11-Dec-12 10:58:23

The other mother should get a dressing down for swearing within earshot of primary age children and for being so nasty about your daughter.
And as I understand it, it was a school Christmas party, and therefore not st all about her dd.

DowntonNappy Tue 11-Dec-12 11:00:18

Thanks everyone, I realise i should have taken her out right away, but tbh, i thought "It's just a few more minutes, I can calm her down, I don't want dd missing out."

I never imagined this would mean the other little girl would miss out instead! That's why i feel terrible.

It wasn't a school thing. It was a little club she attends once a week.

pigletmania Tue 11-Dec-12 11:01:31

Awww big hugs, you did nothing wrong. The other mum sounds horrid, ebpven if your dd did not have Autism, the mum is an adult and should know better behaviour. What example is she setting to her child?

fromparistoberlin Tue 11-Dec-12 11:01:49

she is 4, and other Mum was obvs having a bad day

if you still feel bad say sorry, and then let it lie

shit happens!

nannynick Tue 11-Dec-12 11:01:59

Your DD is likely in my view to be right.
YABU to think you spoilt the girls evening, they spoiled your DD's and your evening.

You did nothing wrong, you tried to resolve things.

Viviennemary Tue 11-Dec-12 11:02:30

Well the other child was in the wrong and her mother should have said she could move. When I was a child the offending chair would have been removed so neither child could sit on it. It is horribly embarrassing when this happens but it will soon be forgotten I expect.

clarelou13 Tue 11-Dec-12 11:02:33

I really wouldn't feel guilty at all! The other mother totally over reacted! And as Lesbeadiva said, the other little may well have sat in your dds chair. Your dd does not sound like a 'spoilt brat' either. If anything, the other little girl sounds like the pampered princess. YABU to feel any guilt, you did everything you could to try and resolve the situation amicably.
The other mother should be feeling guilty for showing herself up, swearing in front of little kids and behaving like a child herself.

CometAndCupid Tue 11-Dec-12 11:03:13

I think the other mother hugely over reacted. She was the one swearing infront of a room of children. She sounds pretty horrible to be honest.

CecyHall Tue 11-Dec-12 11:04:06

You tried to diffuse the situation, the other mother ignited it more than necessary.

You are feeling guilty because you are a nice person but there is no need to. I can't imagine her child has never got a bee in their bonnet about something, kids do, but her outburst was unnecessary and inappropriate.

SavoyCabbage Tue 11-Dec-12 11:04:53

A couple of years ago my friends son who is autistic had a meltdown on the stage at the school play. He was seven. It was hideous and it was at a theatre as its a big school and it was being filmed and people bought the DVDs. Afterwards my friend had a massive argument in front of about 200 people with the class teacher as my friend felt that the teacher had caused the problem for a number of reasons.

Obviously it was a big deal at the time but by the next year we were all laughing about it and by the year after that it was forgotten by us all.

HormonalHousewife Tue 11-Dec-12 11:08:29

I think the other mums behaviour was by FAR the worst behaviour in the room. Totally childish and inappropriate.

The teacher sounds lovely. Focus on how kind she was to you rather than how nasty that woman was.

blackeyedsusan Tue 11-Dec-12 11:08:37

the other girl missed out because her mother had a strop and took her out.

5dcsandallthelittlesantahats Tue 11-Dec-12 11:11:04

the other mum over reacted. She should have just plonked her child in a spare chair surely.

DowntonNappy Tue 11-Dec-12 11:15:29

Aw thanks again, everyone.

Unfortunately the club's now on a break until mid-Jan, so I'm not going to see the mum for over a month! Think it would be easier if could just see her face to face next week to clear the air.

It'll be dd's birthday on the night they return too and I think it would be a bit of a cheek if i took in a cake or anything, since it was the other girl's bday yesterday and dd upset her.

She was such a little thing, and she looked terrified. My dd can be soo stubborn. I honestly see no reason why that other child would decide to slip into to the chair beside her. And her mum was certain that my dd was just confused.

I really should let this go. Dd forgot about it within five minutes last night. Wish I had her conscience.

ImperialSantaKnickers Tue 11-Dec-12 11:18:01

My dsis has found her life is much easier and she feels less 'judged' now that she's told most of the people who have regular contact with dnephew about his ASD.

And the other mother sounds like a stroppy cah!

SamSmalaidh Tue 11-Dec-12 11:20:44

The other mum overreacted, but also you should have taken your DD out to calm her down. 6 of one, half a dozen of the other.

Tailtwister Tue 11-Dec-12 11:21:01

The other mother really over reacted. Apart from that, she swore in front of other people's children as well as her own. She spoilt her child's birthday by causing a scene where there was no need. She made comments and inflamed the situation, making the children more fraught in the process. If I had been in the audience, it would have been her I was tutting at, not you.

Sorry you had such an awful time OP. It really is a nightmare when DC play up. Believe me, we have all been there, even though you feel it's just you at the time!

OHforDUCKSchristmasCake Tue 11-Dec-12 11:21:10

Your 'friend' told you deserve to feel guilty?

She is no friend.

DowntonNappy Tue 11-Dec-12 11:24:25

I was basically telling my friend about it this morning, and I said 'Ah well, i suppose i need to try and forget about it rather than holding a grudge against dd".

Friend gave me a look and said if dd was her daughter, she wouldn't be getting off so lightly, and if she was me, she'd still feel terrible. She even suggested i send her a Christmas present (which i can't do as i don't know her address).

SantaWearsGreen Tue 11-Dec-12 11:27:38

The mum should have got her dd to move chairs, not the other way around. Yanbu, she was and she overreacted.

Thumbwitch Tue 11-Dec-12 11:29:35

I can't believe the way that other mum reacted. She is the one who caused the upset, not you, not really. She caused her own DD to miss out by stropping off with her - tbh, if it had been me, and your DD was having a tantrum about the chair, I'd have probably said "let her have it" and got my child onto my lap or something. Anything to have helped calm the situation down, not inflame it further!

Please let it go - your DD couldn't help herself, you did the best you could at the time (although possibly taking her out would have been better, with hindsight) and this woman freaked out unnecessarily.

squeakytoy Tue 11-Dec-12 11:29:41

I do think that it may be more helpful in the long term if other parents are aware that your child has SN and is not just "being a brat". It would help them be more understanding, and also easier to explain to their own children too. It is nothing to be ashamed of and surely much better than people just thinking your child is naughty.

sue52 Tue 11-Dec-12 11:30:38

The other mother should never have used that language. Don't let it upset you and there is no need to feel guilty. Your friend should learn to be a bit more supportive and less judgemental.

BarceyDussell Tue 11-Dec-12 11:34:05

The only spoilt brat in the room was the other Mum!

What an idiot, she should be ashamed of her own behaviour, no one else should.

Santaslittlemisshelper Tue 11-Dec-12 11:35:57

Please don't feel guilty, the other mum was out of order and totally overreacted, they are only 4 anyway so even if your daughter wasn't autistic it's the sort of thing they do at that age anyway.

I think the other parents were probably more horrified by the other mother, not you. At least you dealt with it calmly, and didn't swear in front of everyone!

Floggingmolly Tue 11-Dec-12 11:36:16

You seem fairly sure that the chair wasn't the one your dd had been sitting in?
If so, you can kind of see the other mum's point, can't you, when your dd loudly demanded her chair and you refused to intervene in case your dd would "miss out"?

BarceyDussell Tue 11-Dec-12 11:36:49

Yes, and what thumbwitch said. I would have given your DD a big smile, let her have the chair and moved my DD onto my lap. Specially if my DD was 6 as this other girl was and probably capable of sitting nicely and having it explained to her afterwards.

bryonywhisker Tue 11-Dec-12 11:37:22

You sound lovely, teacher sounds lovely, dd sounds like a normal 4 year old with or without autism.Other mum behaved like a spoilt brat and needs to wash her mouth out.
Tuck into a selection box, draw a line under it and have a lovely Christmas grin

FlaminNoraImPregnantPanda Tue 11-Dec-12 11:38:51

I was in a similar position when I was that age over a fairy costume for our play. The other fairy got there first and told the helpers that my dress was hers (mine had sequins and sparkly bits on hers didn't). I arrived only to be given the unsparkly one and nobody took my complaint seriously. I was devasted and felt robbed, so much so that I still remember it now nearly 40 years later.

I really feel for your daughter. She didn't do anything wrong. As a fellow autist, I can imagine she felt the same as me. Her chair had been taken, the other girl was in the wrong, everything is black and white, she was right, she knew she was right and her brain cannot process the adjustment to doing things differently that others were expecting of her. Poor little mite. sad

pigletmania Tue 11-Dec-12 11:39:54

Your friend sounds hmm. Dint you feel guilty you have nothing to be ashamed of

Lancelottie Tue 11-Dec-12 11:39:59

Downton, (parent of a child with ASD here) I can guarantee that your friend is talking bollocks.

As you know.

Why on earth would you personally want to be hard on your child for their disability? Why should you discriminate against them and try to make them miserable, when you know they won't gain anything from that??

And I think you should send Other Mother a card saying 'Don't Fucking Swear at the Carol Concert' You Fucker

Your child's teacher sounds lovely btw.

shinyrobot Tue 11-Dec-12 11:40:54

If I was the other parent I'd have quickly asked my dd to sit in the other chair, and offered her a small reward for doing so. It would have been clear that your dd felt wronged and would have immediately diffused the situation. It would not have mattered who was originally sat in which chair, that is irrelevant at that point.

The other Mother was clearly in the wrong for her foul mouthed flounce.

I have an autistic ds (and dd mid way through diagnosis) - I have been in cringeworth situations more times than I can count and you do laugh about it eventually I promise! You did nothing wrong though and your friend is wrong, please do not punish your daughter or feel terrible. These things sometimes happen is all smile

Lancelottie Tue 11-Dec-12 11:41:05

Errm, the crossy-out bit was at her not you.

DozyDuck Tue 11-Dec-12 11:41:39

Seriously? If someone was so bothered about a fucking chair I would have told DS to move to be kind! (if he would, he is autistic as well but chairs don't usually bother him)

That mum sounds like a right numpty.

Lancelottie Tue 11-Dec-12 11:44:39

FloggingMolly -- oh yes, OP can see the other mother's point, of course she can. She's not deliberately raising a spoilt brat, you know. She's trying to assist a disabled child to cope in unpredictable situations.

And you know what, we don't get a training manual. With a child of 4, presumably fairly recently diagnosed, you are still trying to work out what works in this kind of situation. Maybe DD would have moved over in a moment, with minimum fuss. Maybe the other child would have. Who knows? Either way, oth children might have enjoyed the rest of the concert, and that would be one less hurdle for next time.

DowntonNappy Tue 11-Dec-12 11:45:49

Aw, you're making me feel so much better everyone. smile Just hope i've not scarred the little girl's memory for life.

@FloggingMolly - I can't be 100% sure whose chair it was. But the other mum was certain it was her child's. In hindsight, I should have removed dd from the room. But i didn't think it would escalate into the other child getting taken away. If i'd've known that, dd would have been out of there in a shot.

lisad123 Tue 11-Dec-12 11:47:44

I can see it from both points of view. My DDs both have autism and my dd2 would be the same as yours dd OP. however, the other parent didn't know your dd has autism, and so assumed she was being brat, making noise and then upsetting her child.
She may have been alot more understanding had she of known, I certainly would have offered to move but only because I would of guessed (autism behaviour presents slightly differently IMO).

She did over react.

Don't worry yourself about it any longer. Hope your ok

BeaWheesht Tue 11-Dec-12 11:47:58

The other mother was entirely unreasonable. You were not.

The kids were a bit awkward but nothing that bad IMHO especially with autism added into the mix.

Just forget about it and don't bloody apologise!

Gintonic Tue 11-Dec-12 11:48:55

Agree with Barcey. The other mother should have set a good example by saying something like "yes I know it's your chair but let's give this little girl a turn as she would really like to sit there". What your dd did was hardly terrible, even if your dd had hit hers it wouldn't justify that reaction.

You are feeling sensitive because of dds autism but I really don't think you or dd did anything wrong

DozyDuck Tue 11-Dec-12 11:49:40

Oh and it's DSs Christmas play soon and I'm pretty sure it will be 'ruined' by some kid or another playing up. hmm

At drama therapy it's a bloody nightmare to police as DS needs his 'space' while another autistic child needs to get right in DSs face all the time grin

I've never felt the need to have a go at mother of the face getter inner and she has never had a go at me for DS pulling her sons hair when he gets too close!

I deal with MY child's behaviour 'say more space DS' 'be patient DS and he will move' 'use your words DS' and she deals with HER child's behaviour at the same time 'give Dozys DS more space please' 'move away from Dozys DS' etc.

They both need to learn.

In this case you dealt with your DDs behaviour (didn't let her sit in said chair, tried to calm her down) and she should have dealt with her DDs 'behaviour' ( although I know her DD was not badly behaved she could have said 'do you know what would be really kind? If you moved seats to make x happy?')

You dealt with the behaviour, other mum acted like a 2 year old and called a child with special needs horrible names.

do not feel guilty

TheUKGrinchImGluhweinkeller Tue 11-Dec-12 11:51:56

Assuming the other little girl didn't have autism, or another reason why she might also be exceptionally particular about things being an exact way, and that the chair they both wanted was not in some way a special birthday chair... most 6 year olds would have coped with sitting on the other chair, regardless of which was hers. Autism aside the other mum could presumably see the year plus age difference?

DIYapprentice Tue 11-Dec-12 11:56:22

Spoilt her birthday?! Hardly! They're kids, it was only a bloody chair, the only way the other girl would have been carrying on about it more than 15 minutes later is if the other mother let/encouraged her.

This is one of the reasons why I am very open about DS's autism.

When he was at nursery he used to cry every morning going in. One morning a mum was rolling her eyes and said loudly "oh no not crying again!". I turned round and retorted. "He has autism he can't help being so upset, we don't choose to go through this every morning - mind your own business!" Never been challenged again.

Same when some of his peers in class didn't understand - I pushed encouraged the head and the teacher to be very open about him having autism. Solved the issue we were having.

I think it helps that I'm very direct when speaking to people and happy to put them right. Also helps that his school are good. Out of school we surround ourselves with supportive understanding people - quality over quantity. Maybe this activity could do some activity or have some books they can share on everyone being different? You could get some leaflets on autism from the NAS for them to hand out to other families as they go home?

Downton please don't worry about this incident - the mum made it far worse than it was. Fancy swearing in front of all the kiddies!!

CocktailQueen Tue 11-Dec-12 12:04:14

Am a bit shock that the other mother swore in front of the class!! And also that the teacher/another teacher didn't deal with the situation before it got that bad.

Also, why don't others know your dd is autistic? Could avoid some of these situations in future. Is she getting the help and support she needs at school?

Sounds like the other mother could have handled it a lot better - but then perhaps you could have taken your dd out before it all kicked off. Ooh, tricky. Hugs to you.

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Tue 11-Dec-12 12:05:21

The only person in the wrong was the other mother.

Having said that, if you've had no experience of autism, it is very easy to assume Spoilt Brat. Hopefully the other mother will feel ashamed of how she reacted once she finds out.

Your "friend" doesn't sound very nice either TBH.

HELPMyPooIsStuck Tue 11-Dec-12 12:07:21

You should have taken her out, believe me its better to instill those kinds of strategies when tbey're small, not to punish them but to give them space from the situation. My two are older now and will ask to be removed when things get roo much.......we live and learn tho.

Otoh the mother sounds awful, she made an utter fool of herself, it's because of the likes of that I always feel the need to drop my children having autism into a conversation !

DozyDuck Tue 11-Dec-12 12:09:40

Oh and I'm another one all for being open about DCs autism to other parents.

There was a situation in mainstream where I could have been punched by another mum because of something my DS did (when he was supposed to have 1:1 but didn't hmm)

But because she knew about DS and his autism she asked her son who was with DS, found out he was on his own and obviously struggling with play, and went a tore the head a new one for putting other children and my DS at risk by not following his statement. Then told me smile

Then the head teacher had the nerve to come to me and say he had a complaint about my DS!!! grin but because I already knew what was said BECAUSE I was always open and approachable about DS I could say 'no you didn't you had a complaint about your staff not being where they should I already know about it and m taking it further, thanks bye.'

It really is useful to be open and approachable smile

DowntonNappy Tue 11-Dec-12 12:11:02

My dd is fairly new to the club, and tbh i didn't exactly want to/didn't know how to tell a bunch of strangers about her medical background. The teacher and her assistant knew, and i felt that was enough. The parents are only there for drop off and pick up times, so i've never really spoken to any of them.

Yes, CocktailQueen. She's getting so much support at school and i'm also due to start a Hanen course soon, Hopefully we'll both learn some coping strategies that actually work. All this counting to 10, close your eyes, big breaths etc just doesn't work with her.

DozyDuck Tue 11-Dec-12 12:13:34

You don't have to tell all the other parents one by one you know. What I do is scout out the gobbiest looking couple and tell them, making it clear it isn't a secret. Then leave the rest to them.

But if you don't want to that's a very personal choice

EssexGurl Tue 11-Dec-12 12:14:03

I do think the other mum was unreasonable. BUT she doesn't know about your daughters' Aspergers. I do feel that as she gets older you need to be more "open" about her condition.

There is a boy in DS's class with SN. As parents we have never been told of what this is and whilst I am not worried my DS (7) does ask me about him and I don't know what to say to him. My friend who is a SENCO at her school was horrified that the school hadn't worked with the parents on a strategy to tell the other parents - sensitively - about it so we could help our kids. At her school it is one of the first things they try to do with the parents.

I appreciate that this was not a school thing - but sadly you are going to get into situations like this more and more as your DD grows up and I do feel that you need some sort of strategy to deal with it and help your DD cope.

Mumsyblouse Tue 11-Dec-12 12:15:46

It's all very well saying 'you should have taken her out' but if she was anything like my (NT) daughter having a paddy aged 4, this would have been quite a spectacle in its own right and I can understand how you just sat there willing it to not all kick off.

I had to remove one of mine regularly from the dinner table (perhaps once or twice, it felt like all the time) in front of the relatives: it was awful, kicking, screaming, crying.

Sometimes sitting put is the best way forward, and the other mum could have made your life a lot easier by encouraging her daughter to move (given the chair was disputed). And not by being foul-mouthed and upsetting the entire room on her exit as well.

You have nothing to feel bad about, these things happen at a carol concert/Nativity with small children (there's usually one howling as well).

DowntonNappy Tue 11-Dec-12 12:20:36

I honestly wish i could just tell everyone about her autism, or everyone already knew, but IME it makes people very awkward. (I openly told two mums on separate occassions when dd started school this year). So this put me off telling anyone again, unless the topic came up of course.

She's high-functioning though, so i suppose it is up to me to inform people she has a condition, and isn't being 'spoilt'.

All of her peers at school know she's 'different', thanks to her lovely class teacher, and they're always helping her pack her bag up at hometime, and putting her coat on etc. smile

Tbh, I'm kind of hoping the mum from yesterday is a gossip. It'll save me telling the other parents at the club one by one.

DowntonNappy Tue 11-Dec-12 12:22:40

I'm off to attend her actual school nativity now (with my mum for back up, should anything unsavoury arise again). She's been practicising her songs all week. Hopefully it won't be as dramatic as yesterday's show!

Tabliope Tue 11-Dec-12 12:24:03

Haven't read all the posts but I'm surprised that the teacher called after the mum "sorry about that" when the woman swore in front of little kids! She'd have been banned from my DS's primary school or at least given a talking to about acceptable language. Your DD didn't do anything wrong. She's young still. Other woman over reacted and made a scene. I'd ignore (I'd probably actually give her a disbelieving look next time I saw her). Don't apologise to her.

maddening Tue 11-Dec-12 12:29:09

Yanbu - the other mother was on the moral high ground before she started shouting thinks such as "fucking ridiculous" and "spoilt brat" she sounds like a nutjob after that and an unpleasant one too.

AppearingDignified Tue 11-Dec-12 12:30:44

My word! Storm in a tea cup OP and ridiculous that the other parent lost control of her temper and swore at a four year olds' class carols. In hindsight, maybe you should have removed your DD and that's something to be mindful of in future but the other mum could have diffused the situation too.

My DD has slight special needs and throws tantrums which aren't age appropriate so embarrass us all. I just set my lips in a grim line, do some panto parenting for the other parents and remove her. There is no point discussing it until she's calmed down.

LoopsInHoops Tue 11-Dec-12 12:31:27

Well... both you and the other mum could have sorted it out so easily by separating the chairs, introducing a third chair or whatever. I don't get why it escalated so much - there were enough adults there to intervene.

HairyGrotter Tue 11-Dec-12 12:34:03

Christ, that other mum sounds like a prize bellshine. Fancy getting so worked up over a fucking chair?

I'd have given the mum a piece of my mind, but I'm a gobshite. Hope you feel better and have a little giggle about it at some point. Parents...who'd have 'em

EverlongLovesHerChristmasRobin Tue 11-Dec-12 12:42:08

The other mother was/is a dick.

Fancy embarrassing yourself like that.

Don't fret about it anymore.

lostconfusedwhatnext Tue 11-Dec-12 12:42:22

I bet the other mother is feeling terribly guilty. She lost it and I am sure she regrets it (she is not 4!). Don't worry about it.

SantasWildeRumpus Tue 11-Dec-12 12:43:12

aw try not to feel so bad. My DS isn't school age yet but even without your DDs autism I can see that that is typical child behaviour. Sometimes they just get uppity.

Although you feel bad about your DDs behaviour know that the other mum could have helped. If your DD was distressed I would rather my DS got up and offered her the chair (regardless of whose it was in the first place) just to help her out, or at last I would try and facilitate this. Really, there was no need for the other mum to be such a cow because her attitude would have rubbed off on her DD.

and she actually swore in front of the kids?! Oh my word, how she has any kind of upper hand swearing about the behaviour of a FOUR year old I don't know!

It's ok, breathe deeply and move on smile

ZZZenAgain Tue 11-Dec-12 12:48:10

well the other mum was worked up with reason really, you say her dd was very small, probably had not taken your dd's seat anyway, looked frightened and burst into tears. It shouldn't have been allowed to get to that point. That is when she got up and took her dd out, isn't it? So I think yes, you did ruin the day for the little girl because you did not intervene quickly and effectively to resolve the situation. You knew your dd is autistic but none of the other parents or dc did, so I think the parents will have all been thinking that your dd was badly behaved and you did not sort it out.

However it is done now and you have to clock it up to experience. Have a think about how you could have intervened faster and more effectively and sometimes when you have a group event like this planned, have a think beforehand, what situations could arise and how you might deal with them so you don't have to react on the spot.

If the little girl goes back in the new year, I would take her a little gift and try to have a word with the mother. I am sure it can be smoothed over. The teacher has already spoken to her and explained that your dd is autistic so I think she will be receptive

upstart68 Tue 11-Dec-12 12:49:09

I don't think you have anything to feel guilty about or apologise for.

Hope you enjoy the nativity.

Narked Tue 11-Dec-12 12:49:49

Why didn't you take your DD out when she was crying and making a fuss confused

takataka Tue 11-Dec-12 12:55:56

Ughhh....what an awful woman. You dont have to explain your dds autism to anyone unless you want to. Who cares if that foul-mouth thinks your dd is a spoilt brat? seriously, sod-her

DD is questionably borderline. But is veeeery tall for her age. Ive had countless comments about her behaviour because people think she is 5 or 6 years older than she is. I used to want to get her a t-shirt saying 'Im only X years old'. But what other people think of you/your dd/your parenting is totally irrelevant to anything

thanks wine brew smile

BitOfACyclePath Tue 11-Dec-12 13:06:02

I have a t-shirt like this for my disabled DD. Gets the point across without having to explain to people.

milf90 Tue 11-Dec-12 13:08:32

i bet the other mum is feeling exactly the same, especially if the teacher said about DD's autism. try not to feel bad smile

Floggingmolly Tue 11-Dec-12 13:10:16

The woman didn't know your dd has autism.
All the posters saying "she could have told her dd it would be kind to give up her chair to make your dd happy". Really? Would anyone who didn't understand your dd's condition really be this altruistic? Do you insist your kids give up the toys they chose to play with at playgroup the second another kid demands to have a go?
Most people wouldn't.

SantaFlashesHisBoobsALot Tue 11-Dec-12 13:14:50

Well my DS doesn't have autism, and would have probably been peeved if another child had moved to the chair he was sitting in, if in a certain mood. Kids are kids.

Your DD didn't ruin the party, the other mothers attitude did.

Don't feel guilty.

mumofthemonsters808 Tue 11-Dec-12 13:35:08

Please don't feel guilty, this incident did not spoil the little girl's birthday, the Mother spoilt it, that's if it was actually spoilt. When children are so young something as trivial as another child stealing their chair means so much, so even if your DD did not have autism she could have still acted like this (I know mine would ).Some children are easy to pacify and others simply won't give in and are only able to express their frustration by crying. I'm sure we have all been in this type of situation and felt like the whole world was watching and judging, whilst we were trying to diffuse a situation.As a bystander I would have been more angry with the foul mouth outburst in front of young, impressionable children. I even question why the teacher did not take control but in all fairness maybe she did not see what was happening. Anyway put it behind you and enjoy Christmas.

BarceyDussell Tue 11-Dec-12 13:38:09

"All the posters saying "she could have told her dd it would be kind to give up her chair to make your dd happy". Really? Would anyone who didn't understand your dd's condition really be this altruistic?"

In this situation in the middle of a performance by other children when I could avert a scene being caused? Damn right I would. I want my children to learn that sometimes it's worth making small sacrifices so that everybody is happy.

"Do you insist your kids give up the toys they chose to play with at playgroup the second another kid demands to have a go?"

No, but how on earth is that the same?

BarceyDussell Tue 11-Dec-12 13:39:46

And it wasn't just the little girl with the birthday who was affected.

It was a party for ALL the children, these children were performing and the other woman swore and stormed out.

Unbelievable behaviour.

iamapushymum Tue 11-Dec-12 13:40:56

The mistake (as you know now) was not taking your child out.If the parents don't know your child is autistic, then they won't make allowances .
To be honest I think the other kid sounds a bit wet .

LittleBairn Tue 11-Dec-12 13:41:11

Sounds like you were both as bad as each other for ruining the atmosphere.
You must have known there was no way your DD would calm down and accept the situation so why didn't you remove her?
The other mother was equally selfish to cause a scene too.

That said I'm not sure I would be too keen on the teacher insisting I apologise or explaining your DDs condition, that really is none of her business. Did the teacher insist she apologise for her behaviour towards you?

ZZZenAgain Tue 11-Dec-12 13:44:50

the teacher offered to speak to the other mother, she didn't insist on doing it I don't think

The only person BU was the other mum who swore and screamed in a room of small children then made a nasty comments about a four year old.

I have seen NT children kick off over similar issues.

I would have probably yelled she's autistic what's your excuse after her blush

Proudnscaryvirginmary Tue 11-Dec-12 14:00:45

You were both being unreasonable - you should have taken your dd out.

The other mother shouldn't have overreacted, though I don't believe she said 'fucking' or even 'spoilt brat'.

I think you are exaggerating to get the AIBU response you wanted.

I think it must be very hard and very frustrating that people don't realise and therefore make allowances for the fact that your daughter has autism.

ToffeeCaramel Tue 11-Dec-12 14:02:43

You were doing your absolute best to deal with the situation whereas the other mother spoiled her own child's birthday by going " mad, jumps out of the audience, swoops her daughter up from the chair, and storms out, shouting "Fucking ridiculous. Forget it. Just forget it." She sounds an absolute charmer!

oldraver Tue 11-Dec-12 14:03:47

So this other mother has been stompimng about swearing and calling your child a brat IN SCHOOL and you think you are the one to apologise.

I would think the school should be adressing how this mother has acted actually

ZZZenAgain Tue 11-Dec-12 14:04:33

not school, an out of school activity once a week

musicmadness Tue 11-Dec-12 14:09:52

I think you were both being unreasonable, the other mum for swearing and you for not removing your DD straight away.

Playing devils advocate here, from the other mums point of view, your DD kicked off about her daughter stealing your DDs chair, she says her DD didn't do anything (lets assume she didn't for a moment and your DD was just mistaken about which chair was hers, as you admit you're not sure) while your DD is insisting her child should move. Then instead of you taking her out she continues to the point where the other little girl looks frightened and starts to cry, when she has done absolutely nothing wrong. That would piss most people off TBH.

The other mum shouldn't have sworn and it would of helped if she had just asked her DD to move, but without knowing that your DD was autistic she wasn't unreasonable to assume that she was having a temper tantrum for basically no reason. If she had heard you tell DD to sit on the other chair she may have not wanted to move hers in case it undermined you as well. I've definitely seen situations like this with young children where someone has offered to swap chairs or something and the parent has said not to as they have told them to sit on the other one.

You don't have to tell anyone about your DD's autism if you don't want to, as it isn't any of their business. But if you don't tell them you have to accept they are unlikely to make allowances for any behaviour caused by the autism, as they will assume your DD is just being a brat.

Having said that the other mum was being very unreasonable to swear in front of young children! If you honestly thought you could calm your DD down quickly then I don't think you were being unreasonable, it was just an error of judgement. If this had been going on for more than a minute or so though, I think you were unreasonable not to take her out sooner. It depends how long your DD was making a fuss about the chair before the other little girl got upset.

RacHoHoHog Tue 11-Dec-12 14:27:51

Other mum was unreasonablefir swearing of course, but if I didn't know your daughter had sn I wouldn't have moved my child either. ( unless she had stolen the chair but the mum was sure she didn't).

You should have taken your Dd out which you have already accepted.

Floggingmolly Tue 11-Dec-12 14:45:45

It's similar, Barcy, because op has admitted the other child probably didn't steal her dd's chair. From the other mum's perspective, some random child was causing a hoo ha because her child wouldn't get out of the chair she'd been sitting in all along.
Yes, the perspective is completely different in the light of the child's autism, but the op has chosen not to share information that might encourage people to make allowances for her child's behaviour, and expects them to make allowances anyway.

ThePoppyAndTheIvy Tue 11-Dec-12 14:58:05

Well, most of the way through your post I was thinking "take your DD out to calm down" but then I came to the part about her autism & straightaway understood why she reacted the way she did. However, DS1 has ASD and I would definitely still have taken him outside in the same circumstances.

TBH, although the other mother was clearly in the wrong to storm out swearing in front of the children, your DD would have looked like a spoilt brat to her wouldn't she? People cannot make allowances for your DD's autism if they are not aware of it.

DowntonNappy Tue 11-Dec-12 15:36:57

Yep, i realise now i should have taken her out. But i honestly thought that would worsen things. It wasn't a full blown tantrum. DD was just crying a bit and telling the girl she had taken her chair. It went on for less than a minute.

As far as i knew, i was dealing with things discreetly. The carol service was going on. The teacher was engaging with the other children. I was standing beside dd trying to calm her down and persuade her to sit in the other seat. At that point, I didn't feel her behaviour was enough to warrant me removing her from the hall.

However, had it gone on any longer, of course i would have taken her out.

She was an angel at her nativity today though. smile Literally.

BarceyDussell Tue 11-Dec-12 16:43:43

It isn't similar. There was a performance going on. The other mother should have done what she could not to ruin the performance either, not strop and make it even worse.

At a toddler group when there's no one else who is going to suffer, fine. In the middle of a performance by other children, with other parents in the audience NOT the time to make a point about a bloody chair.

Of course, it's possible that the 6 year old would have made a massive scene if she'd been made to give up the chair and that could be why the mother removed her. That's fine too.

Swearing and making a performance about it is not.

clam Tue 11-Dec-12 17:08:41

As a teacher, of slightly older children admittedly, I was going to say this is pretty standard behaviour in a nursery setting. Even older children get very possessive and territorial about "places" and "whose pencil is whose" and so on. And that was before you mentioned autism.

I think you're giving yourself a hard time. Children do these things - all the time, Autism or not. The other mother was silly for getting irate about it - and bang out of order for swearing about it in front of small children. Your dd has an excuse. What's hers?

hackmum Tue 11-Dec-12 17:14:24

The other mum sounds not very nice. The protocol in these situations is for everybody to be as accommodating as possible and to pretend that one's own child is at fault, even if they aren't. So the other mum should have asked her DD nicely to move into the other chair. If her DD is so delightful and well-behaved, she would have done so, and the problem would have been solved.

How horrible to describe someone else's child as a spoilt brat.

BelleDameSousMistletoe Tue 11-Dec-12 17:19:57

clam is right, I think.

I was going to say (with no professional experience!) that surely most of us have experienced an unexpected meltdown and we're sympathetic when it happens to others even if it's between their child and your child (if that makes sense)?

I'd expect more sympathy/empathy than flouncy bad language.

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Tue 11-Dec-12 17:26:23

I dont understand why you had to insist she went back to the carol singing, you could just have cuddled her rather than create a scene. I am sure it will all be forgotten soon, though. smile

I agree, I used to work year 2 and children without autism have had setups strops about who's pencil/case/chair it is!

Hulababy Tue 11-Dec-12 17:43:12

You didn't do anything wrong - you tried to calm your DD down. You didn't even ask the other girl to move.

The other mother however was totally out of order. Did she really swear in the middle of a carol concert and in front of all the other children??? If so, as teaching staff, we'd be speaking to her about her behavior - that was far worse than any of the children's behaviour!!!

NulliusInBlurba Tue 11-Dec-12 17:51:45

"Other mum was unreasonablefir swearing of course, but if I didn't know your daughter had sn I wouldn't have moved my child either."

Quite. When DD1 was 5 she had a friend who was prone to frequent meltdowns whenever she couldn't get her way. It had nothing to do with any SN and everything to do with her being a spoiled brat. If you don't know the background it can be very difficult to tell between them.

However, with a mother like that, how is the other DD ever going to learn mature, civilised behaviour?

And bless you, OP, for being concerned about the other DD. That's really sweet of you. I'm sure it's a really steep learning curve with your DD's autism and other people's reactions to it.

Arthurfowlersallotment Tue 11-Dec-12 17:56:25

Hmm well I'd say the other mum isn't concerned about your DD so I wouldn't lose any sleep over hers.

PolkadotCircus Tue 11-Dec-12 18:00:27

Sorry I think the other mum sounds bonkers tbh.

Kids lose chairs/places all the time,it's life and making a big deal of it by storming out is what will have spoilt her dd's bday. Making a huge fuss isn't teaching her dd to regard such things as trivial which is what they are.

Has happened to my 3 loads of times by sheer accident,bossy kids etc they were told to get over it-pronto.Your dd can't help it and even if she could she's 4 and many 4 year olds can be strident re places/chairs.We as parents are supposed to show them by example how to react which said mother in question clearly didn't.

You have nothing to feel bad about.<gavel> and wine

Oh and the other mums were probably tutting at her making a big fuss over nothing not

ENormaSnob Tue 11-Dec-12 18:03:05

Can see both sides tbh.

Other woman way ott swearing though.

changeforthebetterforObama Tue 11-Dec-12 18:10:10

The mother actually shouted 'fucking' in angry strop? shock I think that poor little girl has bigger problems tbh. I think you behaved perfectly reasonably. You apologised, told off your daughter and given a completely understandable explanation of your DD's behaviour. wine

Why on earth should you feel guilty? That mother is a disgrace! How can she dare go on and call your DD a "spoilt brat" when she stalks out of a concert swearing and acting like a child herself?

Your dd is very young, and coping with autism on top is never easy. If your dd was sitting there first, then she wasn't at fault at all, she just wanted her chair back and this other child (who sounds like she has learnt how to be a right little actress off her awful mother) feels crying is the way to get her own way.

I would have reacted differently to you, and told her not to call your dd names or swear about her again! As for those tutting, I bet most weren't tutting about you but about her OTT display. I feel sorry for that child as her mother is just teaching her to have a sense of entitlement or swear and shout in public.

Bless you but have a slice of cake and think yourself lucky that you aren't that awful woman!

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Tue 11-Dec-12 18:26:23

The other mother shouldn't have swore, obviously, but I can understand why she was upset, and I think some people have spoken too harshly about her on this thread. You should have moved your dd away from her when as soon as the tantrum had lasted half a minute, even if you didn't want to leave the hall straight away. I think I'd feel pretty intimidated if someone my age and size started throwing a strop right next to me about having my chair, and I think this other 4/5 year old child deserved more consideration from you.

The Mum was upset because you allowed her child to get upset. I would be pissed off with you too, and I have a child with HFA so I am fully aware of how difficult these situations are. It doesn't matter that your child is autistic, it's about the fact that you only considered your own child and didn't think about the other small child that was likely to be getting upset too. The other child deserved an apology from your dd, and you should have ensured she got one. Regardless of whether it registered with your dd or not. My ds doesn't see the point or any benefit to saying sorry, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have to say it when someone else deserves to hear it.

iamapushymum Tue 11-Dec-12 19:13:59

'My ds doesn't see the point or any benefit to saying sorry, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have to say it when someone else deserves to hear it.'

but it's pointlesss to say sorry when you don't mean it.

iloveeverton Tue 11-Dec-12 19:25:58

The other mother was out of order swearing. I would be mad if she did that infront of my dc and their classmates.

flippinada Tue 11-Dec-12 19:36:30

Poor you op. I can understand why you feel guilty because you sound like a nice, thoughtful person.

I note that you've had some "challenging" responses but that's normal for aibu and some people just like to stir so don't take them to heart

The other mother sounds awful, seating and having an adult tantrum...and frankly I don't think much of your friend either!

Try not to worry about it.

flippinada Tue 11-Dec-12 19:37:16

Swearing, not seating. Although she was swearing about the seating...!

PolkadotCircus Tue 11-Dec-12 19:38:10

Outraged-she tried,it was a chair-end of.

Hulababy Tue 11-Dec-12 19:48:54

There is NEVER any excuse for an adult swearing and stropping in the middle of a child's carol concert!!! She's lucky not to be barred from attending future performances as a result.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Tue 11-Dec-12 19:54:11

Pushymum, it's pointless to the one whose saying sorry, it's not pointless to the child who deserves an apology and is also still young enough to be learning that we say sorry when we have hurt other people.

Children with HFA have to realise that the world will not always bend to them, and sometimes that are going to have to do things they don't completely 'get' because its the right thing to do and because its what society and out customs dictate we do.

ledkr Tue 11-Dec-12 20:01:48

The fact the other mother swore in an infant school shows that she's a bit weird. I'm a fishwife at tones but can control myself if I am in an inappropriate place.

tulipgrower Tue 11-Dec-12 20:04:36

If another kids behaviour unneccessarily reduced my kid to tears (on their birthday), then I'd be upset about it. (And I wouldn't care if it was SN related or not -> red herring.) (I wouldn't swear about it though.) You live and learn. Perhaps removing your child would have been better for everyone (and the swearing incident -> red herring, would have also been avoided)

(I regularly have to remove my very "loud", "determined" DS2 from events before he ruins it for everyone else. No SN that we know of. )

flippinada Tue 11-Dec-12 20:09:02

Well, another child gave my child a concussion at his birthday party (my sons birthday), which he needed hospital treatment for. Slightly more upsetting than not being able to sit in a certain chair.

I managed to handle that without shouting and swearing so I'm not sure what this woman's excuse was.

thebody Tue 11-Dec-12 20:10:19

Op the mother SWORE infront of the children. How absolutely vile.

Don't you dare apologise. She should be ashamed if herself.

And who in far end of fuck is this 'friend' of yours??? Silly cow.

Teacher sounds lovely but as a TA I would have been reporting that mother for swearing and our teachers would have been speaking to her about her behaviour not you.

ChippingInAWinterWonderland Tue 11-Dec-12 20:25:44

I have read all of your posts, but not all of the replies.

You didn't do anything wrong at all. Even before you said about DD's autism it just sounded like a pretty normal, over tired, 4 year old situation.

It doesn't matter if DD was right or wrong, it was what she believed happened and she was upset by it. They can all get a little 'precious' about the right chair/right bowl/right cup etc You were doing your best to sort DD out quietly.

The other little girl over reacted as well (in a normal 4 year old way).

The Mother over reacted in a Nucking Futz way - she could have calmed her DD down and they could have both stayed. There was no need for her to stomp out and absolutely no reason for her to have a go at you when she came back in. She was totally unreasonable.

It is irrelevant that it was the other girls birthday.

It sounds like there was more going on with the mother than this - and I'm sorry if she's really stressed by something else, but it wasn't fair of her to take it out on you.

Don't spoil whatever you had planned for your DD's birthday because of this.

I actually think the only thing you are being a bit unreasonable about is telling your DD off, she didn't really do anything wrong, she just got upset about something - which is fairly normal for a 4 year old to get upset by and even more so when they have autism.

There are going to be a lot of situations where she isn't able to just conform because of the way her brain works, you can't get cross about it. All you can do is try to help her learn to cope with it as I'm sure you do - but you have to become hardened to the stares of other people sad

Please try not to give it another thought.

OH and ditch the friend. With friends like that you don't need enemies!!

ProphetOfDoom Tue 11-Dec-12 20:56:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DewDr0p Tue 11-Dec-12 21:02:47

Oh goodness me, we've had this kind of thing before and I would have just asked my lo to move chair. All 4 year olds are capable of a pre-Christmas end-of-term paddy, ime.

That other mother sounds horrid.

I reckon everyone was tutting at the other mum tbh, I would have too.

Especially since she said fucking infront of all those children over something very minor. Disgraceful.

MerryLindor Tue 11-Dec-12 21:12:30

No matter who was 'in the wrong', the other mother lost the high ground when she swore and stormed out.

Don't worry about it, and don't even think about not giving your dd a birthday cake to the club.

We have all been there, the adult thing to do is to try and calm the DC down and not add to their stress by overreacting.

VelvetSpoon Tue 11-Dec-12 21:24:01

I would have reacted in a not dissimilar way to the other mum tbh. I have had years of various peoples precious little angels causing a complete disruption to pretty much every school/club event I've attended. For it to have happened on a birthday too would have just made it worse.

I do agree however with those who say her reaction may have been different had she known of the OPs daughter's SN, which is a very good reason to ensure parents are aware.

madmouse Tue 11-Dec-12 21:25:14

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos - you have just in a single sentence shown that you do not have frigging clue about autism!

BarceyDussell Tue 11-Dec-12 21:33:26

Velvetspoon - you would have started getting angry and arguing with a child of FOUR then sworn and flounced out over an altercation between a four year old and a 6 year old that lasted less than a minute??

Because you've had too many events ruined by children in the past. Yet it wouldn't occur to you that you'd be ruining the even for for others??

Good lord.

ivykaty44 Tue 11-Dec-12 21:35:02

I think the other mum sounds like a drama queen and swearing in front of children is not behaviour that is fitting. So who is she to judge whether someone else is a spoilt brat hmm

clam Tue 11-Dec-12 21:37:23

Why is the birthday relevant? Normal life goes on regardless of what the date on the calendar is, or are we meant to be ensuring the earth revolves around our pfbs rather than the sun on one day of the year.
I remember one mother, years ago, being furious that her child had been told off by the Head and receiving a behaviour slip "on her birthday as well. Like we should have ignored her kicking and swearing at another child.

soverylucky Tue 11-Dec-12 21:44:48

Until I read that your dd had autism I was thinking that your dd was being quite naughty in insisting on a particular chair. However, I understand totally that for an autistic child something like that is very important to them.
The big problem for me is the foul mouthed mother who swore in front of children. I would have said something to her if she dared use that sort of language in front of my dd.

Rudolphstolemycarrots Tue 11-Dec-12 21:49:40

I think you should have probably removed your child when she started to cause a scene. You could have then returned to the seats once she was calmer.

RabbitsMakeGOLDBaubles Tue 11-Dec-12 21:51:33

It's hard to judge when is the right time to stick it out and when to back off with autistic children, my DD wouldn't have been so polite, she'd probably have bopped the other girl out the chair and sat down.

Yes, I do have to constantly hover and manage her behaviour. blush

The problem is at this age it's hard to sometimes differentiate between that and NT children's behaviour, so you feel mighty judged by it, and terrible, especially as your DD doesn't really understand.

I'm working on my thick skin, trying to make it into plate armour, so that I can be strong and help DD to understand and adjust and adapt her view as much as she can to fit in at public things. I get that you are worrying about it for yonks afterwards, I always second guess whether I could have handled it better, and imagine what everyone must be saying about me, even though I know that essentially we haven't done anything wrong or terrible.

quesadilla Tue 11-Dec-12 21:57:41

I am amazed you even have to think about this... The other girl's mum is a total tool with the mental age of about three. It's a great credit to you that you are even thinking about it.

JakeBullet Tue 11-Dec-12 22:05:31

It's trying to find a balance that is hard, personally speaking as a mother of an autistic child I understand and totally where you are coming from. I have been in the real doldrums this year after horrible comments were made on Facebook about my DS.

FWIW I don't think you should have felt any obligation to remove your DD unless it would have helped you in any way. Your DD would not have understood why. The "other people's possessions and sharing" thing is hard for autistic children to understand, they DO get it to a certain extent eventually, DS is nearly 10 now and getting quite good grin finally!

But please don't let this woman spoil things for you. Se made the fuss, she stormed out, if her DD was upset by anything it would be by seeing her mother (a supposed adult) losing control like that.
Don't bother explaining autism....been there, done that and these people are generally too thick to get it. Just mentally call her a silly cow and move on making a note to avoid her in future.

JakeBullet Tue 11-Dec-12 22:09:20

Good Lord Outraged... You truly are thick aren't you?

Take a look at the National Autistic Website and educate yourself a bit. Autism is not called a disability for nothing.....which is why society should make allowances. These children struggle and will struggle all their lives....mainly because people like you make the most utterly stupid comments. I have grown a thicker skin these days but now and then I am taken aback by the stupidity of others.

Apparently Freddos has a child with autism...

threesocksfullofchocs Tue 11-Dec-12 22:12:44


OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Tue 11-Dec-12 22:13:17

I have a child who has Aspergers.

CaptainVonTrapp Tue 11-Dec-12 22:14:58

Who cares whose chair it is?

4 year olds do this kind of thing all the time (without ASD)

Most parents in this situation just try and resolve it quietly for the sake of the show/rest of the audience. Swearing and flouncing from the other Mum was outrageous! If anyone ruined her dd's birthday (and of course thats a total exagerration) it was her.

Don't apologise, don't feel guilty and take in the birthday cake.

WandaDoff Tue 11-Dec-12 22:48:02


coff33andmintspies Tue 11-Dec-12 22:52:23

Children with HFA have to realise that the world will not always bend to them, and sometimes that are going to have to do things they don't completely 'get' because its the right thing to do and because its what society and out customs dictate we do.

Other girl was 6? did I read it was her 6th birthday? That is quite a maturity gap between them in that instance seeing as quite a few children with AS/HFA run effectively at 2 thirds of their actual age.

OP you could have taken your DD out like others have said but I wonder on that. I can see why you didnt want her to miss out and want her to join in the singing. If I had attempted to remove my DS knowing that he believed he was truly correct would have caused a breakdown of confidence, confusion and even more mayhem because he would feel miss-understood and that no one believed him. I think you did right to try and see the situation through calmly and quietly.

Whose chair it was business could well be that your DD had used that chair for practice. It may have not been directly "her chair" on the night but could have been one she has sat in before. AS children also have a tendency to "plan out" in their heads what their next position will be or where they are going next bit like an organised calming technique to ease anxiety. I am wondering perhaps that your DD had planned to sit there because that was her chair either before or "in her plans"

I also doubt getting her to say sorry to the other girl would have benefited either of them tbh. For one the other girl had a stressy mum to listen to and for another it would be the matter of making your already stressed DD say sorry for something that she really wont work out what she has done wrong! She went the wrong way about it yes but all 4yr olds are still learning social stuff and how best to handle things. In the midst of an upset is not really the appropriate time to tell her.

And as for the top quote I can see where this poster is coming from but when our children are older (like us) they will be in a position to CHOOSE whether they wish to bend or wish to avoid it altogether. A social story after the event maybe the next day may help future episodes but not on the night.

gimmecakeandcandy Tue 11-Dec-12 22:54:42

I'm a little surprised people are saying you did nothing wrong... Yes the other woman overreacted but why didn't you take your dd out straight away if she was disrupting the singing etc?

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Tue 11-Dec-12 22:57:39

Repeat after me 'I am not responsible for how other people react'! Please don't worry, you & your dd spoiled no ones birthday, & getting her a pressie seems an over reaction to me as really it wasn't a big deal til the other mother made it so!

You did your best, it's hard to handle things like this, you're not a mind reader, you didn't know how it was going to pan out, you are just a nice person trying to help your dd get through another few mins of a performance as it was nearly ended.

I think you are VVU for being so hard on yourself & should instantly give yourself a break & think no more about it!

Entreprenizzle Tue 11-Dec-12 23:33:32

The other mother sounds nuts. I'd be more annoyed that another mother used the 'f' work in front of all those children - bonkers.

higgyjig Tue 11-Dec-12 23:37:56

Lol @ everyone believing the other child moved chairs for no reason in the space of a few seconds.

PickledInAPearTree Tue 11-Dec-12 23:41:34

Other mother to blame not you!

You have acted perfectly throughout.

Please don't worry!

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 11-Dec-12 23:45:26

Some times taking the child out is not the right thing to do. In most circumstances trying to quickly resolve the issue is better for the suituation.

Saying you should take out a disabled child instantly or routinely when the disability causes an issue is a bit like saying normal folk would rather not deal with disability related issues.

Would anybody think it was ok to exclude a wheelchair user for the sake of a step or narrow doorway?

I know its not exactly the same thing but its still an issue directly as a result of a disability


IneedAsockamnesty Tue 11-Dec-12 23:47:14

Lol @ everyone believing the other child moved chairs for no reason in the space of a few seconds.

Ime kids do stuff like this all the time.

PickledInAPearTree Tue 11-Dec-12 23:49:40

Op was about to take the child out when the other mother started up anyway. She was clearly dealing with it. I would be mortified if I shouted fucking this and that in a carol concert for primary kids.

She's made a total show of herself far worse than any of the kids altercations.

Op did well to not retaliate and keep calm and want to say sorry.

whois Wed 12-Dec-12 00:35:30

Other mother behaved badly for swearing but up to that point it was six of one and half a dozen of the other.

Your DD was making a massive fuss over a chair that might or might not have been hers.
These things happen to all kids at some point.
Other child gets upset by the massive fuss which is a foreseeable consequence. Maybe she's tired. Maybe she's very sensitive. Maybe she's had a bad day. Maybe she's sick of habing to move over for so and so and feels there was injustice. Whatever. I don't see why people think the other girl had no right to be upset just cos she didn't have autism

Other mother sees her DD upset and your DD acting like a spoilt brat over a chair.

Other mother should have calmed her DD down and tried to get her to move but she flounced out and swore instead. Although from her perspective her DD was sitting there having a nice time then all of a sudden there's a massive isshoo and your DD is the cause of it.

I'd defo get telling people about you DD having a dx as hopefully
Situations like the above will be responded to with a much more understanding and kinder approach from the other parent!

dayshiftdoris Wed 12-Dec-12 00:35:52


Been here, done this - many times and whilst I agree that kids with HFA need to learn that society 'doesn't bend' to them you can hope for this to happen overnight and at the age of 4.

We are getting there - at 8yrs but no where nearly there. I would deal with it exactly as you did consider that the other mother swooped in and removed. At that point you were stuck as removing your DD would have meant that they were in the same place whilst she had the inevitable meltdown. However, removal is sometimes better to preserve the dignity of your but each and every situation is different.

Have to say this though - during my time I have come across this sort of situation MANY times. I don't stand for that sort of behaviour off my son but there has been many a time that I think he has a point!
I bet it was her chair and that child should not have jumped in it as soon as she left and it frustrates me that there are some adults who let this behaviour go... my son, who struggles is supposed to behave perfectly whilst other kid's quietly inappropriate behaviour goes unnoticed and is ignored.

Had many a situation in the team sport he plays (using the term loosely but he's there and its positive) where other children are CHEATING and he has major issues with it... we had to write a social story about waiting until half time / end of game before talking to a coach about a breach in the rules... that was after a ref sent him off for pointing out repetitively and then getting angry about a child who broke the rules - the child HAD broke the rules, he was on my son's team and the ref was our coach... he'd seen the breach in the rules but the lad had scored so he did not want to know. I took my son to task for his reaction but I had to agree that it was not fair what that boy had done

Ofcourse his response was wrong and needs changing... we haven't had an incident like that (tho plenty of opportunity for issue!) for a while thanks to the social story and a lot of support to let things go whilst acknowledging his point of view... ofcourse he goes on and on for hours about it afterwards and he is high after but no violence or meltdown... it's progress.

Please don't feel too bad... it's a rocky road this and some situations / people are doomed. You dont need to share your DD diagnosis especially to someone who has reacted like that just hang in there with head held high.

dayshiftdoris Wed 12-Dec-12 00:36:29

*can't not can hope!

Thumbwitch Wed 12-Dec-12 02:56:47

*Floggingmolly Tue 11-Dec-12 13:10:16
The woman didn't know your dd has autism.
All the posters saying "she could have told her dd it would be kind to give up her chair to make your dd happy". Really? Would anyone who didn't understand your dd's condition really be this altruistic?* Yes. I have already said in a previous post that I would have done this, although not necessarily with the "it would be kind blah blah" speech.

Do you insist your kids give up the toys they chose to play with at playgroup the second another kid demands to have a go? I have done this as well. Not necessarily the second that the other kid demands a go, but where the other child is known to me and is likely to bash DS to get the toy, then I will tell DS to let him have it rather than let him get bashed. If the other child is not a known basher, then intervention along the lines of "you have a go for a little while and then let X have it please" are the norm. I'll do it the other way as well (if X has the toy and DS wants it). DS is pretty good at sharing and I try to make sure he knows he has my support and his best interests in mind.

Thumbwitch Wed 12-Dec-12 02:57:17

bloody bold fail. Ah well.

sashh Wed 12-Dec-12 04:22:10

Good grief.

Yes your child acted like a spoiled brat, but because she has autism.

Surely the other mother could see your dd getting distressed and say to her child, "let OP's dd sit in your chair"?

Loveweekends10 Wed 12-Dec-12 04:51:54

I really felt for you whilst reading that. You couldn't have done anything differently so don't beat yourself up.
The other mum had her mind on one thing only and that was her dd s birthday perfection. Shame on her for taking it out on you. I just feel awful for mums when their kids get stubborn I always want to help them out somehow but you know you can't.

differentnameforthis Wed 12-Dec-12 05:19:41

I think you should have left before it escalated. Or at the very least removed your dd from the room while you discussed it.

Haven't read all the answers but every one of my children has had a fit of tears/mini meltdown on their birthday.

It's all a bit overwhelming at that age. Chair incident could've tipped other girl over the edge.

My 5yo dd does not have autism & is likely to have been bothered by the 'wrong chair' as she's very particular about things.

You were obviously dealing with things & the other mum shouldn't have sworn

Peachy Wed 12-Dec-12 09:59:09

I think some people fail to understand exactly what HFA is.

HFA means someone has the triad of impairments, had a speech delay at 3 and a normal IQ- normal is a MASSIVE range.

So, you'd get someone whose speech delay is long gone and has a high IQ: or you'd get a child like my ds3 whose speech is still significantly impaired, whose IQ is quite below average but doesn't hit the significant 65 mark for a learning disability diagnosis, and spends a large percentage of his time locked in absences and unable to comprehend his world.

After all, this is why it's a spectrum; there's no point making pronouncements about what someone with ASD SHOULD so: I have AS: my empathy levels are high (too high, was impacting on my coping ability as was unable to prioritise myself over ANYONE else): my eldest has AS: he has NO emotional empathy. In fact I am researching empathy and children on the spectrum for my MA and the range is so widely disparate it would seem that making random judgements about what any child or adult on the spectrum should or must be able to do is laughable. There are some good sites discussing the empathy imbalance hypothesis, something I subscribe to in many ways, and that is well worth a read.

Now I will go back and read the thread properly!

Peachy Wed 12-Dec-12 10:06:46

OK now read whole thread (someone had alerted me to the HFA bit).

OP- hugs. Lots and lots of them. DS4 would do EXACTLY that with the chairs; he's not diagnosed yet but wlll be one day (the system is just dragging it's feet, everything in place including a statement application, genetics screening and awaiting ADOS). DS4 is also the same age as your DD.

The party situation is immensely hard for anyone on the spectrum, the only one we will bother attending this year is going to be held by the local children's disability centre, have given up on others. And to a 4 year old on the spectrum, absolutes are unbreakable and any perceived rule such as my chair- something after all likely to be reinforced by school- is so very important, it gives their world shape and structure. heck I am 39 and you should see me when I perceive I am even breaking a tiny rule! You'd think the world has ended, even if I can keep it hidden within and not show anyone (meds for the panic attacks help enormously tbh but only as an adult).

At 4, children are still tiny: there is a lot you can do to help her longer term such as social stories and the like but right now it's going to be a learning curve for you both. if parents cannot accept that then you MUST not take on responsibility for their emotions after the lel of explanation and apology, some people will always be difficult but most will be fine once they understand. TBh with my 3 I have found a policy of dropping the ASD into conversation has helped people understand, but I learned that the hard way and each must find their own path.

Merry Christmas X

Peachy Wed 12-Dec-12 10:10:57

(PS ds1 is 13 now and I still wouldn't make him give up a chair in public, because I wouldn't want a beating. I work on it at home, his team of AS SN Teachers in his School Base work on it... so far we have got absolutely nowhere but we persevere. Obviously I do explain and we now reduce the chances of him being anywhere nobody will understand, but he has high levels of cognitive empathy and no emotional empathy meaning he is extremely machavelian alongside the ASD. )

Peachy Wed 12-Dec-12 10:17:28

'Saying you should take out a disabled child instantly or routinely when the disability causes an issue is a bit like saying normal folk would rather not deal with disability related issues.'

And yes, that too.

I'd give my right arm- now, this minute, with no anaesthetic- for my 4 year old not to get so constantly distressed about every slight change of chair or rule or anything. It's heartbreaking and I could cry right now just thinking about it. Forget the violence he is developing through frustration- I can live with that- not seeing him so constantly distressed though. He maybe cried and gets upset 4 hours a day right now, often quiet crying at school so nobody sees him, he hides behind doors and sobs rather than asking for help. Just telling him or expecting him to behave better or give up a chair- goodness if only. I get freddos has a child with AS but there is such a wide disparity of traits- not one of my asd children (and ds4 is really quite obviously going to be diagnosed one day) is anything like the other. It's both the strength and weakness of the spectrum.

DowntonNappy Wed 12-Dec-12 10:23:25

Thanks very much, everyone, for replying/sharing your experiences.

DD has been diagnosed for over a year now, but I'm still coming to terms with it all, and still learning. I didn't take her out of the room because she's been looking forward to the party for weeks, she loves singing, and there was only 5-10 minutes left to go. I didn't want her missing out because of a chair-related misunderstanding. Again, I couldn't forsee the little girl crying as i was focussed on my own dd.

I thought that so long as i could stand next to her, I'd be able to calm her down. But i saw that wasn't working, she was becoming a bit louder so i was going to remove her, but then the other girl started crying and got taken away by her mum.

DD seriously lacks empathy. She couldn't see that she was in the wrong. So i said afterwards, 'fair enough, but it was the little girl's birthday, so it would be nice if the birthday girl got a turn of the chair.'

Yesterday, while playing with her dolls, she reenacted the scenario (carol service, chairs etc), and i was pleased to see her with doll A telling doll B 'okay, you can have the chair because you're the birthday girl', so obviously something's registered. yey!

We have been given a bunch of social stories from her SALT to help school scenarios such as 'waiting my turn', 'listening for my name' etc. I'd never even thought of writing my own for her. Thanks for the suggestion.


DowntonNappy Wed 12-Dec-12 10:27:04

I'm the same, Peachy. Constantly worrying about her. She just doesn't know how to cope with certain things, so instead she'll cry. Yesterday her teacher told me there had been tears in class because one of the older children had fastened her coat up 'wrongly'. They did all the buttons up whereas dd likes the top and bottom one left open.

I'm a nervous wreck whenever she's out of my sight as i sort of feel like her interpreter, if that makes sense. I'm the middle man that can most of the time prevent her tears, and help her understand things before they upset her.

ChippingInAWinterWonderland Wed 12-Dec-12 10:41:16

It is sad how little understanding and/or empathy some people have. I think it's even more upsetting when it's someone who has a child on the spectrum.

I haven't seen you around for a while Peachy. I hope you all have a good Christmas with as little stress as possible x

iamapushymum Wed 12-Dec-12 10:58:38

''Saying you should take out a disabled child instantly or routinely when the disability causes an issue is a bit like saying normal folk would rather not deal with disability related issues.'

well it depends.what about, in this situation, the other little girl who was upset? doesn't she have the right to be not upset?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 12-Dec-12 11:18:19

Chipping, what makes you think I have no understanding or empathy just because I have more of it for the little girl who was made to cry and the parent who was expecting to see her child in a lovely concert on her birthday than I do for the OP? hmm

Peachy, of course the spectrum is huge and wide and massively varied, that's why I had to laugh to myself when I got told that I clearly have no understanding of autism by other people! I'm no expert on autism, I just know the particular ways it affects the people I know who have it.

I made my comment about children who are high functioning having to learn to do things they don't always understand because that's what society dictates because I believe it to be true in many many cases. If the OP has a choice over whether she tells people her child is autistic, then it won't be something that is immediately obvious. That means that as she grows older, she will need to behave in a way that other people relate to for her own benefit.

I get that it's difficult, and I get that it takes years for some children to learn this. But in the meantime, I personally didn't want my child being ostracised or treated differently by his peers because he was treated differently by adults. It's a very complicated thing, but as a parent of an NT child too, I don't think it's ok for any child to be upset because of the upsetting actions of another child, ASD or not.

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Wed 12-Dec-12 11:36:04

I feel sorry for the birthday girl having a mother who thinks it's OK to swear in front of children and stomp out like a brat [shrug]

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Wed 12-Dec-12 11:37:56

Imagine having to go through life with that burden. [shudder]

shewhowines Wed 12-Dec-12 11:43:22

I get where you're coming from Freddo. It's a difficult line to tread and obviously very hard for some children but I do feel that you are right to try to integrate these children (as much as possible) into the society that they have to live in, in such a way that they minimise negative reactions and trauma to themselves.

Definitely easier said than done. Society can be cruel and while in an ideal world people would always make allowances, unfortunately, this isn't an ideal world.

shewhowines Wed 12-Dec-12 11:54:55

While ASD etc may be the reason for behaviour and people should make allowances for this, it shouldn't mean that parents should throw up their hands and and use this as an excuse for not changing the behaviour. I'm know most parents wouldn't do this before I get flamed .

Freddo is just saying that during the long learning process, whilst allowances understandably need to be made for the SN child, allowances also need to be made for young children who have not yet developed the understanding of the need to make allowances - if you see what I mean.

ChippingInAWinterWonderland Wed 12-Dec-12 11:56:48

Outraged because you weren't showing any when you said Children with HFA have to realise that the world will not always bend to them, and sometimes that are going to have to do things they don't completely 'get' because its the right thing to do and because its what society and out customs dictate we do The child is 4.

That aside, the other child is 6. I would expect an (NT) child of 6 to see that a child of 4 was upset by the chair thing and move! If I was the mother of the 6 year old, I would have asked her to move along for the other little girl. I would have also told her that it was silly crying because a 4 year old wants a particular chair! The child didn't need to 'get upset' and the mother could have handled the situation completely differently - it was her choice to 'spoil' the concert by doing what she did.

If you choose for your child not to be treat differently (shown empathy) that's up to you, it doesn't make it the only or right choice. I think other children learn a lot by understanding 'differences' (whether they are physical or mental) and how they affect people/their behaviour and learning how to allow for that whilst still forming equal relationships. Our local school is amazing in this respect.

Peachy Wed 12-Dec-12 12:08:57

Freddo I also have an NT child and you know what? At the age of 12 I can see the huge benefits that living with his siblings has brought- I gets topped in the street by people commenting on his kindness and how helpful he is, neighbours I barely

I don't see how we can have a right not to be upset: how can anyone have that? of course when it comes to small kids we do our best to protect them but a six year old should be able to comprehend when it is explained: or indeed I used to get my sons to take small cards or gifts if they upset someone. It meant nothing to DS1- and a lot to both the parents and the other child. Nothing major: we'd make some biscuits or something.

Integration is immensely useful although at each child's own level and 4 is young, my own boys attend Bases that exist to give specialist help whilst maximising their integration. Equally though compassion and doing things slowly helps a child overall: far easier to integrate when not stressed, certainly a Christmas time event is one of the worst setting imaginable!

It's also true that not everyone will show compassion BUT people need to know before we can judge their reaction.

Do I want my children treated differently by their peers? Interesting. We seem to attract a mixed bunch of kids here: ds2 has friends over often now they are old enough to be able to get out and about should we need to ask them to give the boys a break, and certainly we get those who have less severe diagnoses or presentations as much as NT kids by either chance or ds2's design (he volunteers at school as an ASD Mentor, not my choice, I was against it, but he does). They ARE going to be treated differently: how can a 13 year old who needs constant supervision not be treated differently? other children meet out and about, he can't. Ds3 even more so- he pretty much presents as a very naive toddler, aged 9 (teacher agreed with this at review on Monday). They ARE different so will be treated differently. That's not always negative though- very few people in RL know I have AS but those that do know if I accidentally make a comment that could be perceived as brusque or similar, it's never intended, and I hope that has helped prevent hurt over the years. i don't expect anything extra from anyone- certainly I give plenty, Secretary of the social group etc- but it can work in other people's benefit if they have some awareness- if needed. Equally I work hard to show empathy (I have it in spades but not sure it always show) and I try and ensure the boys do that as best they can, either directly in ds3's case as he ahs plenty or in ds1's case by pretending, which is a better alternative to upsetting people imo.

I guess that's the level I try and pitch at in the longest term.

Chipping- hello! We're fine thank you an looking forward to a great Christmas- are you OK? Things going well? (sorry for hijack).

Peachy Wed 12-Dec-12 12:16:13

Shewho- I get that.

But children learn by example, no?

So when they see that mum makes allowances, (and if it were me with ds2 when he was little, rewards (aka bribes) kindness, whether with praise or haribo) then that IS how it is all learned.

Often I keep the boys away from events, so others can have fun without the tantrums, sometimes because I can;t face another session of watching ds4 refuse to integrate- and sometimes we turn up and rely on other people's kindness, which we normally receive in spades. It needs to be a balance.

Maybe it's me though, but don't quite a few 4 year olds have a hyped up sense of right and wrong anyway? So would get distressed by such a thing as their chair incident? TBh if one of my boys were doing something completely harmless that upset a littlie I'd expect them to stop on age alone, just because we make allowances for people younger (or a lot older!) than us where needed. It depends on parenting style though- our school is quite competitive, and certainly a lot of the parents actively promote competitiveness in their children for life lesson reasons, whilst I am the quiet Quaker teaching kindness in the background: both paths have benefits.

iamapushymum Wed 12-Dec-12 12:26:13

'That aside, the other child is 6. I would expect an (NT) child of 6 to see that a child of 4 was upset by the chair thing and move!'

No.The OPs DD is 4.11 so there is only a year between them, so not a huge gap, and the Ops DD is big so probably looks older.

JakeBullet Wed 12-Dec-12 13:45:58

Only a year between then chronologically but far more socially and emotionally. My son is 10 and does not yet reach National Curriculum Level 1 for Personal, Social and Emotional behaviour.....he understands things less well than the average 5 year old.......I imagine for the OP it's the same situation. Comparing ages is not always the best indicator of behaviour and understanding.

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Wed 12-Dec-12 13:46:35

As a parent though, wouldn't you step in and try to get your child to swap chairs if it was that important to the other child? I would.

SamSmalaidh Wed 12-Dec-12 13:50:45

To be honest, if I didn't know the child had ASD, I would probably roll my eyes and get my child to move but make a pointed comment to the mother about the other child being silly blush I would be cross about my child being made upset over it though.

JakeBullet Wed 12-Dec-12 14:12:23

Yes I would, I used to take DS out of things sometimes. It's not just the chair here, it could be the OP's DD felt very anxious in a very sensory environment and so felt safe in that particular chair having got settled there....who knows.

If DS got involved in stuff like this I used to take him off and calm him down before bringing him back.....or not bringing him back if he didn't calm down. It's hard sometimes and children with high functioning autism are still autistic despite being able to talk etc. they are square pegs in round holes but still need help to fit in the round hole so that they can function in society as adults. Sometimes this takes them years and generally the younger they are then the more stubborn and unreachable they can be about things.

I would have probably removed my Ds in the same situation but only to try and calm him down after all other stuff had not worked. In the OP's case though the other parents did not give her time to get through to her DD before blowing up and having a proper "teddy out of the pram" tantrum all of her own.....that is HER problem and not the OPs one. Sadly that is how her own DD will be as an adult too having witnessed Mummy doing the same. Charming thought isn't it?

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 12-Dec-12 14:21:10

Yes the other child has a right to be upset, but you appear to have ignored the fact that both children were upset both were crying. And from the look of it, it was the other mothers input into the issue that prompted her child to start crying.

As an aside I remember several incidents but one especially sticks in my mind, when ds 4 was in little school another child he was friendly with came to play and stole a computer game. We know it was her and 5 years down the line she confessed, her mother backed her to the hilt saying she had brought her dd the game her child wouldn't do that. She was upset a few days later in school because ds4 did not wish to play with her.

Over the years there have been loads of times when the dc's have been goaded/ poked/ prodded had things thrown at them because the child in the classroom doing it took amusement from the resulting meltdown and then watching the dc get told off.

It happened once when ds5 was being observed for an assessment and the teacher at the time refused to believe ds when he said another child had been poking him with a pencil until the educational phycolagist watching told Her that yes that was the case.

Children are often very strange creatures they tend to do weird things. So before you grab and remove a child who is experiencing a symptom directly as a result of a disability that makes them more vulnerable to certain less pleasant types of behaviour exhibited by others and/ or less able to deal with the outcomes of those things, you should just asses the suituation and try to resolve it. This is exactly what the op was doing,when the other parent escalated the suituation

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 12-Dec-12 14:25:52

jake ds2 ( currently on the sofa full of snot) has just said to me " perhaps that's the exact chair the teacher pointed to and asked the dd to sit on earlier, perhaps she thought she really had to sit on that particular chair, that happened to me all the time"

ChippingInAWinterWonderland Wed 12-Dec-12 15:13:06

Even if the child was older/bigger/whatever if they were getting upset about something, I would ask my child to please give the other child the chair/whatever as it's clearly important to them. Many years ago - before I knew so many children with SN and before MN, I admit I probably would have rolled my eyes, thankfully I am now far more aware of 'everything not being as it seems' all of the time and you know, so what if it is just an older/bigger/whatever child chucking a tantrum over something daft - does it really matter? Far better that than upset a child who does have some form of SN.

BumBiscuits Wed 12-Dec-12 15:22:09

A parent would be called up to the head's office if they swore in front of an infant class at my DDs' school (this has happened when a father swore while reprimanding his son who wouldn't wear his coat).

Other than that, this probably won't be the last time something like this happens to you. You'll need to learn some coping mechanisms of your own.

Stop feeling guilty, the other kid had probably forgotten all about the chair incident by the time she was in the car going home.

I doubt very much that you "ruined" her birthday at all, she'll have got over it by now. As the teacher was aware that your DD has autism I would have expect an adult to be sitting somewhere in the vicinity who could have offered you some support in the event of a crisis (the possibility of which should have been anticipated). Don't beat yourself up about this, it could have happened to anyone, whether their child had any difficulties or not. Kids do this all the time.

Yorkpud Wed 12-Dec-12 17:40:46

Poor you - it is really hard to know what the right thing to do is in these situations. I think the other mother was wrong to do what she did as you were trying to calm your daughter down you weren't asking the other girl to give up her chair.

Your friend that keeps making you feel bad about this really doesn't sound like much of a friend especially as she knows about your daughter's autism.

maisiejoe123 Wed 12-Dec-12 17:50:45

If you dont want people to know that your child has special needs I think you need to expect these sorts of incidents. A few years ago my son (aged 5) was swimming and when he was in the changing room another boy who had been in the pool with him came up to him and smashed his fist into his face! There was no warning, no fighting beforehand. The father with him said sorry, handed me a card which said my son has 'Special Needs' and just walked off! I still to this day cannot decide if I should have done anything about this.

Of course I know that everyone will rush forward saying they wouldnt allow that to happen etc but it did and I suspect clearly it wasnt the first time. So, perhaps I would consider telling the school, why are you keeping it a secret?

Changeforthrday Wed 12-Dec-12 17:57:59

The children are small! The wrong chair can be terrible at that age (I remember someone pinching my chair in choir practice and I was very upset). The mum was the one spoiling the evening because of her reaction. I would have moved DS if he had swiped a chair that another child was sitting on. The mum was being quite passive aggressive and a bully - all she needed to do was ask her child to move chairs, no drama or stomping off. Maybe she was having a bad day. I stomp about quite I'm having a bad day and am sure at school they think I'm a right old cow!

DowntonNappy Wed 12-Dec-12 20:01:12

Hi again.

A lot of people seem to think this happened in a school (probably my fault for using the word 'teacher').

This actually took place in a little club my daughter goes to once a week. The 'teacher' is the lady who runs it.

I don't think the teacher heard the mum say 'fucking', but she saw her storm out and then definitely heard her call my dd 'spoilt brat' as she retrieved her own child's present. And i'm certain the teacher will have spoken to her about this afterwards, but obviously wanted to try and retain some calm during the children's carols.

I'm not keeping dd's autism secret per se. We're both new to the club and don't know any of the other parents. Haven't spoken to any of them actually. And it's not something i feel i could just blurt out to strangers.

Thanks again everyone for your replies and sharing your own experiences. You've really helped to open my eyes a lot more.

DrCoconut Wed 12-Dec-12 22:11:11

I thought ASD before you even said your DD has autism. My DS1 is on the spectrum (being assessed to see where ) and I know how difficult it is to manage these situations and how judgemental others can be. Hopefully it will quickly blow over.

dayshiftdoris Thu 13-Dec-12 01:26:59


You do not have to share your DD's diagnosis with anyone that you do not feel comfortable with doing so.

My son has been with his team for FOUR years and only the coaches and managers know plus 1 or 2 parents who are friends anyway. =

That mother is unlikely to care that your DD has AS and infact it may make her more determined that her DD should not 'suffer' due to your DD's needs.
Happened to us more than once so be very careful.

Saying all that - I told a random shoe shop assistant... my son suddenly couldnt stand his shoes and had a full blown meltdown over it so ended up in plimsols in schooll. Took hell of a chance in going shoe shopping after school but walked in, sat him down then said to the woman - my son is autistic, he's had an awful day and I need a pair of shoes in a size 2H. Less than 10mins later we had shoes and the woman had not even looked at him smile whilst fitting shoes...
I wanted to kiss her.

I always reason that if it will protect him and benefit him then I will say something but otherwise it does not define him as a person.

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