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To Be Annoyed about this (Poss SN) Childs Behaviour

(1000 Posts)
fantasticfanjo Fri 28-Dec-12 13:32:06

Ok so we went to The Panto last night which wasn't a cheap night out with the tickets costing £100 + for 4 of us.

We were sat 4 seats in with a family of 4 occupying the end 4.

The Father of other the family preceded to lift his DS aged about 10/11 over the seats (spare) to the row in front so he could get a better view and was now sat directly in front of my DP.

This child then spent the entire performance jumping up and down on the seat in front,shouting loudly for sweets,flapping arms,banding his head with his shoes which he'd taken off and generally distracting everyone around him. To give the father credit he did repeatedly tell the child to shut up /sit down and threaten him etc.

Although My experience of ASD is quite limited, I'm assuming the boy was on the Autistic spectrum and although the panto is a family performance and I expect to be disturbed by kids needing a wee,rustling sweets etc AIBU to be pissed off with our evening be ruined especially seeing the boy could have been seated on the end of the aisle where he would have disturbed others less ?

CwtchesAndCuddles Fri 28-Dec-12 13:38:40

If it was that bad why didn't you say anything ???

I wouldn't allow my ds who has autism behave like that.

toomuch2young Fri 28-Dec-12 13:39:50

Hmm because 'threatening him' is a fantastic response to a distressed overwhelmed asd child hmm

Of course YABU. It's a kids show, he is a child. The poor family possibly find every single outing stressful and difficult and are trying to intergrate their ds into the world so he is not isolated - despite probably having judgy people like you at every occasion. It affected you for a couple of hours, it will affect him and his family their whole lives.

Please have a little compassion.

silverfrog Fri 28-Dec-12 13:41:11

did you ask the family to move him back? (or sit with him, in which case you could have moved to their seats in your row, and not had a disturbed view)?

DozyDuck Fri 28-Dec-12 13:42:15

Oh bugger off, maybe you'd prefer OT of your DS had ASD instead?

everlong Fri 28-Dec-12 13:42:58

I suppose the dad thought giving his son a bit more space might make it easier for both of them. Maybe.

If I were you I'd just say imagine being the parents of this little boy. Must be very hard for them.

And tbf a panto is noisy and loud with lots going on anyway.

FestiveElement Fri 28-Dec-12 13:43:48

YANBU. I have a child with ASD, it isn't an excuse to be inconsiderate to other people, especially on a special ocassion.

cinnamonnut Fri 28-Dec-12 13:46:21


HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Fri 28-Dec-12 13:48:29

Well then you should have complained.

My children both have autism and I would neither allow them to behave like that nor get arsy if people complained if I allowed them to behave like that!

Autism is not an excuse to allow your child to behave in antisocial ways. As parents of children on the spectrum, our lives revolve around teaching them the social rules!

I can't count the number of situations I've removed my kids from because they had reached a level that was beyond acceptable in a social setting.

What you describe is a selfish parent who failed to consider the impact of their actions on other people and/or viewed other people's needs as less important.

SarahWarahWoo Fri 28-Dec-12 13:50:13

You should have said something there and then, you can't do anything now unless you have a time machine. (do you? If so can I borrow it?)

CwtchesAndCuddles Fri 28-Dec-12 13:50:18

It seems to be the ones who have a child with ASD that think the parents should have made an effort to ensure their child didn't disturb others!

yohohoho Fri 28-Dec-12 13:52:40

I have experience of children with an in our family. My cousin certainly would not allow her son to disturb others enjoyment. She has had to remove him from activities before.

cansu Fri 28-Dec-12 13:53:01

There are very few events that are safe to take children with autism to as they oft en disturb others or attract judge looks and comments. I have two dc with ASD and though I would love to take them it is just too stressful ditto most cafes, cinemas, sometimes parks and really anything else t hat most parents enjoys sharing with their do. Pretty much the only thing I can do is swimming and walks in the wilderness! A panto is a noisy thing where lots of young dc shout and fidget etc so I think you should be able to be less judgy and unpleasant that you were inconvenienced. Try imagining how stressful and difficult it is for the child's parents on a daily 24 /7 basis.

fantasticfanjo Fri 28-Dec-12 13:54:38

I cant understand why they sat him in a row on his own and then choose to spend the entire performance repeatedly telling him to shut up/sit down thus adding to the noise level.TBH I really dont think that listning to the DF (repeatedly)threatening his child with taking him outside and "smacking his Bottom" a particularity fun night.

atacareercrossroads Fri 28-Dec-12 13:54:58

Yanbu, I'd have asked the father to move the kid back or if that didn't work spoke to someone at the theatre

okaynowitstheseason Fri 28-Dec-12 13:55:33

YY DozyFuck, that's clearly the only alternative to the behaviour described in the OP.

Vagaceratops Fri 28-Dec-12 13:57:20

Poor boy sad

silverfrog Fri 28-Dec-12 13:58:14

well, did you ask why they had done that?

I too have had to remove dd1 (ASD) from situations sometimes, if her behaviour deteriorates. but I would never have doen as this family did and moved her to be on her own, in front of anoher family.

why did you not ask them to move him back/sit beside him?

DozyDuck Fri 28-Dec-12 13:59:24

Well then fanjo that's the parents behaviour not the child's

Maybe you need to read your own op

Autistic people can't help stimming. Why don't you moan about the space a wheelchair takes up next?

SnowProbs Fri 28-Dec-12 14:00:46

Yes, YABU. And a complete arsehole.

FrustratedSycamoreSnowflake Fri 28-Dec-12 14:03:52

Oh OP I'd be tempted to take my dc just to annoy arsy pants with attitudes like yours. tempted but I wouldn't put my dc through it

It's a panto for goodness sake, most children I know couldn't sit still and quiet during a panto. And often (although not always) my ASD child is better behaved "controlled" than alot of NT children.

As for seating on the end of a row, have you tried to get seating in a certain place? Maybe you should try it? Life is not that simple.
Maybe we should lock up all of our ASD children and never allow them to experience normal everyday life so you are not disturbed.

<restrains self from completely loosing plot>

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 14:05:00

What cansu said.

Some children with autism will be like this when they are excited. not necessarily something that can be stopped or 'bad' behavior, although some parents may decide to go home if it is infringing on others enjoyment.

But at a noisy event such as a childrens panto, I wouldnt think it would cause any more disruption than any other excited child. Although there is the factor of some people finding the normal behaviors of a child with special needs uncomfortable viewing ie hitting themselves etc.

The Dad sounds like he has some old fashioned views on parenting, but maybe he felt under immense pressure due to members of the public looking and tutting? I wouldnt judge too harshly on that TBH.

Personally I wouldnt take my son who is autistic to a panto because you would be disturbed by him tutting and sighing at it all, he thinks panto is utterly unfunny and doesnt understand how anyone can enjoy it! smile

okaynowitstheseason Fri 28-Dec-12 14:05:12

Grabs pitchfork

How dare OP expect a parent to parent?? Wanker!

usualsuspect3 Fri 28-Dec-12 14:06:38

I have nothing further to add to SnowProbs post.

She said it all really.

DozyDuck Fri 28-Dec-12 14:07:12

Okay that's not what op said. You can't stop autistic people stimming just like you can't make someone walk. She is not a nice person

threesocksfullofchocs Fri 28-Dec-12 14:07:47

oh come on...
my gripe would be with the parents, who moved said child away from them...
yes the child cannot help how he was behaving, but putting him a row away, then shouting at him!!
poor lad.
I would have complained and got theatre to sort it.

DozyDuck Fri 28-Dec-12 14:09:08

Three socks I would have an issue with parents talking to children like that too

But the OP talked about having issues with the child for stimming. That's very unreasonable

YABVU as a parent of a child with severe autism, people like you make me weep, show a little compassion and understanding to people who have a disabled child and thank your lucky stars that one of your children isn't affected.

threesocksfullofchocs Fri 28-Dec-12 14:11:48

DozyDuck I know.
I am lucky as my dd"s is very visible....(tongue in cheek emotion)

just feel fro the lad being shouted at

DozyDuck Fri 28-Dec-12 14:13:53

I agree threesocks
If op had said 'Aibu to be upset about how these parents acted' I would have said no.

But she's blaming the child for the disability. sad

Such a shame people like that exist

fantasticfanjo Fri 28-Dec-12 14:14:32

Autistic people can't help stimming. Why don't you moan about the space a wheelchair takes up next?

Dozy What a stupid thing to suggest ,in this particular instance the parents of the child chose not to minimise the impact of their sons behaviour on others.This could have quite easily be done by seating him at the end of their aisle.
The only conclusion I can come to is that they didn't want him disturbing THEM and that was why they moved him to a row away from them !

Pagwatch Fri 28-Dec-12 14:14:52

Our panto had a relaxed performance specially for children with asd or similar conditions.

I wouldn't have let my son stay in front of other people if his behaviour was disruptive but to be honest I expect boisterous stuff at pantos so I am a bit [meh].

But tbh I don't really understand saying nothing for a three hour panto and then whining on the Internet. You should have spoken to the dad or asked someone to move you/him.

FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Fri 28-Dec-12 14:15:45

You cant teach kids with severe ASD social rules easily if at all.

So..I guess they just cant go to the panto like other kids eh.

DozyDuck Fri 28-Dec-12 14:16:01

How would moving him to the end of an aisle help? Maybe they couldn't. Why did you move?

It's not stupid it's actually very factual. Maybe you breath funny and that was annoying the person next to you.

Pagwatch Fri 28-Dec-12 14:16:33

Why didn't you say something? Did you ask to be moved at the interval at least.

If the row in front of you was empty I assume there was room to move?

DozyDuck Fri 28-Dec-12 14:16:42

Why didn't you move sorry

FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Fri 28-Dec-12 14:16:57

That's why my DD can't do the same as your kids, all you judgers

DozyDuck Fri 28-Dec-12 14:17:48

Don't let judgers get to you sad they obviously have nothing better to do.

FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Fri 28-Dec-12 14:18:33

Yes..I suppose they can't help being thoughtless selfish arseholes.

Pagwatch Fri 28-Dec-12 14:19:45

Fanjo - slightly off topic but have you looked at relaxed performances at the theatre /panto and peck cinema screenings. They are nor very well advertised but they are great if your child struggles in that environment.

silverfrog Fri 28-Dec-12 14:20:06

umm, the OP says that the boy was moved into the row in front, away from a seat at the end of the row. so it was perfectly possible to seat the boy at the end of a row.

it is also possible to reduce stimming in an autistic child. sometimes, it can be as easy as reminding them they are doing X (although not always, as I know - dd1 has had some easily stifled stims, and some so-totally-compulsive behaviours that it is not possible to reduce them at all).

It reads to me as though the OP is complaining more that the boy's family moved him away from them (into their direct field of vision), and then left him alone and muttered threats at him from a (relative) distance.

there is no way I would ever think to behave like this. we take dd1 to all sorts of shows and performances. somtimes we have had to remove her, mostly she is 'containable' (for want of a better word) - but always from right next to her, with either dh or I sacrificing a lot of our enjoyment of the show to ensure that dd1 is ok, understands everything, and is reminded about her behaviour. that is just how it is for us - loads of preparation and on-hand, immediate being on top of dd1's behaviours.

I woudl have asked the family in question to either move their ds back to sit with them, or move to sit with their ds so that we could shuffle along into their seats at the end of the row. then the stimming and enjoyment form the boy in question would not have been so disruptive at all.

DozyDuck Fri 28-Dec-12 14:20:07

They can, they just think it makes them big and clever to pick on other people.

Pagwatch Fri 28-Dec-12 14:20:15

special cinema screenings

FrustratedSycamoreSnowflake Fri 28-Dec-12 14:21:15

"*Autistic people can't help stimming. Why don't you moan about the space a wheelchair takes up next?*

Dozy What a stupid thing to suggest ,in this particular instance the parents of the child chose not to minimise the impact of their sons behaviour on others.This could have quite easily be done by seating him at the end of their aisle."

Why didnt you move, since you were the one clearly disturbed by an ASD child being, well, autistic.
What Dosy has suggested is the exact responce I felt, just better phrased it's still discrimination whatever disability it is.

DozyDuck Fri 28-Dec-12 14:21:34

Stimming is a way to reduce sensory overload. I would never tell DS to stop that, it's cruel.

Shouting I would tell him to stop/ give him ear defenders.

FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Fri 28-Dec-12 14:22:22

She wouldn't watch a film anyway.

It just makes me shudder to think people would post and moan about a child with ASD.

Am going to step away from MN for a while as sick of posts like this.

DozyDuck Fri 28-Dec-12 14:22:51

In fact if DS had to stil that much I would do everything possible to reduce the sensory overload. But I would not expect someone to sit there judging

HollaAtMeSanta Fri 28-Dec-12 14:23:16

DozyDuck what do you mean by stimming? Never heard that word before.

OP YANBU to be annoyed but it is totally the parents' fault, not the boy's. I think that's what you meant though! I don't know much about ASD but I believe that unfamiliarity, noises, darkness/funny lighting etc can stress out some children with these issues and trigger them to act out. It doesn't seem like a family panto trip was a very good idea for this boy.

DozyDuck Fri 28-Dec-12 14:24:40

Stimming is things like flapping, rocking, hitting head, spinning etc. the stim is different for every child or some might have a few

FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Fri 28-Dec-12 14:26:27

It is to me the very definition of disablist to complain about someone with a disability enjoying the same outing that you have and expecting them to be kept away or moved.

Away to spend time with my nice but noisy DD and have a nice break from MN

Megglevache Fri 28-Dec-12 14:26:30

oh my gosh, how rude some people are being about FF .

You are not an arsehole shock

YANBU to think the parents should have found a way where their dc could've enjoyed the performance without them having to bark at him send "threaten" their kid.

FF...I think youve had some really harsh criticism.

most fellow parents of autistic children I know wouldn't have behaved as you describe.

Pagwatch Fri 28-Dec-12 14:27:21

confused sorry. I thought your post was suggesting that you were sad that your dd can't go to a panto like other children. Just tryingto help.

MolehillAlchemy Fri 28-Dec-12 14:27:25

Being a veteran of many pantos, they are the one place I'd expect every child to be over-excited, fidgety, bouncy and generally a bit annoying.

Maybe the parent of the boy thought a panto was one annual outing where his son's behaviour wasn't so out of the ordinary.

usualsuspect3 Fri 28-Dec-12 14:28:20

Well you know, if the OP knew MN she must have known how this thread would turn out.

Why start it?

Megglevache Fri 28-Dec-12 14:28:21

this is a thread about the boys PARENTS!!!

silverfrog Fri 28-Dec-12 14:29:00

ime, stimming can be as much about the enjoyment of the stim as to reduce sensory overload. thus dd1 has had some corkers of stims, which she enjoys, but which are not socially acceptable in all contexts. if she wants to go and see a show/panto (which generally she does - she enjoys them a lot), she needs to stop/reduce the unnecessary stims as much as possible, so that she doesn't disrupt everyone else's enjoyment of the show.

it can be as cruel to leave her continuing these stims, but unable to access wider life than it is to get ehr to reduce these stims and continue to go to the cinema/theatre/other sociable activity.

DozyDuck Fri 28-Dec-12 14:29:17

Meggle the point is she didn't originally complain about the parent but an autistic child stimming

FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Fri 28-Dec-12 14:29:46

Pagwatch..I appreciate your post smile

I wasnt addressing you in my ire smile

DozyDuck Fri 28-Dec-12 14:30:17

Silverfrog I know what you're saying and I used to think that way but the autistic adults I spoke to say otherwise and I'm more inclined to listen to them... What with them having autism and all smile

fantasticfanjo Fri 28-Dec-12 14:31:14

We couldn't move as there was only 2 spare seats in the row in fount (one of which the boy was sat in) As for speaking to the parents,do you really think that given the fact that the father spent the entire time threatening violence towards his obviously Autistic child make him a reasonable rational person ?

Pagwatch Fri 28-Dec-12 14:31:14

I would do anything I could to help ds2 cope with a panto. But if the manifestation of his difficulties massively impacted upon people around him then I would take him home tbh.

But I still don't get why the op didn't speak to the family or ask to be moved

We took ds2 to the panto on boxing day. He did get a few looks wen he sang along . He has a voice only a mother could love grin

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 14:31:37

I don't know much about ASD but I believe that unfamiliarity, noises, darkness/funny lighting etc can stress out some children with these issues and trigger them to act out It doesn't seem like a family panto trip was a very good idea for this boy

It isnt 'acting out' I get the point you are making but the term acting out suggests a degree of wilfulness which when it comes to stimming just isnt there.

DozyDuck Fri 28-Dec-12 14:32:06

Well of you couldn't move then how could they?

I've also taken dd1 out of places when things have got too much.
I always make sure if I can we are at the end of an aisle for quick get away.

Apart from last week at Lion King when they messed our tickets up and we were all sat seperate! Even then I positioned dd1 on end, I sat eight seats from her and mum sat with the others behind.

Pagwatch Fri 28-Dec-12 14:32:50

Could you not speak to a member of staff.

The level of behaviour you described must have been noticed by several rows of people around you. Did no one say anything at all?

silverfrog Fri 28-Dec-12 14:33:01

the passive aggressive smiley does you no favours, Dozyduck smile

I prefer to listen to my dd, what with her having autism and all.

she is able to reduce some of her stims.

she wants to go to the theatre/cinema/etc.

she wants to fit in, and people to not judge her. we guide her and try to help her shape her behaviour to achieve this.

we do not ask too much of her, and always prepare her well (which ime goes a long way towards reducing stims anyway)

DozyDuck Fri 28-Dec-12 14:34:03

And actually DS is an angel at theatres and pantos and cinemas. In fact spends his time glaring at NT children who are making noises. But I haven't once thought to whinge about it to be honest. But I have got plenty of grips

Pagwatch Fri 28-Dec-12 14:34:11

That's good fanjo smile

DozyDuck Fri 28-Dec-12 14:35:22

Why should people judge her anyway though? She shouldn't HAVE to worry about what other people think it makes me very sad.

If your DD can communicate with you then that's very good smile

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 14:35:27

I don't think any parent should try to stop an autistic child stimming because it makes others feel uncomfortable.

I used to think that way but the autistic adults I spoke to say otherwise and I'm more inclined to listen to them... What with them having autism and all

DozyDuck Im on the same page as you on that one.

As I have said before 99.9% of theatres have a couple of seats usually in boxes empty for situations were people are unhappy and need to be moved. (used to work in theatres).

Megglevache Fri 28-Dec-12 14:37:00

lots of lovely mums on this thread. Lucky children. xx

DozyDuck Fri 28-Dec-12 14:37:28

amberleaf my eyes were well and truly opened when I started reading blogs/ talking to people who actually have autism, it's helped me and DS no end.

FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Fri 28-Dec-12 14:39:55

From the OP

"To give the father credit he did repeatedly tell the child to shut up /sit down and threaten him etc."

NO..the OP was not posting about the terrible behaviour of the child's parents but of the child himself.

Bye all...

also, I may get angry at shitty OPs like this but I am still a "lovely parent" to my DD wink

DozyDuck Fri 28-Dec-12 14:40:45

Fanjo I didn't even realise the OP was giving the parent credit for threatening his child angry

FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Fri 28-Dec-12 14:40:48

"to give the father credit he did threaten him" WTAF

FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Fri 28-Dec-12 14:41:36

yes Dozy.

I think others have missed that too.

You should maybe step away too as this thread will just upset you at a hard time for you too.

waitingforgodot Fri 28-Dec-12 14:42:05

It could be that the child has sensory issues and was more comfortable in the row of empty seats

DozyDuck Fri 28-Dec-12 14:42:10

Fanjotime you sound like a wonderful mum
Please don't let judgy people stop you enjoying time with your child. Put the blinkers on.

DozyDuck Fri 28-Dec-12 14:43:04

I probably should but I feel like if I step away people will think the OPs attitude is acceptable and it isn't. It's disablist and horrible

waitingforgodot Fri 28-Dec-12 14:44:32

And prob the dad felt obliged to say something to the boy due to all the tutting and frowning from the OP and family. Poor boy.

HollaAtMeSanta Fri 28-Dec-12 14:44:56

I actually think that seeing a child clearly in distress being yelled at and threatened rather than comforted/taken out of the stressful situation would have bothered me more than the noise/distraction. I do think YWBU not to say anything at the time.

DozyDuck Fri 28-Dec-12 14:48:29

Holla that wouldn't bother OP because she was giving him credit for threatening his child in her original post as highlighted by Fanjotime sad

blueemerald Fri 28-Dec-12 14:49:58

My brother is autistic and I worked with secondary students with PMLD for a while and we (the school staff/my family and I) would at least try to minimise the disruption for the public during any trip out as this often makes the trip more enjoyable for the student.

Given the behaviours in the OP (all of my students displayed the behaviours described or even more disruptive- screaming, slapping, hair pulling and so on) a student would not be allowed to sit by themselves in the theatre/cinema/etc and the staff would work one-on-one at helping the student to act in a more socially acceptable way. Some will be outraged at getting individuals with SEN 'to conform' but, honestly, what is the point of spending hundreds of hours toilet training and teaching a student to walk and speak if they can't go to a shop or the cinema?

I too would be frustrated and disappointed for the boy to be dumped in the row in front and shouted at and threatened for 90 mins, but I don't think there are any winners in this situation, the parents/family are probably struggling, the boy is being shouted at (which will not help any anxiety or sensory overload) and the theatre-goers evening was disrupted.

DozyDuck Fri 28-Dec-12 14:52:08

Blueemerald it really depends on the individual doesn't it? Most autistic people say social skills training is useless.

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 14:52:44

Yes I think people are missing the huge point that it was the boys behavior that she was annoyed about.

cansu Fri 28-Dec-12 14:53:08

Whilst it might be possible to help some dc with asd to reduce or manage t heir stims or even just to have a more socially acceptable or less visible stim, it certainly isn't the case that this can be achieved with all dc with asd. Dd2 has slightly cute flappy stim that looks ok and is generally viewed as cute and is greeted with patronising smiles from adults and curious looks from other dc. Ds1 who is more severely and classically autistic makes loud repetitive noises, drums repetitively on other objects and attempts to prevent stim,ing or limit this results in self injurious behaviour and major meltdown. It is of course very hard to say on an Internet forum but I think what seems like an obvious solution is never as simple as that with asd. Some people have suggested the child should not have been in his own row. Maybe but then again maybe he likes to have space from others and therefore wanted to sit there for sensory reasons. Maybe he sat there last time he went to a show and as it was free automatically say there. Before I had my dc I would probably have also thought that parents should have managed it better but I know from experience that attempts to manage issues like this when dc are already very on edge can lead to a huge meltdown and distress. It is hard sometimes to plan any trip out into the world. I took ds to McDonald's yesterday and was hugely nervous because it can easily go wrong. I think the op should cut the parents some slack and try and be more understanding. I try very hard not to be noticed by others when we go out, but feel strongly that parents whose childrens behaviour is very challenging shouldn't be forced to remain invisible in society. I also think that those who have been successful at moderating or managing their dc autistic behaviour should be aware that what will work with some dc won't work with all those on the spectrum.

DozyDuck Fri 28-Dec-12 14:54:24

I would say flapping, head smacking, is something that can be left alone. Hair pulling and other aggressive behaviours need changing (because of the safety of others over their own comfort)

Pantomimedam Fri 28-Dec-12 14:55:04

Sounds like the problem is the boy's parents, who were allowing their child to be disruptive and not dealing with it very well, either to help their child or to reduce the annoyance to other members of the audience. It's horrid to think of a child being 'threatened' for behaviour that isn't deliberate naughtiness and it's irritating and annoying to be sat behind a child who is distracting you from the performance, especially when the parents have deliberately put the child there, not in the booked seat.

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 14:56:21

what is the point of spending hundreds of hours toilet training and teaching a student to walk and speak if they can't go to a shop or the cinema?

Umm, do they want to go to the shops or the cinema though?

Quite possibly not, despite both those things being seen as a yardstick for 'normal' behavior!

Not everyone wants to do those things, but I can see a use in teaching toilet training/speaking/walking, but maybe that adult with autism would rather use those skills doing what they want to do not what others think they should.

blueemerald Fri 28-Dec-12 15:02:50

DozyDuck I'm afraid, in my experience with autistic individuals, I don't agree. I have seen scores of children/teenagers learn to manage their behaviours, learn some social skills and go on to form friendships of varying degrees and be able to complete tasks (such as shopping) that have a deep and meaningful impact on the quality of their lives.

I agree that not all stims can be 'rechannelled' but I don't think shouting and threatening a child with autism is the answer. I've taken students with autism to the cinema who played on a DS (at the back, with the brightness way down) for 70% of the film, I don't care because watching and enjoying the 30% he watched was progress for him.

blueemerald Fri 28-Dec-12 15:07:55

Ok, maybe not the cinema but if you want to survive in this world you need to eat! Perhaps some of my students would have taken better to internet shopping though smile At school we are trying to move as close to independence as we can, choosing and acquiring food is a really important part of feeling like you have some control over your life and world.

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 15:08:23

Another great post cansu

defineme Fri 28-Dec-12 15:10:08

It's hard to know where to draw the line in terms of what's acceptable. We went to a children's show on xmas eve and ds1 is 10 but looks 14. He had a screaming flapping fit when we went in (before the performance started) and then when it started he didn't adjust the volume of his voice for the first 10 minutes. However, after that all he did was rustle sweets and slap his chest a bit. Lots of people stared, dh got wound up and may well have looked pretty cross when he was shushing ds. My dd loudly asked to leave because she was embarrassed.
I didn't enjoy the performance as I was on guard , but ds2 was enthralled and dd enjoyed it in the end.Typical outing for us. Feel torn between other kids, ds often doesn't want to sit with us (screaming when we arrived was in part about this) ds1 didn't really enjoy show but we had no one he would stay with and he likes to do what we do.

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 15:10:12

I agree blueemerald, but I think it is useful to equip someone with autism with the skills they need to do things their way as that is the way they will be doing it once input from school/parents is not forthcoming.

threesocksfullofchocs Fri 28-Dec-12 15:16:20

I am amazed at how strong the dad was....
he managed to lift a 10/11 year old over a whole row of people......

atacareercrossroads Fri 28-Dec-12 15:21:27

I can quite easily lift an 11 year old that height confused

blueemerald Fri 28-Dec-12 15:21:32

I agree, AmberLeaf, it has to be as much of a compromise as possible. If it means my student wears headphones and listens to really loud Dido through the whole process without speaking a word to the checkout assistant then so be it, she got the food!

threesocksfullofchocs Fri 28-Dec-12 15:23:03

atacareercrossroads really?
over people's heads

cansu Fri 28-Dec-12 15:24:33

Thanks amberleaf. I think define me saying "I didn't enjoy the performance I was on my guard" sums it up really. We very rarely do whole family things and when we do it is very hard. Threads like this can be depressing and upsetting but I think it's important that we keep posting about this stuff as it is so hidden generally in society. I have a tendency to minimise the limitations we have to cope with when talking to friends and colleagues as I don't want to be pitied.

atacareercrossroads Fri 28-Dec-12 15:25:05

peoples heads that are sat down? so about waist height? Of course I can

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 28-Dec-12 15:35:43


But I'm quite interested in how you would explain to my LF ASD children that arm flapping and making odd noises is considered bad behaviour and this means they shouldn't attempt to enjoy things as a family that other family's enjoy.

pigletmania Fri 28-Dec-12 16:05:39

Yabu this boy has sn that he cannot help, he is not just being naughty. Therefore we have to have a little more understanding and compassion. It's Mabey his way of enjoying the panto, should we have to keep them indoors and not take them out hmm. society is made of different people how are children supposed to accept people with special needs if their parents cannot. My dd 5 has ASD and I do no take her to a pantomime/cinema as she cannot sit still, does not like the dark or loud unpredictable sounds.

Mabey t dad should have moved to the end of a row something, bu noway should they be asked to go if that boy is enjoying it.

CaptChaos Fri 28-Dec-12 16:08:55

If this had happened at a performance of Shakespeare, I might be inclined to have a better opinion of this whole thing, although probably not. It was a panto, yes? You spent lots of money. I'm assuming that the family you are describing paid the same amount for their tickets, so that's a red herring.

Did you bother to talk to the family, ask them if they could move him to the end of the aisle? Or did you, like so many other people like you, sit there with your lips pursed, tutting the whole way through? Did the seat at the end of the aisle have a forcefield around it to dampen the noise and keep the child in his seat? Since when did a father threatening his child become a good thing to do?

Thanks for your post OP, it's confirmed my belief that we did the best thing possible in not taking our ASD DS2 to anything like this, the tutting in supermarkets is bad enough, but we don't have to pay £100 for the privilege!

Allonsy Fri 28-Dec-12 16:35:02

Tbh you dont really know if the boy was asd at all sounds like exactly the way ds1 would act hes 7 with sensory processing difficulties. Hes a sensory seeker and taking him anywhere is almost impossible, christmas has made things especially difficult lots more unknown going on, people, excitment, things changing in shops and lots of lights and sparkles and hes flapping alot at the moment.
Perhaps he wasnt on the end of an aisle as he may run off? maybe he was put on the row infront so he had space around him, id have more sympathy for the op if the parents wernt trying to do anything to stop him but they were, its very very difficult and the parents were probably mortified.

Redstockingswillstopsanta Fri 28-Dec-12 16:39:27

sad angry

pigletmania Fri 28-Dec-12 16:40:00

If the child is showing signs of distress and upset ten yes the parents should take them out. But if te child is happy then why should they be taken out.

DozyDuck Fri 28-Dec-12 16:42:32

Can't be bothered with this thread anymore. Shows all the reasons why life is so fucking hard for us. Not because of DS but because of horrible judgemental disablist people like OP

Moominsarehippos Fri 28-Dec-12 16:46:37

Pantos are like bear pits anyway. You expect kids to get all over excited and leap around and make a lot of noise. I'm not sure why the parents decided that sitting a high octane child in a separate row was a good idea if they spent the rest of the evening trying to calm him down and threatening him. Odd behaviour from the parents.

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Fri 28-Dec-12 16:57:29

The truth is -and it is a hard one - the world does not give a shiny shit about our kids. It doesn't see their needs as more important or taking priority over their s and most people you encounter will be nice and undedstanding exactly up to the point that it impacts on them and theres no point pretending otherwise. This is the world we live in, this is the world our kids live in - one that would really rather they werent aound.
Shitty? Yes. But that's the reality of it.
And we have to teach our kids to function in it, and when they can't, we have to be their buffer. The ones who stand between them and a world that doesn't give a fuck and protect them. And to me that means removing them, seeing when other people are having their experiences ruined, understanding that people are hostile and that our kids @are nobodys problem but ours and also remembering that other people do matter too.
Do I wish it was different? Hell yes. I'd love to live in a world where my kids didn't get sneered at, laughed at or excluded, but that world doesn't exist. And if that makes me sound bitter, then I'm sorry.
But what I am not sorry about is protecting my children by ensuring as far as possible that their behaviour doesn't give other people excuse to sneer, laugh or yell or to look down their noses or tell me my kids shouldnt be outside.

zzzzz Fri 28-Dec-12 16:59:40

Perhaps the seat a the end of the row would have meant he charged up and down the aisle???

Perhaps there was someone behind the original seat with crackley sweet wrappers or a smaller child who was scared?

Perhaps it looked like a good idea and then catching him to change plans was to noisy an option?

Disabled people are part of the general public. They do not need your permission to go anywhere.

misterwife Fri 28-Dec-12 17:01:06

We're all reacting like the boy in question was on the autistic spectrum, when that hasn't actually been confirmed. I know zillions of people affected by ASD and 'jumping up and down on a seat' isn't a 'stim' I've ever seen. It might have been but it's not likely.

Having said that, although I normally come down on the side of the disciplinarians I can't here. It's a panto and kids are supposed, even allowed, to be noisy and vocal at pantos. It's the one theatrical context where it's OK to do that.

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Fri 28-Dec-12 17:09:08

Flapping his arms and banging his head with his shoes are more stim like though.

manicinsomniac Fri 28-Dec-12 17:30:17

Hard to judge just from a description of the experience but, if the disruption was really to a point where it made it impossible to enjoy a £100+ family trip then YANBU, no child should be allowed to cause that much upset and annoyance to others around them.

The responsibility is all the parents' though, not the child's. I really don't understand why one parent didn't take the child out and leave the other parent with their other child so that not all their money was wasted.

On the other hand if none of you said anything to the family maybe they didn't realise how annoying it was (if they are used to it?)

Your description of the child doesn't necessarily suggest he was autistic at all to me though. In your title you say 'poss SN'. He could just have been an over excited child who maybe looks older than he is (I know an excitable 8 year old who looks about 11) - that would explain the threats from the father.

Journey Fri 28-Dec-12 17:38:53

I think the thing that would have irritated me the most is the reaction of the parents. Surely threatening the child isn't going to stop the behaviour if he is autistic.

If the boy was just being naughty and didn't have any sn then they should have left the pantomime.

MovingOnNow Fri 28-Dec-12 17:47:46

Oh dear. To be fair yanbu to feel a bit out put out if your experience was ruined. But, I probably think, get over it. When you have a child with SN, people being peed off and judgemental is part of every day life. Even a trip to the local shops can be a flaming nightmare. So maybe turn it around and think thank god I don't have to go through that every day of my life. You really don't know until you know what it is like.

cinnamonnut Fri 28-Dec-12 17:52:14

Everyone is saying the family deserved to have a nice time, but surely so did the OP?!

cinnamonnut Fri 28-Dec-12 17:53:46

And let's not forget we can't exactly diagnose SN just from the first post.

shockers Fri 28-Dec-12 18:12:14

If the boy was just being naughty and didn't have any sn then they should have left the pantomime.

Or made him sit next to them so they didn't need to discipline over someone's head!

LittleTownofBethleHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 28-Dec-12 18:15:07

Evening. Thanks for the many reports of this thread.

We'd just like to clarify a few things.

While we're happy to accept that the OP has limited knowledge of SN behaviours (if indeed the child she's describing did have SN), we would regard any post that states or suggests that a disabled child should be removed from a theatre as disablist - and we would delete it.

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 18:15:37

The descriptions from the OP ring bells with lots of us parents of children with ASD here. So I don't think anyone is diagnosing as such.

There is no reason why the behavior of this boy should've infringed on the OP and her families enjoyment of the panto, if it were a bunch of excited 6 year old girls giggling she wouldn't have even posted, but because it was one of those 'wierd kids' she did.

And we have to teach our kids to function in it, and when they can't, we have to be their buffer. The ones who stand between them and a world that doesn't give a fuck and protect them. And to me that means removing them, seeing when other people are having their experiences ruined, understanding that people are hostile and that our kids @are nobodys problem but ours and also remembering that other people do matter too

I get you.

However, I always think of the day when I won't be here to be my sons buffer.

My son needs to learn to be himself confidently.

My son is not the problem.

Other peoples lack of empathy is the problem.

One day my son will have to navigate this world by himself, Id rather spend my spare time attempting to educate society to please, please just make room for people who are not like you.

My son has a place in society.

Pantomimedam Fri 28-Dec-12 18:21:33

Indeed your son has a place in society. But it would help children with behaviours that may cause a reaction in strangers if their parents could help to moderate their behaviour in theatres - somewhere where people are trying to pay attention to the stage, not other members of the audience.

(And of course there are plenty of potentially irritating people in the audience who do not have SN - sweetie wrapper rustlers, people who leave their mobile on, seat kickers... worst I've had is a couple having sex in the cinema. Although I couldn't blame them, it was the first of the new Star Wars films and it was bloody boring.)

Pantomimedam Fri 28-Dec-12 18:22:24

I'm sure 9/10 of parents do try to help their children behave appropriately, btw, but it seems the parents of the boy in the OP did not.

HecateQueenofWitches Fri 28-Dec-12 18:36:19

I'm too scared, amber. I shield them from everyone. I even stop them trying to chat to people. I teach them essential interactions eg shop, etc, but I am so scared of how the world treats them that I constantly stand guard. Maybe that's why I won't allow anything that other people might feel disturbed about. I can't bear the looks they get. Breaks my heart. And it seems totally contradictory to my belief that I must teach them to function in this world but function to me means carry out essential tasks in a socially appropriate way. I can't bring myself to let them 'out' into the world. I'm too scared for them. What if people are cruel? Or use them? Or abuse them? You even hear of kids like ours being killed. I know I'm ridiculous!

HecateQueenofWitches Fri 28-Dec-12 18:38:47

I'm a total hypocrite, I know. What my head knows is right is totally at odds with what my heart screams at me

LynetteScavo Fri 28-Dec-12 18:50:20

If the child was bothering you, and could have sat elsewhere you should have addressed it with the parents at the time.

Different people parent differently. This wasn't great parenting, but no one ever starts a thread about the child who although had SN was behaving impeccably because their parent was just excellent and was handling a situation brilliantly.

Which probably happens a lot more than you realise.

TheLightPassenger Fri 28-Dec-12 18:52:01

Both of you are right, Hecate and Amber, it's difficult to find a balance in a world where a trip to the panto can't be taken for granted by some families due to SN/disability reasons.

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 18:57:06

I totally understand Hecate, I really, really do.

But we have to do it for their best interests.

^Indeed your son has a place in society. But it would help children with behaviours that may cause a reaction in strangers if their parents could help to moderate their behaviour in theatres - somewhere where people are trying to pay attention to the stage, not other members of the audience

I can't and won't moderate my sons natural behavior.

I just won't, because there is no need,

My son needs not moderate a thing, it is you and every other member of society unnaffected by autism that needs to moderate your behavior and expectations.

Whatever reactions that happen to strangers is those strangers problem, not my sons.

pigletmania Fri 28-Dec-12 19:12:39

Exactly Amber, pantomime is totally wrong

FrustratedSycamoreSnowflake Fri 28-Dec-12 19:16:40

My son needs not moderate a thing, it is you and every other member of society unnaffected by autism that needs to moderate your behavior and expectations.
Well said amberleaf

Why should our children and their behaviours be moderated and made to fit in with a society that will never accept them for who they are.

What a vile thread, I can see why the OP might have been annoyed by the father's behaviour, it is the child's behavior that is being complained about! angry

Well said Amber. Why is panto 'wrong, piglet?'

Pantomimedam Fri 28-Dec-12 19:22:01

Because if someone is disturbing everyone else or behaving really strangely in public, they will get a negative reaction. You can, as far as possible, try to help your child moderate their behaviour in some way. Strangers can also try to educate themselves but not everyone will think 'maybe that child has SN and the parent is trying their hardest in a really difficult situation'. And that's sad, because the child will get a negative reaction. But we all have to live in the world as it is, not in an ideal world where everyone is understanding.

pigletmania Fri 28-Dec-12 19:24:07

I hate it when people say they support people with sn, yeh as long as it does not affect them!. Comparing sn behaviour to other annoying people like sweetie openers, those whose mobile phones go off is beyond the pail. These people can help their ANNOYING behaviours, a child with sn cannot!

pigletmania Fri 28-Dec-12 19:25:11

Sauvignon read ambers post that is why

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 19:28:08

SauvignonBlanche Piglet menat patomineedams post not panto I think?!

yousmell Fri 28-Dec-12 19:28:27

I feel sorry for everyone actually, the child who struggles to sit through, the dad who wants his child to have a nice time and sit well, and the OP who wants to enjoy the festive show.

pigletmania Fri 28-Dec-12 19:28:32

A pantomime is hardly Les Miserables, it's aimed at kids. Teir will be kids laughing, shouting, calling its meant to be interactive. I think pantomime dame your in the wrong place, this ain't the cinema

pigletmania Fri 28-Dec-12 19:29:03

Yes pantomime dame tats right amber

That would make sense, thanks Amber grin

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 19:32:36


In being autistic, my child is not being 'strange' he is being autistic.

The sooner people accept that the better.

He can't modify his behavior and I will die one day so I cant protect him from 'normal' people forever.

Autistic people behave differently to you.

Get over it.

Accept it.

Let me die without worrying how you normal lot will treat my child please.

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 19:34:14

No singling you out Edam, that goes for everyone.

silverfrog Fri 28-Dec-12 19:34:55

I agree with Hecate and Edam on this one.

Yes, in an ideal world everyone would accept all differences, there would be no racist/disablist/ageist/sexist attitudes at all.

and our children would be safe and free to behave exactly as they wished (although, of course, so would everyone, not just people with SN).

however, since we all live in the real world, not some distant Utopia, then there are certain behaviours which are not acceptable in society. to be part of that society, people should try their hardest to meet the rules which that society prescribes.

and so it is down to everyone to moderate their behaviours as much as is possible, and for the families of those who have difficulty moderating their behaviours, to help them out.

I doubt this post would have been made if the family of the boy in question had been seen to be doing their best to mediate the situation. but they seemed not to. and so you can hardly blame the OP for feeling a bit put out. if the family in question had adhered to the general rules of society (which, remember, include sitting in the seats which you bought tickets for), then none of this would have happened anyway.

I do know how difficult it can be taking a child with SN out and about. there have been some interesting viewpoints put forward as to why the father might have moved his ds to the free seats (although I don't accept that 'maybe the boy needed more space around him' as a valid one, tbh - how could the family count on there being free seats?), but to not have done anything at all to try to minimise the disruption for the OP is not fair. even an explanation from the family to the OP's family would have been better than doing nothing.

I don't agree that people with ASD should not have to moderate their behaviours at all. of course, some may not be able to, and that is a different matter, but given that the family were happy to leave their ds in a row by himself, then they clearly had some level of expectation (I would hope) that he knew some of the rules of society, and it would not be too much to ask that they helped their ds with the aspects of being at the show that he was struggling with.

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 20:00:52

Parents of children with ASD

If you think your children will modify their behavior when you don't make them, I think you are being very optimistic.

It is for society to change, not our children.

You are saying it as though it is a choice for them? [them being people with ASD]

I find that bizarre.

yohohoho Fri 28-Dec-12 20:09:26

HMMM I think its really wrong to say 'I won't modify his behaviour'

Every parent on the planet has to steer our children in the right direction. To refuse to is to cause issues in the future.

Whilst I feel that society should be more accepting of children with SN, to refuse to try and show the child was is appropriate is not how society works.

If all parents decided they would not show try and show their children the correct behaviours, there would be many more problems.

cansu Fri 28-Dec-12 20:10:07

No you wouldn't expect there to be free seats but if you arrived and there were free seats then a dc who prefers to have more personal space may well choose to sit there. My own ds who has no language at all sometimes insists on all sorts of odd things which we have no control over. he can also get very upset when we dont understand why these things are important to him. Anyway I think some posters seem to think two things that I am not sure are true
1 that the parents should have made more effort to modify or control their dc behaviour
2 that if they couldn't do so then maybe they should have taken him out or tried to apologise or explain their dc condition.

In fact I do try my best to control my dc behaviour because I am very embarrassed if he attracts condemnation or tutting or even just stares in public but I don't think I should have to, nor is it possible the vast majority of the time. I also think that attending a panto is a 'risk' and a challenge but the alternative is to stay in or only attend the very limited special performances for dc with ASD. I also find explaining and trying to apologise for my ds existence to others very wearing and upsetting. I think that we have very different attitudes to disabilities which affect behaviour and social communication compared with our attitudes to some physical disabilities. Autism is hard to come to term with for families and individuals who live with the condition. Why should they have to excuse themselves for having this condition and try and make it more palatable for others?

cansu Fri 28-Dec-12 20:11:36

Yohoho can you explain to me how you explain the rules of the theatre to a non verbal child of 11 who has ASD and severe learning difficulties and no language and sensory difficulties?

Pixel Fri 28-Dec-12 20:12:11

I know zillions of people affected by ASD and 'jumping up and down on a seat' isn't a 'stim' I've ever seen. It might have been but it's not likely
My son jumps up and down on his seat all the time. You can have a look at my wrecked sofa if you want!

HecateQueenofWitches Fri 28-Dec-12 20:18:36

Society's never going to change. People are getting WORSE not better. You only have to look how this governent is treating the vulnerable. Its not getting better. People are getting more awful about others getting help, support, cash. I wish I could see this future you see where society accepts us all but I just don't think it will ever happen. When times are tough people always have and always will turn on the vulnerable. Resent, begrudge, deny... I don't see that ever changing and it terrifies me

yohohoho Fri 28-Dec-12 20:18:50

Yohoho can you explain to me how you explain the rules of the theatre to a non verbal child of 11 who has ASD and severe learning difficulties and no language and sensory difficulties?

I can't. But thats not what I said. I was referring to ambers post that said she refuses to try.

Its an extremely difficult situation. Because on one side you have children with SN (including my nephew) who have the right to do things we all do, on the other side you have people who have paid to see something and are not getting enjoyment out of it. And thats not fair either.

My nephew finds the cinema difficult but does enjoy it. We go to early morning showings mid week. So he can enjoy it and stim without it effecting others experience.

I have aspergers. Some times its appropriate for me to modify my behavior, sometimes it appropriate for others to do so.

manicinsomniac Fri 28-Dec-12 20:20:27

cansu - I agree that anybody with any condition should never have to excuse or explain themselves to anybody else.

but I'm not sure I can agree that neither your 1. nor your 2. should have happened when the result of nothing being done was that one person was happy (the child) but many other people around the child were unable to enjoy the show and therefore wasted a lot of money.

I hope that comment isn't offensive, I'm just trying to work out what would have the best thing to do in order to benefit the greatest number of people. Plenty of parents of autistic children earlier in the thread said it wouldn't be okay and they would stop or remove the child at once. But recent posts seem to highlight that the issue is much more sensitive that it appeared initially.

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 20:20:41


Would you accept a parent of a child unable to walk saying 'I wont make them attempt to walk to fit societal expectations'?

Of course you would.

It is no different.

Your neurotypical child is not the same as my autistic child, that is why my chid should not be expected to be as your child should be.

yohohoho Fri 28-Dec-12 20:26:38

Actually amber you are incorrect. If the childs diagnosis showed that with help the child would be able to walk, I would expect the parent to do so, for the best interest of the child.

If there was no chance of the child walking, then of course the parent would notmake an attempt to make them walk.

Your neurotypical child is not the same as my autistic child, that is why my chid should not be expected to be as your child should be.

I am fully aware of that and I didn't say they should be. That is completely different to saying 'i refuse to try'. We could all do that.

Why should I try to modify my toddlers behavior when he is happy acting the way he is. Because thats what we do.

I am not suggesting you can make your son (or should want him to) appear NT. But, imo, attempts should be made to show him how to act more appropriately where possible. And in most cases it is.

yohohoho Fri 28-Dec-12 20:27:33

And living in a society together is about compromise on all sides.

CaptChaos Fri 28-Dec-12 20:27:33

Hecate I totally see where you're coming from, terrifies me too. I know that I over-protect DS, but I do it so that I can put off, for as long as possible, the horrible day when he has to deal with people who will treat him badly simply because his brain is wired differently to theirs. It just brings out every 'mummy tiger' instinct in me.

Having said that, I do try to encourage him to act as 'normal' as possible, but even so, he is a target for nasty bullying behaviour.

zzzzz Fri 28-Dec-12 20:40:31

"Actually amber you are incorrect. If the childs diagnosis showed that with help the child would be able to walk, I would expect the parent to do so, for the best interest of the child."

Your assumption is that conformity is always in the best interest of the child. There are plenty of individuals who can walk but function better on wheels.

More pertinent to this discussion is my child who, with considerable support could attend school. He can't learn their. It causes him such distress and anxiety he can't function much at all, but he could attend. Should he go to school to fit in with the norm? I think he's better off somewhere he can learn to read, and write and be happy.

zzzzz Fri 28-Dec-12 20:41:21

There not their. Sorry

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 20:42:27

'Act more appropriately'?

You mean act more neurotypical? and please dont say no, because that is what is meant by 'appropriate'

My son is appropriate, he is appropriate for an autistic person of his abilities.

Society's never going to change. People are getting WORSE not better. You only have to look how this governent is treating the vulnerable. Its not getting better. People are getting more awful about others getting help, support, cash. I wish I could see this future you see where society accepts us all but I just don't think it will ever happen. When times are tough people always have and always will turn on the vulnerable. Resent, begrudge, deny... I don't see that ever changing and it terrifies me

People will only get worse while people allow them to piss all over people with disabilities.

I will never explain and apologise for my sons behavior.

He is disabled.

TBH I don't see a future where society accepts us all, certainly not all the while people tip toe round societal expectations.

I will not hide my sons disability away, it needs bringing out in to the open.

YABU to be "annoyed about this (poss SN) child's behaviour". Obviously. For all the reasons stated above. It is clear the child wasn't coping but it was not his fault and for that your annoyance is misdirected.

YANBU to have thought the boy's parents could have tried some other tactics to help him cope with the situation. But you just don't know their circumstances... it could have been the first time they had tried to take him to such a performance and were stressed about him not coping, and therefore not really coping themselves.

Perhaps you could have offered to sit in the empty row in front to give the family a bit more space?

YABVU to post on MN about it, especially with the thread title you have. It is, IMO, deliberately inflammatory and unkind. And for that, you can have a biscuit

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 20:46:25

Why should I try to modify my toddlers behavior when he is happy acting the way he is. Because thats what we do

Your toddler is not a good comparison to make go my 10 yr old autistic child who will not develope in the same way your toddler will.

I'm WITH you on this Amber

I will not hide my sons disability away, it needs bringing out in to the open

Disability is part of life. I will never sit behind closed doors because I have a disabled son. We participate in life, we go for days out, we eat in restaurants, we take part in as much as we can because life is there to be enjoyed, not to be limited by bizarre expectations and social norms of a narrow section of white middle class professional society.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Fri 28-Dec-12 20:50:15

YABU. Also sort out your grammar. My ds occasionally flaps and squeaks plus he is six but he still knows "we were sat" is wrong.

HecateQueenofWitches Fri 28-Dec-12 20:52:25

I truly don't think human beings as a species have the potential to change. Not enough of them and not in enough ways, regardless what we do. Maybe all that shows is what a low opinion I have of people, I don't know. But if the only way to get them to change is to expose my child to them and demand it -I'm just too scared.

Pantomimedam Fri 28-Dec-12 20:53:15

amberleaf, I did NOT call your son strange and it's very unfair to pretend that I did. I said 'if someone is disturbing everyone else or behaving really strangely in public, they will get a negative reaction'.

Please don't tell lies about me or invent stories that I've attacked your son. I certainly have NOT.

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 20:55:02

Edam re read my posts after yours please.

Why does someone else's behaviour need to provoke a negative reaction though? Why not either just get on with what you are doing, or if you are finding something irritating, move away or offer to help?

zzzzz Fri 28-Dec-12 20:55:52

My son behaves very strangely, but generally we don't get a negative reaction. Possibley this is because he is very cute.....I'll get back to you on how people react when he's 6 foot. grin

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 20:56:01

Hecate, humans dont have to change, society does and can

We don't either zzzzz. At least not where we live now (Cornwall).

In the SE of England we got some funny looks. Perhaps symptomatic of the status-oriented, 'success' driven 'society' that the home counties is so derided for. Funny, London wasn't like that, but there's such a variety of different people there that walking around nude with your pants on your head probably wouldn't turn too many heads...

Vagaceratops Fri 28-Dec-12 20:58:35

Autists are the ultimate square pegs, and the problem with pounding a square peg into a round hole is not that the hammering is hard work. It's that you're destroying the peg.
&#8213; Paul Collins

Seems appropriate.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Fri 28-Dec-12 21:00:04

"'if someone is disturbing everyone else or behaving really strangely in public, they will get a negative reaction'. "
Only from people too stupid to tell the difference between "strange" (i.e. not the norm) and "threatening." I wouldn't be in too much of hurry to admit to being one of these if I were you.

Pantomimedam Fri 28-Dec-12 21:01:25

I have read your posts and they imply I have insulted your son. I have NOT and I am appalled that you could pretend otherwise. I agreed with you that your son has every right to a place in society. But so does everyone else - we all have to rub along together.

Behaviour that is unusual will get a reaction from strangers who do not know what the root cause is - if there is anything that can be done, any trick or technique that can be used to help a child get along in society without unintentionally provoking negative reactions, that has to be worth doing, doesn't it?

Pantomimedam Fri 28-Dec-12 21:04:37


KarlosKKrinkelbeim Fri 28-Dec-12 21:06:21

"Behaviour that is unusual will get a reaction from strangers who do not know what the root cause is - if there is anything that can be done, any trick or technique that can be used to help a child get along in society without unintentionally provoking negative reactions, that has to be worth doing, doesn't it?"

Depends how terrified you are of unusual behaviour, really. I'm not, especially; I enjoy my ds's difference from the norm and appreciate him. I wonder how people with the mindset expressed above cope when their kids end up deviating from the norm; not well, I'd guess. Glad I'm not like that.

yohohoho Fri 28-Dec-12 21:06:47

Your assumption is that conformity is always in the best interest of the child. There are plenty of individuals who can walk but function better on wheels.

Yes but they can, and have learnt (and taught) to walk. Conformity is not always the best. But an attempt should be made so there can be the choice.

amber I think we will have to agree to disagree. There is actually a very good chance my as does have additional needs. And teach him the beat way I can.

As I have said we all need to try and accept people with sn more. But, it is my opinion, that refusing to help your child fit in with society (whenbut is possible) is wrong.

I do see your point. However we all have to conform in some situations.

I have already mentioned that I have aspergers. I would not expect everyone to change to accomadate my perception. Sometimes its appropriate for them to do so. But there are times its appropriate for me to do so.

HecateQueenofWitches Fri 28-Dec-12 21:07:16

Society is nothing more than the people within it. It won't change unless they do. I just don't think they care enough.
Obviously there are those who care deeply, but they're outnumbered by the I'm alright jacks.
Do you truly see positive change? I would love to think that, but what I foresee is a return to institutions and the workhouse. Its scary.

yohohoho Fri 28-Dec-12 21:09:14

Autists are the ultimate square pegs, and the problem with pounding a square peg into a round hole is not that the hammering is hard work. It's that you're destroying the peg

I think this statment is ridiculous tbh. There are no round holes or square pegs. Everyone is different.

The trick would be for everyone to be an oblong hole and oblong pegs. All changing slightly to accommodate each other.

dayshiftdoris Fri 28-Dec-12 21:10:58

Can we all go back a step... forget the 'rights' of the subject and get to what is really important...

This child...

In my son those sort of behaviours would be telling me that he needs OUT of wherever he is - either overstimulated or anxious...

Seems to me his behaviours were not being responded to and in my experience (in my high functioning son and friends who have children across the spectrum) is that should the trigger (in this case the panto) not be removed or made easier for him to cope with then the behaviours get bigger and louder.

That is not pleasant for anyone, least of all that child.

Absolutely he had a right to be there but it doesn't sound to me like it was sitting well with him - even if he was enjoying it and stimming from excitemtn can cause such a massive sensory overload... he needed help to cope - either going out of the theatre for a bit or eye protectors or something - my son would have pulled his hood up and had mine or his own hands over his ears.

I can not see how leaving the situation unchanged for a whole panto benefited this child... though as the person sitting next to them you can not tell them to parent. In some ways they were lucky that you were as tolerant as you were - my son would have told him to shut up then if he hadn't or when I tried to explain that it was ok for this child to break the rules then he no doubt have had a meltdown and so I would have asked to move very early on.

Pantomimedam Fri 28-Dec-12 21:12:13

Can you not tell the difference between general and specific? You are choosing to read a whole lot of stuff that is not actually in my posts.

I am really fed up of being attacked for stuff that I have not said and not done. Are you taking it out on me because you haven't had a chance to have a go at all the people who do stare or make unhelpful remarks?

Pantomimedam Fri 28-Dec-12 21:13:30

Great post, doris.

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 21:13:43


In being autistic, my child is not being 'strange' he is being autistic

The sooner people accept that the better

He can't modify his behavior and I will die one day so I cant protect him from normal' people forever

Autistic people behave differently to you

Get over it

Accept it

Let me die without worrying how you normal lot will treat my child please

Add message | Report | Message poster AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 19:34:14

No singling you out Edam, that goes for everyone

Pantomimedam Fri 28-Dec-12 21:16:03

I did not say your son was strange and you did indeed single me out. The post was addressed to me.

pigletmania Fri 28-Dec-12 21:16:40

I agree yohoho. Yes dd is autistic with a 2 year dev delay, it is still my responsibility parent to set boundaries and guide her, the best we can. I have removed her from situations where it is obvious se is not coping, ad disciplined her when she has been naughty ad parsed her when sh has been good. She does have to live in society so has to try and fit in somehow

zzzzz Fri 28-Dec-12 21:17:16

No not all people learn to walk and then decide to use a wheelchair.

The concept of choice is naive at best. The idea that you could teach your child to "pass" as normal and then allow him to "slip comfortabley back into weird and wonderful behaviour" is not anything like most peoples reality.

As parents we endlessly choose what appropriate and achievable manners are for our children. For some sitting down for the whole of Christmas dinner is expected, for some not. Parents of children with sn make the same calls with less information everyday. For some children the OPs scenario would be a triumph.

The bottom line is OP didn't pay for a private box, she paid to sit with the public. WE ARE THE PUBLIC. Live with it.

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 21:21:15

Edam, then you are wilfully ignoring my other post.

But yes you did mention 'strange' behavior, but I sdidnt feel you were attacking my son, I think you protest too much.

mymatemax Fri 28-Dec-12 21:22:32

Autism is a disability that can effect the ability to control actions & reactions. Would u be posting if the child had an obvious physical disability effecting motor control. Can result in equally noisy physical & vocal movements. How would that b judged ?

yohohoho Fri 28-Dec-12 21:24:05

The concept of choice is naive at best. The idea that you could teach your child to "pass" as normal and then allow him to "slip comfortabley back into weird and wonderful behaviour" is not anything like most peoples reality.

That isn't what I said. I said that conformity is not always best. However if it is never taught on any level how can one choose it?

As parents we endlessly choose what appropriate and achievable manners are for our children.

except Amber said she does not make that choice. She refuses to. she said I can't and won't moderate my sons natural behavior. She isn't making a choice about what is appropriate and achievable.

It was in regards to that comment I made my objections.
You say the OP should have paid for a private box. Should the family of this boy, they (in all probability) knew what his reaction to the panto would be(which is why they moved him somewhere with more space).

pigletmania Fri 28-Dec-12 21:24:44

I do aggree also dayshift

kickassmomma Fri 28-Dec-12 21:26:14

yabu that poor boy would think nothing of what he was doing. I have two autistic godsons and sometimes they are truly awesome kids but other times there is no controlling them it probably would have been better if the boys dad had gone and sat with him in the seats in front but you shed in no way be pissed off! that is how many kids grow up in society today.... WITH SPECIAL NEEDS! my daughter is sn too and I really do struggle in public with her to the outside world she just looks like naughty child shorts away with murder ( she doesn't though) and I will be taking her to pan to next year and as long as she is behaving within what she normally would I wont b tell I her to shut up etc. a lot of e time it is better to allow an kids to do stuff like then boy was ( flapping his arm etc) because that's how they best expresses themselves and I often feel a lot of scrutiny and expectation to keep my dd 'calm' because it would disturb others....hell no! she is who he is and so is at boy!!! sounds like he enjoyed it though

mymatemax Fri 28-Dec-12 21:26:16

mayb the child was being naughty? Mayb the Childs level of understanding didnt allow him to respond correctly. Maybe the dads requests were more for the judging public than any real attempt to gain control. We just dont know, so dont judge!

BeanieStats Fri 28-Dec-12 21:28:40

"I will never explain and apologise for my sons behavior."

That's a rather inflexible attitude. As has already been asked - what about the rights of others to for example - enjoy the theatre or a meal? What about the right of the OP to enjoy a show that she has paid for? Recalling a thread earlier in the year where a posters vehicle was damaged by an (apparently, allegedly?) SN child - what about the right of others to not have their property damaged?

You use the example of a child who cannot walk above - taking that example further should we tear down every listed building in the country if they're not wheelchair accessible?

Surely part of society is getting along with one another? And surely part of this is compromise?

Beanie, EVERYBODY in that audience had a right to enjoy that show. It's not just 'the autistic child' and 'others'. The term 'others' being used in such a way to imply that they are somehow superior, and anyone who is any different should just bloody well learn to behave in the expected manner hmm.

This thread is making me cross and upset now. Yes part of society is getting along with one another and compromising, but some of us are in a more fortunate position to be able to make compromises. Some of us have children with disabilities that mean they will never know what the word compromise even means.

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 21:35:48

Why is it only disabled people that are expected to 'compromise'? ie change their behavior?

If my child had cerebal palsy for example no one would expect any more than his capabilities, but because some people see autism as a behavioral issue, he is expected to change,

Sorry, go away and learn about neuro developmental disorders/conditions.

And your example of listed buildings is ridiculous. I have been to plenty with DS which have installed ramps and through-floor lifts to enable access.

mymatemax Fri 28-Dec-12 21:36:24

Beanie, I do often apologise for my sons behaviour as he isn't able to do so. I also accept that there are places my sons wchair can not access, that's just life! Personally I would not allow my son to upset another families enjoyment. My son may have very little awareness of the world around him but I do, so I hope I would behave differently to the parent in the op. BUT I would never judge, that may b the only occasion that family have managed to get out together..who knows. It is amazing just how much slack society will cut fir physical disabilities as opposed to behavioural.

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 21:37:55

My son and every other autistic person, every person with cerebal palsy, every person with downs syndrome etc etc, is part of society

We are all part of society

yohohoho Fri 28-Dec-12 21:39:11

Amber Who has said only disabled people should compromise.

We all should compromise.

I won't moderate my sons natural behavior is not compromise at all.*

Please don't assume that those who disagree need to learn about neuro developmental disorders. This just disagree with you.

Boomerwang Fri 28-Dec-12 21:39:31

I don't think you are being unreasonable. If I'd paid that kind of money I'd fully expect to enjoy the show no matter who was seated around me. I wouldn't have just sat there and said nothing though. I get quite defensive about stuff like that. I would have spoken to the parents and if nothing changed I would have found a member of staff from somewhere. If they couldn't do anything I would ask for my money back, transfer my tickets to another date or something along those lines.

However, I know full well that I'd be refused a refund because another patron has spoilt the experience. I'd be accused of being disabilist (how DO you spell that? the spell checker is annoying me) too.

FestiveElement Fri 28-Dec-12 21:40:52

Some of the attitudes on this thread are amazingly selfish.

In an understandable attempt to allow children with special needs to live as full a life as possible, some parents expect that everyone else should put up with whatever disruption is caused no matter what.

Yes it's important that children who are autistic get the opportunity to do the same things as other children can do, but not to the detriment of other children. All children are equally important, one child having autism doesn't make their participation in a special and expensive event more important than another child's.

I have one child who has ASD, and one who doesn't. If either of them made it impossible for other people to enjoy what they had paid to do I would remove them, because I'm their parent and that's my job. It is not my job to fight so ferociously for my child's rights that I can disregard anyone else's children. That's just not how society works.

What makes me sad is when I see other parents of children with disabilities (and I catch myself doing this sometimes too) saying things like 'how much slack society will cut' for disabilities.

FGS, why should a section of society, which considers itself the whole of society (if this thread is anything to go by, feel like they are 'cutting slack' to anyone who is any different from them? I go back to the old MN adage of substituting disability for race in a comment and then reading it back and seeing if it's acceptable.

Would it be ok to talk about giving British Pakistanis slack or African Americans?

yohohoho Fri 28-Dec-12 21:43:07

Amber here is an example.

My son can not tolerate busy cramped spaces. My family had a celebratory meal at a very popular (but small) restaurant. It was not in DS' best interest to go. Also it would have been unfair on other diners and my family if he had have had a melt down.

The choice was that I did not go. It was in ds interest not to go, but also for the sake of other people enjoying a night out.

It was a compromise. Me and dh take him to restaurants during quieter periods. so he still gets to go (and the week after much of the family joined us) but it is a better solution for him and others.

The same as my nephew goes to quieter viewings of the cinema.

mymatemax Fri 28-Dec-12 21:44:28

Boomerwang...they weren't at the bloody opera it was a panto, likely to be full of families that come in all shapes & sizes. As long as the kids could see & have a good time (the op's & the others) then surely that's all that matters. If she wants silent uninterupted viewing mayb dont go to a family show...although dont forget you get disabled adults too!

LookBehindYou Fri 28-Dec-12 21:47:19

People are assuming the boy couldn't help it and had SN but maybe he was just being naughty. Either way, it was totally unreasonable to keep the boy infront but the OP should have just said something.

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 21:47:40

Yes it's important that children who are autistic get the opportunity to do the same things as other children can do, but not to the detriment of other children. All children are equally important, one child having autism doesn't make their participation in a special and expensive event more important than another child's

My autistic child puts up with other neurotypical childrens 'stuff' all the time, very much to his detriment.

Funny how that is considered normal and ok.

Why is one set of childrens needs considered more important and not warranting disruption than anothers~>

I would certainly rather my NT child grow up in a world where people with all kinds of differences and disabilities are able to take part in society.

Expecting to attend a public event and be surrounded only by people just like you, behaving just like you, is a bit blinkered, IMO.

zzzzz Fri 28-Dec-12 21:48:32

yohohoho The OP didn't pay for a private box because she chose to go to the panto and sit with the rest of the general population, including the disabled, elderly, children, smelly, people of any race, religion or political persuasion, as did the parents of the child in question. Are you suggesting that th parents of this child should have paid to keep his upsetting presence away from OP by ensuring he stays in a box?

FestiveElement Fri 28-Dec-12 21:48:37

It's easy to enjoy a panto with a bot of talking and movement around you, it's really not easy to enjoy a piano when there are people shouting and jumping up and down around you.

Boomerwang Fri 28-Dec-12 21:48:57

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AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 21:49:30

All children are equally important

Unless they are autistic, in which case they should bow and scrape with gratitude at being included, but only sometimes and only if they dont make too much noise or flap their hands too much.

TandB Fri 28-Dec-12 21:50:48

There is no solution to the fact that the needs of people with disabilities won't always mesh neatly with the needs of those without.

This little boy shouldn't be deprived of the things that NT children get to experience. His parents should be able to see him enjoying himself.

Equally, the OP should be able to enjoy the show she had paid to see.

Unfortunately, on this occasion these two things were completely incompatible. It happens. Sometimes someone is going to "lose out" in a situation.

Bearing in mind that NT people vastly outnumber people with disabilities, it really isn't that big an ask for those without disablities to occasionally take a hit so that it isn't always the people with disabilities who lose out.

The OP had one outing spoiled. The parents of that child probably experience spoiled outings on a regular basis. He is a member of society, just the same as the OP's children, so the compassionate, social thing to do is to shrug it off and think "I'm glad he had a nice outing."

yohohoho Fri 28-Dec-12 21:51:00

* Are you suggesting that th parents of this child should have paid to keep his upsetting presence away from OP by ensuring he stays in a box?*

No I am suggesting that IF he needed room to 'stim' and that he would find it stressful (and the dad would find it stressful) a private box was also an option for them.

Hm I thought that the panto might be one place we could try ds1 one day (seeing at it's always been noisy and lively and full of talking children when we've taken ds2 and ds3). If we sat at the back.

Don't think I'll bother.

(He's severely autistic - so telling him to sit still is like telling a fish to stay still)

yohohoho Fri 28-Dec-12 21:52:18

Amber I find you assumption, that people who disagree with you are telling you to hide your child, quite offensive. They are not. They just disagree with you.

Do you expect him to be an equal? If so then behaviour moderation might be necessary in order to fit in as an equal

WTAF Boomer? I'm hoping this post was borne out of ignorance to the nature of learning difficulties and behavioural disabilities, because if it was not, then it was down right unpleasant.

Vagaceratops Fri 28-Dec-12 21:52:33

But the OP assumed the child had SN, and she makes no concession for it.

FestiveElement Fri 28-Dec-12 21:53:37

No Amber, that's not what I said. Please don't put words in my mouth.

Children with autism shouldn't be put in a position by their carers where they are going to disrupt other people so much that they cannot possibly enjoy the thing they have paid to enjoy.

The most important thing here is that is doesn't sound like any of the children involved were able to enjoy the panto, and that is the fault of the NT parent/carer who was looking after the child with autism.

Ah the voice of reason kungfu smile

BeanieStats Fri 28-Dec-12 21:53:53

"Why is it only disabled people that are expected to 'compromise'? ie change their behavior?"

Well that isn't true is it? Lets take building regs as an example - they're increasingly formulated to ensure maximum accessibility - even if that is occasionally at the expense of the able bodied. However, despite starfishes protests most listed buildings are not and never will be wheel chair accessible. Compromise.

Taking the specific example of a sn child damaging someone's property? Is that one thing you would never apologise or explain for?

As was said above everyone has the right to enjoy a show. Unfortunately these do sometimes conflict? Do the rights of the sn minority out weight the rights of the majority?

Would a compromise be to take your child to dinner at the 6pm cover rather than the 9pm one?

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 21:54:35

Amber yes your son is part of society. Do you expect him to be an equal?

He is.

If so then behaviour moderation might be necessary in order to fit in as an equal

I disagree.

You'd surely expect someone to pull away their own SN child if he or she was stopping you from doing whatever it is you are doing wouldn't you?

No I wouldn't at all.

I would behave like the reasonable person that I am and step around the person who was having trouble and get on with what I was doing, because I can.

festive how do you know the child with autism wasn't enjoying his outing?

Beanie I suggest you read kung fu's post if you haven't already. She explains it very well.

Your listed building example is still ridiculous. It's not a conscious compromise. It's a fact of history. One that, thankfully, is on its way out.

mymatemax Fri 28-Dec-12 21:56:50

We only have the op info to go on & she said the believed the child to have sn. I completely expect my child to behave & comply but it is only ever going to be within his level of understanding or ability no matter how much you or I would like it to be different. My ds would actually sit better in a seat by himself than with people either side as he cannot tolerate people close to him. That said he also has a physical disability which usually means he is plonked on the end of the row with one of us next to him while the rest of the family are sitting elsewhere....never judge until you know the circumstances

riskit4abiskit Fri 28-Dec-12 21:57:26

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FestiveElement Fri 28-Dec-12 21:58:01

Bearing in mind that NT people vastly outnumber people with disabilities, it really isn't that big an ask for those without disablities to occasionally take a hit so that it isn't always the people with disabilities who lose out.

Actually, I think it is quite a big ask when you are asking that a family should basically miss out on most of the event as well. It's a huge ask when they have had to pay for it, have been looking forward to it, had children excited about it, and have probably prepared their children for how they need to behave, then you tell them that none of that matters because someone else's needs are more important than theirs so they should just put up with having their special occasion spoiled.

Let's be clear about this, the OP would rather the disabled person had not been at the same performance as her. That's the reality of this whole horrid thread. Hideous attitude.

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 21:58:54

yohoho you disagree with me for those reasons, you speak for yourself.

Because of the attitudes of some people on this thread my kids don't get to have access to fun stuff like pantos, cinemas etc.

So thanks for that. Hope you all enjoy your mealy mouthed bigotry.

I'm fortunate in that when I mentioned this to my local authority they designated a special performance for people with social/communication needs. It's not every year but every other, and all the Carers there are understanding of the needs of the others in the audience, so it's not 'ruined' FFS for anyone.

FestiveElement Fri 28-Dec-12 22:00:28

festive how do you know the child with autism wasn't enjoying his outing?

Fair point, I don't know that he wasn't enjoying it. He may have been having a great time, and I sincerely hope he was.

I still don't think his enjoyment should come before that of another child though. Another adult, maybe, although that's debateable at an expensive event. But not another child.

zzzzz Fri 28-Dec-12 22:00:41

boomer the disabled individuals equality is his/her human right. We have many laws that protect those rights specifically for disabled people. They do not need to conform to anything to be equal.

Perhaps, Festive they could have used the opportunity to explain, should their children have asked (which I bet they didn't) that people are all different and that some are more vulnerable/need more assistance than others?

yohohoho Fri 28-Dec-12 22:01:52

yohoho you disagree with me for those reasons, you speak for yourself.

Yes I said I find it offensive. and I can not find one persons post that comes across as you describe. IMO, they don't think your sone in not equal, they disagree with you.

ScramblyEgg Fri 28-Dec-12 22:03:30

It's a pantomime. How you "prepare your children for how they need to behave" is tell them it's ok to shout 'He's behind you' and join in with the singing.

manicinsomniac Fri 28-Dec-12 22:03:53

kungfupannda - that attitude is very dependent on the OP's situation though. It is wonderful to have the luxury of thinking like that. I could. My children get to go to and perform in theatres many times a year and have seen 2 pantos this Christmas. However, for a friend and her family who came with us to one it was their only theatre trip of the year and quite a big deal, financially. I could have shrugged off being unable to enjoy it for the sake of someone else. I doubt she could.

mymatemax Fri 28-Dec-12 22:04:08

But the ops family didnt miss was just her husbands viewing that was disrupted was her husband that bothered that he puts his needs at a panto ffd over that of a young child who for whatever reason was showing his enjoyment.

FestiveElement Fri 28-Dec-12 22:04:08

Yes Starfish, they could. But there are so many opportunities that children have to learn about the needs of others that actually, I don't think a special, expensive, once a year occasion is the time to expect them to do that.

TandB Fri 28-Dec-12 22:04:08

Fine. It's a big ask. But I would prefer to live in a society where people can make that ask.

Think about it. The parents of a severely disabled child are with them 24/7. The person queuing behind them in the supermarket is with them for 5 minutes. The person sitting behind them in the pantomime is with them for a couple of hours. The person near them in a cafe is with them for an hour or so. Is it really, truly too much to ask for each of those people to "donate" a bit of tolerance for that brief period of time, once in a blue moon? Because if no-one ever shows that tolerance, or always has an excuse why it shouldn't be them showing the tolerance because it's a special occasion, or because they've paid a lot of money or whatever, then the alternative is that the child's parents spend every minute of their lives trying to force their child to be different, rather than just enjoying their time with their child, not matter what that child's difficulties might be.

There's no solution. Someone is always going to lose out when the needs of a child with a disability conflicts with the needs of the NT people around him. But if we all step up and show a little tolerance when it is our turn to do so, then the lives of those who live with disability become easier by a massive factor.

If everyone of us says "I'm willing to take that hit this time", the difference to the lives of some of the people on this thread would be immense.

mymatemax Fri 28-Dec-12 22:05:36

Kungfu..thank you!

So what are parents to do when they want to take their disabled child, who may or may not behave in a way that meets up to the exacting standards of social norms, to a special, expensive, once a year occasion?

Isn't it obvious, Starfish?

We should stay home and not offend 'the naice people' as always.

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 22:07:39

Great posts/points Kungfupanda


What are you talking about?

My child has never damaged anyone elses car or property

TandB Fri 28-Dec-12 22:07:43

No matter what your situation, having your enjoyment of a theatre trip reduced is a small thing compared with living with disability. You will eventually get over it.

Be annoyed, be upset, by all means. But be generous.

zzzzz Fri 28-Dec-12 22:08:16

kungfu here here.

Ha, Glitter, of course! Why didn't I get it? wink

Well, I don't know how many years my DS will be with us. He has complex disabilities and life threatening seizures, so if it's all the same to the 'naice people' on this thread, I'll be taking him, and his NT sister, to as many lovely days out as we can afford. To make memories, y'know. smile

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 22:09:08

yohoho I disagree with the way you see it, I see it differently.

Im not the only one here who sees it that way.

Me and you can agree to disagree.

mymatemax Fri 28-Dec-12 22:09:44

The list of places that we could not go to as a family with ds2 is endless, i would like to think a panto (noisy by design)may be ok...oh well you live & learn.

FestiveElement Fri 28-Dec-12 22:10:03

Kungfu, I see your point and in an ideal world I'd agree with you.

Absolutely people should 'donate' a bit if time and tolerance to make the difficult lives of other people that little bit easier. I just don't think that it's fair to expect that at a panto, which is something that is an expensive special occasion. It's the only time many children get to experience theatre at all, and because its expensive, it will also be one of, if not the biggest family outing that some people have all year. Other children have as much right to get the most out of the experience as children with disabilities have. We shouldn't assume that children who don't have a disability have an easy life, or that their families do.

threesocksfullofchocs Fri 28-Dec-12 22:10:15

this thread is shit.
what is it with mn at shit like this.
when will people just realise that people with sn are just people.....that need more help.

yohohoho Fri 28-Dec-12 22:10:25

If everyone of us says "I'm willing to take that hit this time", the difference to the lives of some of the people on this thread would be immense.

Whilst I agree we all need to be more tolerant. Sometimes the above isn't fair either. My parents go out maybe once a year together. For various reasons, Its an important event to them. For them to 'take the hit' would mean another year gone. Which doesn't seem a big deal, but is to them and their marriage. At their age, they don't know if they will get another year.

Everyone should try to work together, its not always possible. But we should try.

'kin right, Starfish wink

I should just go to these things anyway and fuck the cats bum mouth brigade.

Festive can you answer my question above? Especially after your last post hmm

StarfishEnterprise Fri 28-Dec-12 22:05:59
So what are parents to do when they want to take their disabled child, who may or may not behave in a way that meets up to the exacting standards of social norms, to a special, expensive, once a year occasion?

yohohoho Fri 28-Dec-12 22:12:10

Me and you can agree to disagree.

Except your not. you are accusing people of viewing your son as worth less than other children. Thats not agreeing to disagree.

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 22:12:10

Festive an ideal world would be made ideal by the people living in it.

Your second paragraph is so utterly selfish I cant even respond.

TheLightPassenger Fri 28-Dec-12 22:12:49

completely agree kungfu.

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 22:13:09


Am I accusing you of that? no

so as I said lets agree to disagree.

threesocksfullofchocs Fri 28-Dec-12 22:13:33

of course disabled people do not need special events, that are expensive!!!!!!!

There is a hideous undertone on this thread that reads "it's ok for society to have disabled people in it, but not if they ruin a special occasion I've spent money on"

Really, do you actually think like this? Or are the vile attitudes saved purely to make waves on an internet forum?

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 22:16:01

That is about the level of it Starfish.

LookBehindYou Fri 28-Dec-12 22:16:06

I agree that a couple of hours of inconvenience is nothing compared with living with disability but all the parents had to do was to put the boy back in his original seat.

Really LookBehind? Would you like to try doing that with a child with autism who is mid-stim?

mymatemax Fri 28-Dec-12 22:16:57

Its a decking panto, full of noisy, snotty, coughing kids & families shouting...he's behind you! Why can one over excited child cause so much upset. If its a theatre experience people are after rather than a good FAMILY night out maybe they should pick a different theatre production. Panto is hardly the time to be precious about the viewing exoerience

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 22:17:22

But Im wrong to accuse some people of viewing my son as worth ess than other children hmmm

Of course people think like that.

Last time I went to the panto with ds2 and ds3 I really really did think that we might be able to take ds1 one year. :delusional:

We were sitting near a teen with LD's who was enjoying it a great deal and no-one was looking too lemon sucky. Maybe I just no longer notice.

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 22:17:32


dayshiftdoris Fri 28-Dec-12 22:17:43

To finish my story...

IF I had been sitting next to this family my son probably wouldn't have coped and had we had been able to be moved then we would have needed to leave OR my son would have had a meltdown or possibly lashed out at me or this child...

I personally will not condone violent behaviour - autistic or not he can not hurt other people or property... my son has plenty of times but it is NOT tolerated. school and I have the thankless, wearing job of telling him time and time again that its not appropriate whilst modelling good behaviour and explaining what alternative behaviour is more appropriate.

I don't expect others to tolerate his behaviour just because he has a disability and being in a mainstream school they certainly do not support it either. His TA had a chair thrown at her last term by my stressed out child and whilst we all acknowledged the triggers the behaviour carried a significant consequence... just as it would do in real life when he is an adult.

I know my son can behave like this and I understand that it is due to his autism but I act way before it gets to this point 99% of the time... I have friends who think I am harsh and 'he can't help it' but I see it as preserving his dignity and keeping his experiences positive...

Not all autistic people are violent but I find the sight of my friends super-sensitive child with autism crying hysterically under a table equally as distressing as my son lashing out, I find my other friends non verbal hitting himself equally distressing... as a result we act before they get to those points, we read the signs and guide them to different behaviours... even if that means taking them away from other people... hell its usually the presence of other people causing it!

So back to the child in theatre - he was obvious in sensory overload and something was needed but you know what on some level I understnad what happened with that dad...

As parents there are times we all dont act or threatened useless sanctions... as I was writing my previous post my son was awake... AGAIN... a 3 month ongoing saga with him not settling to sleep... I can tell you all the possible triggers and what I am doing to help bring down stimulation before bed, blah blah but there is also a healthy does of attention seeking going on to (apparently sleep is boring and I get to do interesting things when he is asleep like watch TV hmm)
Tonight I have threatened to take away his DS / wii / iPad and not let him have a late night on New Years Eve if he doesnt go to sleep... I even pandered to him a little bit and then I laid on the 'go to bed and don't come down again'.....
Utterly ridiculous, breaking ALL the rules and wont help long term but I just want some time to switch off for 2 minutes and because its the school hols / has been a long term / there is a bag of kettle chips with my name on it I just did the sticky plaster, short term fix because I am not perfect...

My friends, long suffering most of them are having to endure this debacle on the evenings they visit - these are the one which are left who understand I cant go out or visit them and now he's not sleeping... they are tolerant and polite like the OP who endured the whole bloody panto without a word.
She could have kicked off, she could have asked to move for no other reason than she paid £100 & her kids were sitting nicely but she didnt but she is not not a saint and found it annoying..

Hell fire I found my son annoying this evening too... just because he has autism it doesn't stop him being what all other kids are at times... annoying, frustrating, noisy, cheeky, funny, intelligent and unique.

Give the OP a bloody break - she found a kid annoying, was frustrated with a parent who did nothing about it and then ranted in place where it hurts no one. I hope my next neighbours are as nice as you - they've had to tolerate another round of 'JUST GO TO SLEEP' and 'I CAN'T!!!' this evening... god help them

Whilst we are on the subject as there are so many parent with kids on the spectrum... any words of wisdom on sleep - if this is it forever please lie to me - I cant take the truth this close to christmas!

whathasthecatdonenow Fri 28-Dec-12 22:17:48

Starfish unfortunately this thread is reflective of society as I experience it. If disability embarrasses, inconveniences or in anyway impacts on the 'normal' it is always the fault of the person with disabilities, or of course their parents/carers.

A generalisation, I realise, but one that hold true for the majority of my experiences.

mymatemax Fri 28-Dec-12 22:17:49

Decking, I meant fecking bloody predictive txt

zzzzz Fri 28-Dec-12 22:18:11

festive are you saying children with sn that can't conform shouldn't be allowed to go to a panto? shock

Surfers healing tweeted the following tonight:

Try not to care about behaviors in public, stare back at people who stare & make rude comments, consider them ignorant #ASDtips

Wise words

Festive you haven't answered my question yet. I'd really like an answer. My DS has never been to a panto but I would like to take him, and DD, next Christmas. Should I? In your view?

TandB Fri 28-Dec-12 22:20:35

Aaargh! There is no "ideal world".

That is what I keep saying again and again on these threads. There is no solution that works for everyone. There is no answer that is fair for everyone. Someone has to take that hit.

If it is always the family with the disability who are expected to bow out gracefully then they will never get to do anything nice. Ever. It's simple maths. There are far more NT families than there are families with disabilities, so the NT family will probably only very occasionally be put in a situation where they might lose out - the family with the disabled child will always be in that situation, because everytime they go out they will be surrounded by NT children. NT children aren't surrounded by children with disabilities everywhere they go.

Disability is just one of those things that we all have to deal with because we don't live in that mythical "ideal world". It's not the child's fault that he is disabled. It's not the parents fault that they had a disabled child. It could happen to any one of us, at any time. Why should their lives be shitty because their child isn't "perfect"?

People say the disabled child's needs don't trump those of the NT child. Fine, but the NT child's needs don't trump those of the disabled child. So what's the answer if it isn't tolerance?

FestiveElement Fri 28-Dec-12 22:21:37

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Clarabumps Fri 28-Dec-12 22:21:43

I felt a bit sick while reading this post... My ds has asd and I have been the parent trying to get through a social outing without an incident. I know my child can be annoying to others but there are times I wish people could understand how hard it is to do ANYTHING out of the ordinary with an asd child.
Lets just stay indoors so we don't annoy anyone shall we?
I wish people could understand.
I don't really do anything for fear of this judgement..which is unfair on my other children.
However the looks people give makes me sick to my stomach. I wish everyone could be "normal" ...Does that mean we never do anything?

manicinsomniac Fri 28-Dec-12 22:21:56

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mymatemax Fri 28-Dec-12 22:22:08

Dayshift. Drugs, fir either you or ds either will help!

Clarabumps Fri 28-Dec-12 22:23:00

Thank you Kungfu..those are my sentiments..

I'd look into performances that were designed for children like my ds

yeah good luck with that. our nearest autism friendly cinema screenings are 2 hours drive away. The nearest theatre friendly performances I've seen advertised ate 5 hours away.

BeanieStats Fri 28-Dec-12 22:23:34

I actually mostly agree with KungfuPanda - it's a panto after all.

What if it had been Swan Lake? Would the same still apply?

There seems to be an attitude of 'we'll do as we please and to he'll with everyone else' on this thread which is frankly little better than the 'well they shouldn't be there at all' attitude.

There still seem to be an awful lot of people on this thread that do not understand that learning disability means the ability to 'moderate behaviour' is not always within that individuals cognitive ability. Should they just sit at home then festive and insomniac? Is that really what you're saying? Just so we are clear.

FestiveElement Fri 28-Dec-12 22:25:24

It's also worth remembering that the disruptive autistic behaviours of some children can be very hard for other children who are on the spectrum to deal with.

My ds who has ASD would become quite distressed if a child in a theatre was jumping up and down and hitting themselves close to him.

So where does that leave children like him? Or are his rights less important because his autism is less severe than some other children's?

cinnamonnut Fri 28-Dec-12 22:25:28

We still don't know if he actually had SN.

mymatemax Fri 28-Dec-12 22:25:37

Oh & had the parent attempted to remove the child maybe the disruption would have been worse. My 10yr old with cerebral palsy, autism & learning difficulties is
Impossible for me to lift particularly when upset.

I really would have thought the panto would have been more tolerant of difference. It's hardly the sort of place you can hear a pin drop.

DS2 was in an inspector calls, people asked me if we were taking ds1 (er no, he'd be on the stage in the amazing house and nowhere near able to sit through it) - but that was full house, quiet theatre (actually not always quiet given the number of GCSE students in the auditorium). But panto? I thought panto might be an option one day. :delusional:

Of course he had SN, pretty unusual behaviour for an NT kid.

I will try to minimise any effect on others within the limitations of the individual child's disability.

Other than that, anyone bothered by it can get fucked.

If you want to know why I feel that way read the posts on this thread as if they were about your child and something they can't help, ie eye or hair colour.

McPheastOfStephen Fri 28-Dec-12 22:27:42

My nephew is Autistic, and my sister would never allow his behaviour to affect other peoples enjoyment of things. Yes, sometimes it can't be helped and we pick our battles, so to speak. Also we are very lucky as our Local theatres have an agreement with the Autistic Society, for special productions. That way, everyone attending can enjoy together without feeling uptight/anxious. Rather sad that sometimes these things are needed, but there we go. Sometimes an autistic child also needs to be able to be themselves....

FestiveElement Fri 28-Dec-12 22:28:19

our nearest autism friendly cinema screenings are 2 hours drive away. The nearest theatre friendly performances I've seen advertised ate 5 hours away.

And that is what the real problem is. That theatres don't make their service accessible to everyone. The problem isn't with people who just want to be able to do the thing they paid to do.

threesocksfullofchocs Fri 28-Dec-12 22:28:29

saintlyjimjams I have found that safety in numbers works.
never take them alone.
always go with another "mum" and child with sn.
I do that with dd, people tend to leave 2 mums with wheelchairs alone.....
also we "mums" tend to be braver with the shitheads when not alone.

To answer your question festive I would hope that everybody in the auditorium would look out for the needs of others and do their best, within their own abilities and limitations, to ensure the comfort of others, as well as themselves.

whathasthecatdonenow Fri 28-Dec-12 22:29:01

When people treat you and your children like scum, you tend to lose the will to care about them.

TandB Fri 28-Dec-12 22:29:37

Swan Lake probably wouldn't be the first choice of most parents with children with learning disabilities.

A panto probably seemed like a reasonable idea.

I'm finding this thread particularly hardgoing for some reason. Maybe it's because my NT DS1 had such a blast at his first panto last week and I'd like to think that the litte boy in the OP had just as much fun.

But why should families with one disabled member be restricted to only attending 'disability friendly' performances? Segregation isn't the answer. Consideration and kindness to one another is.

cinnamonnut Fri 28-Dec-12 22:32:07

Of course he had SN, pretty unusual behaviour for an NT kid.

Seriously? From a short description in a post on a forum, you're going to diagnose special needs? It might be a sign, but it certainly isn't an "of course" matter.

Seen it all on MN now.

shockers Fri 28-Dec-12 22:32:16

For what it's worth Yoyho, and as the mother of an SN child who has had great days out spoiled by rude NT children, I agree to a degree. These events are expensive and people should work together, rather than thinking, 'I have more right to be here than you'.

We had a theatre trip today spoiled by a child behind us, he was shouting out rude and dismissive comments to the cast (of two). He was under 7 at a guess and his parents never once asked him to stop. I wondered if he did have some kind of SN, but that was just a guess, and he was obviously high functioning if he did.

I didn't want his parents to take him out, but I did expect a little intervention.

I take my DD to a lot of 'Aiming Higher for Disability' events, cinema, theatre etc. I find them altogether less stressful than 'ordinary' events (although I will never stop going to those also), because all of the parents have empathy for one another, but are also able to tell their children that what they are doing is inappropriate when necessary.

manicinsomniac Fri 28-Dec-12 22:32:25

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FestiveElement Fri 28-Dec-12 22:32:34

But you are asking for more than consideration and kindness, don't you see that?

You are asking people who you know nothing about, who may have their own difficulties to face, to disregard their own needs in favour of yours.

If it was just about kindness and consideration, you could have it from me on bucket loads and with bells on, but that's not what you are asking.

A friend of mine in a support group we are part of just posted on FB about attending the panto with her disabled son today, who had a marvellous time. There were lots of disabled children there all enjoying it. Sadly one family sat in front of them kept turning around and tutting, making her feel really awkward. I really hope, OP, that you weren't those people.

Theatres can't afford to run autism friendly productions in the main auditorium. Our theatre has 1300 seats - it's not cost effective to give that over to a very reduced audience when it could be sold out to everyone else.

I have to say I didn't find the excited teen with LD's at the panto remotely disturbing. The 3 year old who kept going to the loo was more disturbing (and that didn't exactly register).

:puts a line through 'panto' on the to do list:

threesocksfullofchocs Fri 28-Dec-12 22:33:46

hopefully the father of the boy, got in for free as his carer

So you are actually saying then, insomniac and festive that you don't think disabled children should be taken to expensive, one off events.

Glad we're clear. Thread reported.

dayshiftdoris Fri 28-Dec-12 22:34:19

She DID tolerate it but it annoyed her... jeez since when can society not get annoyed!

Thanks for the drugs suggestion lol!

As for autism screening... a friend's son (ASD) couldnt cope because the lights were on and people were making a noise and that is NOT what happens in a cinema! Having been to the cinema with him he certainly does not conform to that idea (He talked in a chipmunk voice throughout Chipmunks3 about boats) - his mum and I burst into fits of laughter of that gem... I mean you couldnt write it!

shockers Fri 28-Dec-12 22:34:29

But obviously I am very lucky to have this service, as I have just read the comment posted while I was typing that sad.

Oh festive it's not that hard.

Plenty of people manage to be perfectly pleasant to ds1 when he is being at his most severely autistic and challenging, and loud.

A significant minority are lemon sucking fuckwits. I'm afraid I've stopped caring much about them.

shockers Fri 28-Dec-12 22:34:51


(although note we don't go to pizza hut, or the cinema or the theatre - I don't have much patience to people lemon sucking in frigging McDonalds.

So can I say I get annoyed being at events with overbearing, precocious NT brats with their loud parents then?

FestiveElement Fri 28-Dec-12 22:36:23

To answer your question festive I would hope that everybody in the auditorium would look out for the needs of others and do their best, within their own abilities and limitations, to ensure the comfort of others, as well as themselves.

And how would that actually work in reality when one child with ASD is upsetting another child with ASD? When two children are both severely limited in how they can behave, or in how they react to someone else's behaviour?

When the only solution is that one child be moved, which child should it be?

eggandcress Fri 28-Dec-12 22:36:41

We are a family affected by severe autism. We Make so many compromises because of our ds that we actually hardly go out. Today was the first time he went out since December 21st. If I thought he would enjoy the panto I doubt I would have the gall to take him

I feel that society has totally rejected my ds he just does not fit in to anything

Without knowing each individual and being in the exact situation, Festive, I can't answer your question appropriately. I think you know that.

mymatemax Fri 28-Dec-12 22:37:34

Fck how would the audience cope if my ds had a noisy prolonged siezure during cinderellas nail biting slipper scene..maybe we'd be asked to leave. Pesky disabilities. Don't you get it..if they wwere able to control it, it wouldnt be a disability

What you usually find in that situation is that the parents are tolerant and juggle around to find a solution. Stop inventing things which haven't happened.

I haven't ever had a problem with other parents in that situation (even when our kids are setting each other off) because we all the know the score. Having, like, daily experience of it.

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 22:39:02

Don't you get it..if they were able to control it, it wouldnt be a disability


manicinsomniac Fri 28-Dec-12 22:39:53

Not at all startail Just that parents should not allow them to prevent the enjoyment of others. And that is the case with all children. Again, I see no need to include the word disabled here. I take my NT children to the theatre and, if they ever pose a problem for another paying member of the public, I take them out until they have calmed down. I would expect any parent of any child to do the same.

FestiveElement Fri 28-Dec-12 22:40:07

So you are actually saying then, insomniac and festive that you don't think disabled children should be taken to expensive, one off events.

Glad we're clear. Thread reported.


Massive overreaction you have going on there.

No, that's not what I said and you know it. Feel free to report any of my posts, I'm giving my opinion, that is all. There is more than one side to this, and I'm speaking as the parent of a child who has ASD!

BeanieStats Fri 28-Dec-12 22:40:35

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McPheastOfStephen Fri 28-Dec-12 22:40:46

eggandcress I actually feel really sad that you feel like that. But I can understand it. We are forever making apologies/excuses for my nephews random behaviour, and tbh it pisses me right off. He has as much right to this world as the next person. The fact that he has 'dodgy wiring' <we call it that> shouldn't even come in to it sad

TandB Fri 28-Dec-12 22:41:03

Well disability isn't going to go away any time soon, so from time to time we will all be inconvenienced by someone who can't behave in a perfect way for the situation.

We can feel sad and angry and irritated and hard-done-by about it and let it be a shitty experience with no positives.

Or we could think "Well at least that child had a nice outing" and maybe feel a bit better about it.

CatherineHMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 28-Dec-12 22:41:26

Once again, we'd like to draw your attention to the fact that while we're happy to accept that the OP has limited knowledge of SN behaviours (if indeed the child she's describing did have SN), we would regard any post that states or suggests that a disabled child should be removed from a theatre (or any place for that matter) as disablist - and we would delete it.

threesocksfullofchocs Fri 28-Dec-12 22:42:29

Glitterknickaz Fri 28-Dec-12 22:36:03
So can I say I get annoyed being at events with overbearing, precocious NT brats with their loud parents then?
wow mate was just going to post along those lines.

Have posted Beanie's most recent disablist post. Plus will a reiterate the comment re if they had control over their actions they wouldn't have a disability.

manicinsomniac Fri 28-Dec-12 22:42:53

of course you can glitter - I imagine that is a far more common annoyance than a child with SN disrupting a performance. I've experienced disruption from NT children, never from an SN child. A child is a child - they all need moderating or removing on occasion.

Er I think the conclusion in the car case was that it was unlikely the child had damaged a car. The argument was around whether the mother should have stopped to discuss the situation with the OP (if she'd actually heard her) and the ridiculousness of suggesting she should have been sorting him out and making him walk properly. :rolls eyes:

FestiveElement Fri 28-Dec-12 22:43:00

Without knowing each individual and being in the exact situation, Festive, I can't answer your question appropriately. I think you know that.


First you give a massive over reaction, and then you give a massive cop out!

I'm sure if you thought about it a little bit you could imagine a variety of scenarios where this could be a problem and give possible suggestions as to what you might think is the best course of action.

Of course, you are free to choose not to if you want, I just think it makes you quite hypocritical.

Insomniac you're still not getting it. If a child as a learning disability and they are not able to modify their behaviour in the way an NT child can, what do you do? Take them out repeatedly for doing what they do, even if it isn't 'naughty' or deliberate behaviour? So they miss the entire performance just so they don't upset anyone, who could just as well just turn their head back around and get on with watching the show? Or just stay at home? Not go. Because that feels a lot like what you're saying.

eggandcress Fri 28-Dec-12 22:44:42

I feel we should support the parents of the child they were trying to make his life more interesting and fun. They had not given up trying to fit in and were trying to rise above all the people who are so intolerant

Festive you're asking me to write fiction. About a hypothetical situation. Just to get one up. I think, really, you know this is ridiculous.

Actually I particularly loathe the delightful little shits who sit there pointing and laughing at my kids whilst aping their Stimson/hand flapping.

Whilst the indulgent asshat parents smile on and ignore what their little darlings are doing.

And don't say that doesn't happen. It does.

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 22:46:21

If a child due to disability is unable to modify their behavior, what you are suggesting is that their parent remove them so as not to subject the public to said behavior.

That is wrong.

MovingOnNow Fri 28-Dec-12 22:46:25

If only all people could experience that moment that SN parents have when the realisation hits them that their child has a disability and that utterly utterly, god awful, gut wrenching feeling of their world crashing down around them. For just one day. And then back to their old life. I doubt threads like this would exist.

whathasthecatdonenow Fri 28-Dec-12 22:46:49

Maybe those who disapprove of the rights of children with disabilities to experience activities should think about how things can change quickly. They could find themselves with a child they can't 'control' because of their disability. My niece was 5 when she developed a severe limp and DSis took her to A & E. Within hours she had had major brain surgery that left her developmentally delayed. When she shouts out or wets herself in public, she can't help it - her brain is squashed in half of her head and the rest of her skull is full of scar tissue and fluid.

Compassion. Find some.

I remove ds1 from situations if he is upset/going to damage himself

I do not remove him from situations for being excited (which it sounds as if this boy was). If someone asked me to move to a different seat I would; gladly. If they asked me to leave I would be horrified.

If ds1 touches someones property I apologise. If he just looks at it I do not.

Exactly moving. That's one of the reasons I write my blog. I just want more people to know those feelings and perhaps their perspective on life would change. I actually think they would be happier, not just more pleasant and considerate of others but happier.

yohohoho Fri 28-Dec-12 22:48:41

if they wwere able to control it, it wouldnt be a disability

But it is possible to take steps to help manage it.

Personally i think the panto is a good place for kids to be noisy and jump around and would have no objection to the boy in the OP.

My objection is to the i can't and i won't moderate my childs natural behavior.

Just because it is a disability it does not absolve the parent of the responsibility to show children what is reasonable and at least attempting.

threesocksfullofchocs Fri 28-Dec-12 22:49:15

Glitterknickaz oh yes
kids staring
strangely I am always told that nt kids are staring as it is "normal"

FestiveElement Fri 28-Dec-12 22:49:37

It's not ridiculous though Starfish. Doris gave a perfect example of what I mean on the last page.

For some children who have autism, it is distressing for them to see and hear behaviours that they cannot learn to understand and tolerate. Some children with ASD are disabled precisely because they can't show tolerance, understanding and kindness.

It may not be some people's reality of autism, but it is the reality for many people who have autism in their lives.

mummytime Fri 28-Dec-12 22:49:41

Well my local panto had a special "tolerant" performance. It included higher general light levels, less loud noises etc. as well as a good warning that behaviour might not be perfect.

However I do expect more noise and movement at a Panto than other theatre.

threesocksfullofchocs Fri 28-Dec-12 22:50:32

you seem to be missing the whole point of this......

BeanieStats Fri 28-Dec-12 22:51:24

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Well if people want to engage in loud, publically wankerish behaviour at least we'll know who the wankers are!

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 22:52:30


you have taken exception to what I have said.

Let me clarify, I would not let my child do something that will hurt someone or damage property.

But hand flapping, whooping, tics and noises.

No I wont modify it, even of some people find it embarrassing.

Oh, and the child isn't SN. They might HAVE SN.

TandB Fri 28-Dec-12 22:53:28

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I get that Festive. I don't feel I can answer your question appropriately though as I don't know either child in question. Doris was talking about her own son.

If you'd asked me how I would handle it if I was in the theatre with my own son, I could answer that as I understand his needs.

threesocksfullofchocs Fri 28-Dec-12 22:53:58

well if it is my child who has sn......
go on make my fucking day

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ViperInTheManger Fri 28-Dec-12 22:54:03

I'm with the people who think this needs give and take on both sides.

I would hate to think we were not supportive of a child/family with some of the issues mentioned on this thread but we, some years ago, had saved up for our family to see "Stomp" and a man with disabilities who was sat behind us shouted and banged the seats throughout. We did not tut or complain but it did affect the whole family's enjoyment of a rare, and much looked forward to, night out.

whathasthecatdonenow Fri 28-Dec-12 22:54:08

Well Beanie, I'd much rather you were nowhere near us with your intolerance - I wouldn't like to have my experience spoilt by something you can control.

eggandcress Fri 28-Dec-12 22:54:26

Beanie - I hope you do get to do this and I hope you get a MaitreD with a disabled child who asks you to leave the restaurant. It is people like you who spoil our lives

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 22:54:41

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And once again have reported the disablist post.

Would those engaging in blatant disablism stand in the high street shouting n*** at black people?

If not, why is it you find disablist language acceptable?

If you're going to be a bigot you might as well go the whole hog.

McPheastOfStephen Fri 28-Dec-12 22:55:01


dayshiftdoris Fri 28-Dec-12 22:55:02


I have just been called a disablist by MUMSNET!!

I have and will continue to remove my child with ASD from situations should his behaviour become such that I believe that him and the other people around him will be better off.

THAT little bit of advice comes from the PROFESSIONALS involved with my son yet according to MUMSNET I am a disablist shock

I would like an explanation Mumsnet... do you suggest I keep my son there until he loses his dignity and / or hurts someone?


manicinsomniac Fri 28-Dec-12 22:55:09

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A bit of a ....?

No, a COMPLETE .... !

zzzzz Fri 28-Dec-12 22:56:44

Well beanie it's often the case that airing ones prejudices brings them to the fore. Hopefully you will "complain" to someone who understands the law of land or there are some real human beings in the restaurant or theatre that treat you in the way you deserve.

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 22:57:19

Ok Glitterknickaz! an UTTER .....!

FestiveElement Fri 28-Dec-12 22:58:31

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

threesocksfullofchocs Fri 28-Dec-12 22:58:38

give me a c

yohohoho Fri 28-Dec-12 22:59:10

yohohoho you seem to be missing the whole point of this......why?

What point am I missing?

No amber i have not taken exception, I disagree with what you said, which I said on my first (maybe second post) and I reiterating.

The issue is Amber, in the new year I have a meeting with dds teacher as he and dh feel she is exhibiting some of my aspie qualities. DD would have, quite politely but firmly, told the man and his son that they were ruining the experience for her.
Had she done so, I would have told her that was not appropriate. She would have not seen the issue because she sees things as facts. and its a 'fact' she sees no issue in saying it. This is natural to her. I moderate and it is getting better.

I would not have said to the man 'she is a child with aspergers, you might be upset she said your son was ruining it for her but its her natural behavior'.

I have to moderate my own behavior as I work with the public. Everyone has to moderate themselves or their children at some point.

You didn't say I won't moderate some behaviors.

Thanks for your answer and your honesty insomniac. I think the problem here is that there are a lot of people who have a very low threshold in their ability to be surrounded by people who are different to them, or who might behave in a different way. So they may view that they were prevented from enjoying an event, just by a boy like my son who has learning disabilities and might make an occasional unexpected noise.

And also that it's not possible to modify the behaviour of someone with learning disabilities in the way it is with an NT individual. But that should not mean they can't attend public events.


cansu Fri 28-Dec-12 23:01:34

Beanie what a truly nasty post. I am open mouthed that you could post that. I sincerely hope you aren't really that unkind and lacking in compassion in real life. I have never reported a post before but truly that is an awful thing to write. I have two dc with asd and we have very few places that are safe to go to. i must be over sensitive because your post actually makes me feel like crying.

McPheastOfStephen Fri 28-Dec-12 23:01:43


threesocksfullofchocs Fri 28-Dec-12 23:01:54


AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 23:02:10


zzzzz Fri 28-Dec-12 23:02:31


eggandcress Fri 28-Dec-12 23:02:42

Cansu - I am also shaken by beanies post

MovingOnNow Fri 28-Dec-12 23:02:53

Beanie despite everything, I still believe that most people are genuinely fair and nice. So good luck with that.

FestiveElement Fri 28-Dec-12 23:03:14

Fair enough Starfish.

You are one step ahead of me then because I don't have a clue what I would do in a situation where my son who has a disability was becoming distressed as a direct result of someone else who has a disability.

Apparantly it would make me disablist to suggest that a child who was upsetting my son should be removed from the theatre, even though the only reason my son would become upset is because of his disability. So the only thing I could do is remove my own son, but then that would still be disablist because I'd be removing him because of a disability.


Cansu I used to get like you. The tears and upset caused scars and callouses and now I am a bitter, angry tiger when it comes to my kids.

Yet the arseholes on this thread cannot see that my behaviour is of their own creation. I have no tolerance at their fuckwittery and they can get to fuck.

Beanie would you like to meet my son and say that to his face? I truly hope that your post was purely for the 'rush' of stirring up things on an anonymous internet forum and that you're not like that in real life.

ChristmasSpiritEndorphins Fri 28-Dec-12 23:04:32

I would have spoken to the parents. People should not spoil the enjoyment for others. Sounds like the father said a lot but did nothing. I would not let my child disturb the people around them like that.

TandB Fri 28-Dec-12 23:05:16

Of course it was, Starfish.

Mean-spiritedness tends to go hand-in-hand with cowardice.

LookBehindYou Fri 28-Dec-12 23:05:23

I don't understand why this is a disabilist thread. All the dad had to do was lift his son out of his seat and put him back where he was originally.

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 23:06:26


I doubt very much you would have had to explain much at all to a parent of another child with autism [in your hypothetical scenario]

Again Ill agree to disagree with you.

I don't agree with your way of seeing things.

your way wouldn't work for me.

My son doesn't have aspergers. he is autistic.

He sometimes does things like the boy in the OP and that is the sort of thing I was refering to not modifying, given that was the subject of the thread I really didnt think it needed clarification.

Well Jolly Good For You, Endorphins.
Give that Mummy A Gold Star. She's Obviously FAR Superior To Us Pesky SN Parents.

Ha, I know Festive, we could tie ourselves up in knots wondering about it. If my son was distressed, I'd take him out and hope for better luck next time. If he was enjoying himself, I wouldn't. That's where I draw my personal line. Although I take every situation as it comes and I'm not sure I can be totally prescriptive about how I'd act in any scenario without actually being there iyswim.

McPheastOfStephen Fri 28-Dec-12 23:07:20

Yes, and notice she has not returned to explain hmm

You would complain about a disabled child?


Will you shout at the waiting staff if they refuse you? If you want to look like a total pratt and cause a lot of unpleasantness that's up to you I guess. Im surprised it happens often enough for you to remember. I can't ever remember being disturbed in any way by someone with LD's (other than my own son)

dayshiftdoris Fri 28-Dec-12 23:07:25


I said that I do remove my child because of his ASD, which is a disability yet my posts are still there...

I cant see how leaving him in a situation which is causing negative behaviour HELPS him

I am very very offended Mumsnet

yohohoho Fri 28-Dec-12 23:07:47

And also that it's not possible to modify the behaviour of someone with learning disabilities in the way it is with an NT individual

In the majority of cases it is. I am not saying its possible (or you should want them) for all Children with SN to appear NT. But some some modifying is possible with lots of children with SN.

zzzzz Fri 28-Dec-12 23:08:14

Eyes on the horizon cansu, just keep going, there are more nice people than horrors.

It smarts, but our dc face more everyday and get up and try again. To do any less would be unthinkable.

Surely because it's your choice as his carer to know what suits your son's needs doris?

If another individual was making that choice for you, that's very different.

LookBehindYou Fri 28-Dec-12 23:05:23
I don't understand why this is a disabilist thread. All the dad had to do was lift his son out of his seat and put him back where he was originally.

LBY I responded to you earlier when you posted this. I asked, 'have you ever tried to do this with a child with autism who is mid-stim?'

McPheastOfStephen Fri 28-Dec-12 23:10:07

My sister considered putting a badge on my nephew, explaining he has autism. I protested loudly about this. I won't have him needing to make excuses for just being him. If other people take issue with his character, then fuck 'em.

I would remove my child from a situation if upset or very very loud (although removing him might make him one hell of a lot louder I'm afraid), but I wouldn't remove him for being happy and excited at a panto.

Not clear whether the OP asked the boy to be moved back - that would have seemed the most sensible option, rather than sucking a bag of lemons and seething in silence.

manicinsomniac Fri 28-Dec-12 23:11:42

Starfish (no idea why I have been calling you startail?! - sorry about that!) Thanks for being so gracious. I hadn't really considered the problem of subjectivity in an event being 'ruined' actually - you're right, many people probably are far too quick to write off the odd disruption as a ruined experience. And I guess I have no idea of the frequency of that because I don't have to live with it. I have a bit of a tendency to see mumsnet as all academic and divorce it from reality and real people very easily - so I'm sorry about any hurt or upset any of my words have caused to you. I haven't been thinking about real people and real problems - just hypothetical situations. Which is very interesting to me but actually isn't ok.

Although I do like the 'I have autism what explains your lack of social skills' t shirts

"But some some modifying is possible with lots of children with SN".

Could you tell me how yoho? And how, as a member of the public you are supposed to know whether a behaviour can be modified or not? And therefore whether you are in a position to judge or be offended, or expect the parents to 'do something'?

TandB Fri 28-Dec-12 23:12:43

Can I just make it very clear that my deleted post contained Beaniestat's vile post. Just in case anyone thinks that I posted something disablist!

LookBehindYou Fri 28-Dec-12 23:13:05

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

yohohoho Fri 28-Dec-12 23:13:21

*given that was the subject of the thread I really didnt think it needed clarification.8

You said I can't and won't moderate my sons natural behavior. It was an entire paragraph.

It didn't say i can't moderate certain behaviors, some I can and do

I know you son does not have asopergers. I am showing an example where natural behavior should be modified and that natural behaviors is sometimes hurtful for others. HOw would you feel if my dd said something to your son that hurt you and him and I shrugged it off with 'its her natural behaviour'?

Thats my point. If you meant something different from your statement about 'won't' then that a different situation.

I quite like Startail insomniac smile

Thanks for that last post btw, I was beginning to wonder why I was on this thread but actually I feel like our bit of the conversation has been worthwhile. Sorry if that sounds patronising. I'm tired, but just pleased for this not to have been a totally negative MN experience!

BeanieStats Fri 28-Dec-12 23:15:50

Am I not showing the same inflexibleness and lack of consideration for others that some on this thread are?

threesocksfullofchocs Fri 28-Dec-12 23:15:57

kungfupannda I am sure no one would think that

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 23:17:33

Can I just make it very clear that my deleted post contained Beaniestat's vile post. Just in case anyone thinks that I posted something disablist!

Mine too!

threesocksfullofchocs Fri 28-Dec-12 23:17:57

maybe beanie could help me with my list.
I am compiling a list of places tha kids with sn would not be allowed....
we have pantomimes
busses in the wheelchair space(especially if in wheelchairs)
anyone want to carry on

cinnamonnut Fri 28-Dec-12 23:18:22

It won't be long until this thread is deleted.

He should not have been put in that seat in the first place if he has SN.

I suspect, from your posts, LBY that you don't know a great deal about autism. The OP describes behaviours that indicate the child most probably has autism. It has been suggested above that the parents moved him to help him cope/give him a bit more space.

Picking him up again could have triggered a meltdown. An autistic meltdown is quite a lot different from a typical child's 'meltdown'. It's not just about the physical act of lifting, which I agree would clearly have been possible, but the behavioural result of doing so.

zzzzz Fri 28-Dec-12 23:19:09

beanie I think several of us have spelled out exactly what we think of your attitude.

Mainstream schools, threesocks. Can't have them taking TA time away from their little pwecious (even though TA is funded specifically for child's needs)

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 23:19:21

yohoho are you being deliberately obtuse?

threesocksfullofchocs Fri 28-Dec-12 23:20:08

cinnamonnut I hope it isn't
every time there is a thread like this, it is deleted.
yes it is vile
yes there are some vile posts on it.
but people should be able to see the vileness

FestiveElement Fri 28-Dec-12 23:20:56

Starfish, perhaps you are more forgiving than me then, because I'd be very upset to have to remove my child if the only reason he was not enjoying a performance was because of someone else's behaviour.

I would take him out if he was upset, I'd have no other choice. But in all honesty, I would resent the fact that that decision had been forced upon me because someone though their child had more right to enjoyment of the theatre than mine.

I condo understand how that could come across as if I thought that my child had more right to enjoyment than someone else's, but it is different when my child's ASD won't affect anyone else but another child's ASD will affect everyone else.

I basically don't think that any of us have a right to disrupt another persons enjoyment of something, whether that's because of a disability or not. And I resent that that perfectly reasonable view is being considered by some as disablist.

mymatemax Fri 28-Dec-12 23:20:57

Lookbehindyou -- next time i need to lift my 10yr old ds2 when he is exxcited/upset/scared/distressed etc I'll give you a call.
It is very different to lifting a 10yr old who is willing or even a tantruming toddler.
The best i can manage with my 10 yr old now is to sit with, virtually on him until he is calm & then sort of manhandle him out, lifting is no longer an option for me or dh if DS2 is not willing to move.

Maybe the dads attempts to get the child to behave were more to meet the expectations of the others in the theatre than any real belief that it would change his sons behaviour.
He may have been very well aware that allowing him to continue was the least disruptive of the two options.

Mybe he was embaressed and shocked by how over excited his son ahd become.
I say again... dont judge... you just never know!

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 23:22:01

I agree threesocks.

It reay pisses me off when these threads get deleted.

FestiveElement Fri 28-Dec-12 23:22:53

Doris I am offended too.

McPheastOfStephen Fri 28-Dec-12 23:23:42

Or maybe he was actually enjoying his son enjoying himself, and maybe, just maybe that had been the only pleasure of the entire day!

yohohoho Fri 28-Dec-12 23:24:46

amber not deliberately, no.

It may be coming across that way, but I think you are coming across that way aswell.

manicinsomniac Fri 28-Dec-12 23:24:48

Starfish - not patronising at all, we can't know about all life situations. It's good to learn about and think about others' experiences.

whathasthecatdonenow Fri 28-Dec-12 23:25:12

I have to put up with enough vileness in real life, so I'm going to hide this thread now.

Can I just say, hopefully without sounding patronising, how much in awe I am of parents that cope with this day in day out whilst providing their children with the love, care and support they need.

threesocksfullofchocs Fri 28-Dec-12 23:25:58

FestiveElement I kind of get you.
It is a hard one
if you have to people with sn, and one person is upsetting the other....who leaves.
I know that my dd gets upset by certain things(for her it is mainly nt kids crying) but I get your dilema

Thing is if that scenario was to occur I'd work with the other parent with both our expertise on our kids' needs, and also work with theatre management to get one or other child moved if they were enjoying themselves and wanted to stay.

kickassmomma Fri 28-Dec-12 23:30:13

its actually horrible to see some peoples opinions against children with special needs!! obviously those who haven't experienced the battled of a meltdown or worried about how other child will react in certain situations!! I bet a lot of opinions would be different if it was the other way round let's hope those at do have negative opinion never end up with a an child!!! hmm hmm

Hey, "SN kids" (not kids who have SN) aren't human. It's open season on them.

FestiveElement Fri 28-Dec-12 23:37:02

Thank you threesocks, and Glitter.

It is hard all round, but I know my experience of parenting a child with ASD is easy compared to some other people's.

I really think that the theatres, especially in panto season, should do more for their customers and should do what they need to do be accessible and welcoming to everyone. And if that means they lose some profit, then so be it.

Clarabumps Fri 28-Dec-12 23:39:26

I'm going to hide this too..its too upsetting.. My ds is recently diagnosed and if this is what I have to look forward to then god fucking help me. Its bad enough with the judgement and looks from people on the school run. Depressing though.. I don't understand how people can be so cruel to people they know little about.

Fear and ignorance I think Clara. Both of those can be turned around. That's why I persevere, gently, in the face of vileness. I will keep doing so for as long as I have the emotional energy. And the time. Which isn't eaten up by caring for DS, doing his daily therapies, taking him to countless hospital appointments, managing seizures, oh no, because parents of children with disabilities don't already have enough to do!

I used to persevere gently.

Then I got angry and defensive.

Ho hum. Only so much wankerdom we should have to endure...

I know Glitters. <tired>

threesocksfullofchocs Fri 28-Dec-12 23:55:52

18 years down the line (7 year on mn) I cannot be fucked with being nice.
mn has not changed in that time(thank god mn hq have)
I joined and a oldie got a bashing soon after for daring to start a thread saying something along the line of "every one should have a child with sn for a day" of something.
still the disablist bigots rule

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 28-Dec-12 23:59:22

Some people do not understand that ASD is not always the same for everyone

You have some aspects of it that can be worked on like moderating conscious bad behaviour but you also can have actual symptoms of the disability itself

If your lucky enough to only have to deal with behaviours that can be adjusted then lucky you.

But a huge amount of people on this thread are dealing with things that cannot be modified because its not bad behaviour, the person with a disability is exhibiting a symptom of that disability that just so happens to display itself with an action.

It may not be anything to do with distress or excitement or anything other than it just being how the disability manifests in that particular person.

One of my children cannot talk but he can quack and bark he cannot control at all when or why he does it he also flaps his arms he also cannot control when or why he does that, he does smile when he is happy in between the quacking and the barking he is mostly unaware that he is doing anything other than smiling.

Another one of my children does have some aspects of his ASD that can be challenged or changed he also has many that can't.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 29-Dec-12 00:05:11

Oh and for what its worth if I took my children out to a venue and we were asked to leave because of a symptom of a disability that could not be moderated, I would be very angry and would think the person asking was a complete cunt

threesocksfullofchocs Sat 29-Dec-12 00:07:12

Sockreturningpixie I so get that.
I think sadly the nt world hear a dx and then assume all people with that dx will be the same.....
so we get the crap fall out. my dd has CP and like ASD it is a spectrum and what one person can do another might not be able to.

mymatemax Sat 29-Dec-12 00:08:34

the only things we can do with ds2 as a family are the beach, the forest and well thats it really....
He is very obviosuly disabled with autism, CP and learnign difficulties we are very fortunate that the majority of the people we come in to contact with in RL are far more accommodating than some on this thread.
Most of the time we are restricted by ds2's ability to cope rather than others attitudes.
He actually wouldnt shout, jump up and down (he'd fall over) climb on chairs etc but he may... get upset, become distressed, cry & sob, rock and banmg his head, fling his head back and forth etc etc. Have a seizure etc.
I would do my best to stop him disturbing others including ds1 & remove him if needed

I dont ask for extra special treatment, all i ask is for a little kindness and tolerance to allow inclusion in a family event.

DrCoconut Sat 29-Dec-12 00:27:35

I haven't read the whole thread but anyway, I have had people "helpfully" tell me that I should just not allow DS1's stimming and that I am over indulgent for not disciplining him using "normal" methods which don't work for him and just make him worse. If only I'd known that a good clip round the ear and being told no would cure his problems!

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 29-Dec-12 00:32:09


The response you need for that old chestnut is

" would a clip around the ear sort out your bad manors and bigotry?"

ilovesprouts Sat 29-Dec-12 00:41:47

You are deff unresanable

neverputasockinatoaster Sat 29-Dec-12 00:44:27

OK, not sure if I should post but I'm going to....

DS has an ASD. He can be very loud, he can be very hyper, he sounds arrogant a lot of the time and he talks a lot. He often syas ro does things that are obviously not NT.

As a child I was raised to not be seen. I was bullied at school for being 'weird'. I worry all the time about what people think of me and my children. I don't want to be 'seen' by society because I don't 'fit in'.

When I am out and about with DS I have to fight all the time with my inner voice which cringes at things DS does as it means people will 'see' us and then they will judge. Sometimes this leads to me getting very stressed and then I get panicy and shouty and get cross with my DS - maybe the dad in the situation was feeling like this? I 'freeze' and can't think what else to do other than to carry on with what I was doing........

I wouldn't have taken DS to the panto because to him it would be torture. (To me too actually - love theatre, never happier than when on the stage, but panto gives me the heebie geebies.)

I love my DS and I hate that I am so scared of whta society thinks of me that I get cross with him for being him. It is like there is a little voice in my head repeating 'son't be seen' all the time. I often have to act a part to get through the day.

ChristmasSpiritEndorphins Sat 29-Dec-12 00:52:55

Is it really terrible to tell a parent that you can't see/hear the show because of their child? And is it so terrible to remove a disruptive child?
I don't understand? I thought it was common courtesy?

Damash12 Sat 29-Dec-12 00:53:19

Hang on a minute, I have not read the entire thread but I'm amazed at the comments to Fantastifanjo (apologies if spelt incorrect) spending £100 for a day out with her family to have it ruined by the PARENT of asd child ( note I said parent)is totally wrong. We don't work our bloody arses off to take family out to sit and be expected to suck it up because it just so happens a child with extra needs is there. The child's father should not have plonked him in front of op's child, the child's father should not have spent time telling him off and no I wouldn't have said anything either because what can you say?? But I do expect self awareness and he must have bloody known that placing the child on the seat was now affecting ops child's viewing? Why is that ok?? I recently went to ice age on ice and the child in the seat behind my son was allowed to put his feet on the top of my sons chair and keep pushing it to the point where my son was getting upset. I looked at the mother a number of times who then pathetically said "put your feet down honey" Did he hell as like. If it wasn't that, he was talking/whining all the way through the show. It's bloody annoying when you have looked forward to something (and paid a fair amount) to have it ruined by parents who don't give a shit about those around them so no op YANBU.

ChristmasSpiritEndorphins Sat 29-Dec-12 01:19:01

I have nothing against anyone with special needs by the way, child or adult. If you knew me you would realize what a silly assumption that is.

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 01:26:34

No, not common courtesy Endorphins. Disablist apparently hmm

YerMaw1989 Sat 29-Dec-12 01:32:38

My sibling has ASD and we often seat on the end,

however you sound a bit judgey, pantos are meant to be rowdy.

ChristmasSpiritEndorphins Sat 29-Dec-12 01:35:39

I have never been to one. Are they especially for children then? That changes the scenerio somewhat.

NK493efc93X1277dd3d6d4 Sat 29-Dec-12 01:40:48

YANBU and some of the posts above show just how ignorant some other parents can be! Unfortunately parents with attitudes such as this have little regard for the effects of their offsprings' behaviour, whether asd or non asd.

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 01:43:09

Pantos are aimed at families, so they are designed for both adults and children. I wouldn't say they are rowdy, but they are interactive and there is audience participation. But that just means that the audience is encouraged to respond to a few lines throughout the show, not that they are invited to be noisy all the way through it.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 29-Dec-12 01:50:41

If that disruption is as a direct result of a symptom of a disability that cannot be moderated because it is a symptom rather than wilful bad behaviour.

Then no it's not common courtesy and saying they should remove the disabled person because of a symptom of that disability is disablist

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 02:07:38

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

FeltyPants Sat 29-Dec-12 02:10:05

This thread interested me because on Sunday I will be taking my ASD child to a panto and basically i know he will hate it.

But here is the full story:

The trip is with a charity for SN children
We will be bringing a coach load of shouty flappy crazy kids with all kinds of SN, learning disabilities et
The theatre is a big city one so the vast majority of families will be 'normal' and have paid a lot of money
My ASD son will LOVE the trip on the motorway there and back
My 'normal' son will love the panto and misses out on so much of 'normal' childhood because of his brother
I'm a lone parent - my husband ran off with another woman - so I can't just take one
Every single day I walk a tightrope between giving my kids a balanced upbringing and cringing at the feelings of others.

I can't really comment on your situation at the panto I wasn't there but it's made worry a lot about Sunday and hope nobody freaks out at 'the weirdos on the bus'.

The thing is when disability is not easily visible it throws up different issues - my mates son has Downs Syndome and although she gets the 'oh poor thing' crap (he has a wonderful happy life!) and people staring and calling her brave, they are also more understanding when he steals their cake or puts them in a headlock!

Balancing the needs of a family exhausts me - even more do when I weigh up the needs of society as well - sometimes I think I am a bit selfish - because I have nothing left to give.

pinkyp Sat 29-Dec-12 02:17:40

Op what a horrible thread to start, well done on making lots of people feel rubbish, YABVVU!

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 29-Dec-12 02:52:25


Because a disabled person has just as much right to enjoy a performance, and to say they shouldn't be able to do so because of a symptom of there disability ( something they cannot control) is disablist.

Not accounting for a persons disability is discrimination.

By saying a disabled person should either have to leave or should not be able to enter solely based on a symptom of there disability is just the same as saying " you are not welcome because you are disabled"

Does that make it a bit clearer?

HoneyMurcott Sat 29-Dec-12 04:32:16

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kaz1119 Sat 29-Dec-12 05:08:49

honey - but that is is the point. sometimes with children (or adults) with SN you just cannot manage their behaviour and they cannot control it themselves. that is why it is called a disability.

to suggest this boy should have been taken out because if his disability is just awful - and disabelist.

HoneyMurcott Sat 29-Dec-12 05:22:52

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kaz1119 Sat 29-Dec-12 05:41:55

so you are saying that children with SN who display behaviours as described by the OP should not attend a panto as matter of courtesy to others? crikey!

and we are talking about a panto which is
a totally different thing from an opera.

HoneyMurcott Sat 29-Dec-12 05:44:21

So are you saying that jumping up and down on your seat and calling out loudly are acceptable in the middle of a theatre performance?

kaz1119 Sat 29-Dec-12 05:58:19

it was a panto not a shakespeare and assuming that the boy had SN which caused his behaviour. so yes, under these circumstances would find it acceptable.

McNewPants2013 Sat 29-Dec-12 05:59:31

My son has ASD and after years of society not accepting his disability, tutting and verbally saying sort your kid out ect. I don't give a flying fuck what people think.

He can not learn social situation if he is removed every time.

kaz1119 Sat 29-Dec-12 06:02:32

are you saying someone with SN should not attend theatre if his/her disability could possibly inconvenience the rest of tge audience?

HoneyMurcott Sat 29-Dec-12 06:03:06

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McNewPants2013 Sat 29-Dec-12 06:13:12

Honey. I will say the things that over the years i have been directed to me. My son has a blue badge i have stranger tell me that my son can walk so why has he got a Blue badge ( because he has no sense of danger and i need to get him in the car) I have people yelling at me to sort his behaviour out, i have people slagging me off in super markets and alot of other things.

The sad reality is that hidden disabilities are over looked, and as a parent it does piss me off.

I do think that if people cant accept DS for who he is, why should i think of other peoples feeling ( as they can never understand what it is like to living in a world that is black and white when all they can see is colours)

kaz1119 Sat 29-Dec-12 06:14:23

honey - if the boy's jumping up and down was due to his SN, how do you stop it??? are yiu suggesting it is possiple to put one's disability on hold for the duration of the panto? i am really intrigued. pleeeaase tell me!

you would not tell a wheelchair user to get up and walk though, would you?

HoneyMurcott Sat 29-Dec-12 06:24:21

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zzzzz Sat 29-Dec-12 07:05:08

Honey "OK, Kaz, just because a kid was jumping up and down doesn't mean they could not have stopped it, even if it was due to SN. I do know what I am talking about."

Very obviously, you do not.

zzzzz Sat 29-Dec-12 07:33:54

Involuntary movements or noises are not justification for excluding any individual from a public performance.

People with neurological disorders resulting in involuntary vocalisation, movement or behaviours do not need anyone's permission to attend any public event. The fact you find the manifestation of their disability annoying, distasteful or intrusive is your problem not theirs. The cost of the ticket does not entitle you to select the rest of the audiences profiles. The only way to ensure you don't have to mix with disabled people in a theatre is to leave yourself.

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Sat 29-Dec-12 07:54:38

Honey - you are missing the point, it boils down to SN children and adults having an equal right, not more right.

This whole thread is distressing to parents with SN children. For me, it demonstrates the lack of understanding existing amongst the public today. When we go out I try to zone out other people's opinions and ignorance but to see it written down and defended is so sad.

HoneyMurcott Sat 29-Dec-12 07:57:28

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zzzzz Sat 29-Dec-12 08:05:31

Add message | Report | Message poster HoneyMurcott Sat 29-Dec-12 07:57:28
WTF! jumping up and down on your theatre seat is pretty fucking voluntary to me.

Which is why I said you don't know what you are talking about. Jiggling, jumping, flapping etc are actually very common reactions to excitement, both in nt and sn individuals.

HoneyMurcott Sat 29-Dec-12 08:06:45

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This thread is becoming deeply upsetting to those of us who have a child with disabilities. The lack of knowledge about the nature of disability is disappointing but what is truly astounding is the lack of ability or willingness to take on board the words of those who DO have knowledge and experience of disability.

If you did, and yes Honey i am looking at you, among others, you would have a better understanding of what might have been happening in the OP and, more importantly, not unnecessarily make the lives of people with disabilities more difficult than they ready are with your unkindness.

cansu Sat 29-Dec-12 08:24:01

Honey please don't comment on things you know nothing about. You clearly do not know much about ASD. A child jumping up and down and flapping are symptoms of the condition. This child didn't need to be disciplined, just needed to be understood by the op and others around him. Try and have some compassion.

KittyFane1 Sat 29-Dec-12 08:25:34

There are some selfish attitudes on this thread. I have just asked a friend of mine who has tourettes, he makes repeated noises ( doesn't swear, not all do) and his body jerks. He is not particularly loud but his movements are very noticeable. He said that as an adult he wouldn't go to a packed out pantomime as it would be uncomfortable for him and unfair on others.
For all the people who say it shouldn't matter how much disruption there is: would adults with disabilities be as well tolerated as well?

KittyFane1 Sat 29-Dec-12 08:26:53

-the second * as well* !

HoneyMurcott Sat 29-Dec-12 08:28:29

Read Festive Elements' post. She does have a child with ASD. Read what she wrote. For the last time, this is not a discussion about disability in general. It was about whether we think The OP was justified in feeling pissed off. I maintained she was - at the PARENTS of this kid, in this situation. I am not going to be draw into a discussion about disability. I am entitled to my opinion as are you, but please don't personally attack me just because I refuse to agree with you, or call me unkind, just for stating my opinion. That's all I'm gonna say on this.

zzzzz Sat 29-Dec-12 08:30:21

kitty all I can say to that is poor man. Imagine having a "friend" ask you if you think it's ok for you to go to the panto with the "normal" people. sad

TandB Sat 29-Dec-12 08:31:02

This thread seems to have taken a wrong turn and ended up in the 1970s. Disabled children are actually just naughty.

Parents of children with SN take note. If your child displays symptoms of disability in public then all you need to do is stop him from doing it.



KittyFane1 Sat 29-Dec-12 08:32:30

Honey - you are missing the point, it boils down to SN children and adults having an equal right, not more right.
Both parties have rights. The adult/ child who want to watch without distraction and the SN child who goes with his/her family.

EasilyBored Sat 29-Dec-12 08:33:29

Is there a balance to be found between wanting to not have a performance disturbed, and not discriminating against someone whos behaviours (part of their disability) might disturb others? I don't know the answer to that, it's not an easy situation. I'd hate to make another parent feel that I think their child is a nuisance purely because they do things that my child doesn't, but I do kind of see the frustration of the OP. But it seema like removing the child ia punishing them for their disability, which isn't fair. I have to say this has made me think quite a bit - about why we expect people to modify their behaviours (which are perfectly normal for them) to ones others might find more palatable.

zzzzz Sat 29-Dec-12 08:35:46

honey I'm not sure pointing out that your claim to a level understanding you patently don't possess, is a personal attack.

I have read all festives posts. She may have a child with ASD, but she does not speak for all parents of children with sn.

Honey your opinions are unpleasant. That is why they are being addressed directly.

TandB Sat 29-Dec-12 08:37:18

Okay. Straight question here.

If a child absolutely cannot modify their SN-related behaviour and that behaviour is disruptive to those around them, and that child will always display those behaviours in any public setting, ie theatre, pantomime, theme park, supermarket, sports activities, soft play, parties, all the things that NT children get to do, and you think that other people have an absolute right not to be disrupted by this behaviour, what do you actually propose?

Are people actually willing to come right out and say "If your child is disruptive because of his disablity then he should never be taken to any of these activities"?

KittyFane1 Sat 29-Dec-12 08:37:41

zzzz My friend is here now and FYI is laughing his head of at your stupid reply. We talk to each other and guess what? That includes talking about how his disibility affects him and others Yes, others!!!

zzzzz Sat 29-Dec-12 08:37:52

kungfu grin

zzzzz Sat 29-Dec-12 08:39:57

That sounds very jolly kitty

I asked a similar question above kungfu as to the rights of people with disabilities to attend 'special, expensive events'. There seemed to be a view developing on the thread that its ok to be out in public if you are disabled, but not attend anything special or expensive which I found most odd and upsetting.

zzzzz Sat 29-Dec-12 08:43:36

I think the view is more, it's ok to be disabled so long as it doesn't impinge on anyone else's life.

KittyFane1 Sat 29-Dec-12 08:44:33

zzzz You were expecting my pooor disabled friend to be offended, upset, cast out - weren't you? Interesting thought this but disabled people hate being patronised.

KittyFane1 Sat 29-Dec-12 08:46:52

Zzz I think the view is more, it's ok to be disabled so long as it doesn't impinge on anyone else's life.

Everyone disabled or not, should think of others and not just themselves. In an ideal world.

zzzzz Sat 29-Dec-12 08:46:54

No I was thinking how much I would hate to be asked in that way.

cansu Sat 29-Dec-12 08:48:36

Kitty I don't really understand why you are putting some of your words in bold? Plus I can see you think it hilarious to point out that your friend was not offended but someone may have been so wind your neck in and calm down. Or is that too patronising?

KittyFane1 Sat 29-Dec-12 08:51:48

No, I think you were up on your high horse looking down at the poor easily offended, supersensitve disabled person who never talks about his disability, heaven forbid it is laughed about shock

TandB Sat 29-Dec-12 08:52:51

People step around that point but won't actually come right out and say it, even though it is the natural consequence of what they are saying the parents ought to do in any given situation.

I'd like to know whether people actually, genuinely believe that, or if they are struggling with the fact that this is an unresolvable problem and finding themselves conflicted, ie accepting that disabled children have a right to pleasure and enjoyment, but not quite willing to accept that that might mean concessions on their part.

At the very least, those with spreadsheets can then update them!

I genuinely struggle with these threads. I keep coming back to the maths of it. Children with disabilities are in the minority - most people will be "inconvenienced" by someone's SN maybe once or twice in their lifetime. But everywhere disabled people go, they are surrounded by NT people, so if those NT have a right not to have their lives disrupted, the disabled person will never, ever get to enjoy anything. Surely most people could accept one spoiled treat in their whole life so that a disabled child can come a little bit closer to enjoying the things everyone else takes for granted?

It's like the buggies/wheelchairs on buses threads. People always say "well there'll be another bus - why can't the wheelchair wait for the next one?" But buggies outnumber wheelchairs by a factor of about 50 to 1, so if the wheelchair user will always finish up waiting and waiting if they don't get priority, whereas a buggy user might only have to give up their space once or twice in their entire use of a buggy.

I believe it is the responsibility of the majority to make changes to include the minority. Because it's the right thing to do and because it doesn't really involve that much sacrifice, not if everyone makes a concession once or twice in their lifetime.

kitty you are quoting the viewpoint of one independent, adult person with a minor disability.

With the greatest respect it does not sound like he has much understanding either of the nature of other disabilities.

KittyFane1 Sat 29-Dec-12 08:55:50

This makes a word stand out.
You are entitled to your opinion but the easily-offended are getting ridiculous.

zzzzz Sat 29-Dec-12 08:56:04

"disabled people hate being patronised" hmm


MovingOnNow Sat 29-Dec-12 08:57:52

Easilybored Sensible post. If this thread has made one person stop and think, at least it has achieved something. My son is 5, most probably ASD, waiting for diagnosis. It's a disability that creeps up on you, we thought everything was fine but gradually new behaviours emerge and what you might think of as naughty behaviour to begin with, starts to become apparent your child can't help it and is struggling. I have never take my son to the cinema or theatre. I simply daren't. Partly because I don't know how he will react or cope. But mainly because if he does react badly I know how we will be treated/regarded. I would love to try. I also have a 9 year old son who is a lovely, well behaved boy - because he does not have a disability. They both have the same parents! I was at a park once any my younger son was being quite difficult so I distracted him away from where some other kids were playing with my older child. Some of the parents were making very loud comments about good manners and behaviour and pointedly looking over in my direction, not realising that my older child was mine. When it was time to go, I popped over to get him and he very politely said goodbye and thank you for playing with me. The other parents were genuinely flummoxed and open mouthed that he was mine. I would have loved to have explained to them but I was so emotional and upset I left without a word. The dad in the theatre quite possibly felt this way. The trouble is, disability should be included, but I regularly find myself not including him. It's such a complex thing, please anyone reading this try to stop and understand.

KittyFane1 Sat 29-Dec-12 08:58:50

starfish: kitty you are quoting the viewpoint of one independent, adult person with a minor disability.
No, not minor. Not independent. You are showing zero understanding of the nature of some disabilities.

TandB Sat 29-Dec-12 08:59:11

It is absolutely up to anyone with a disability to choose how they view/talk about their own situation. But someone with a disability has no more right to apply their own choices and views to someone else with a disability then a non-disabled person does.

If someone chooses not to attend particular events because of an aspect of their disability then that is up to them. That doesn't mean that their way of doing things should be applied to other people with completely different needs, or that parents of children with SN should be told "well x person would do it this way so you should too."

Some children will never be able to "think of others" so they will never be able to make those sort of choices.

KittyFane1 Sat 29-Dec-12 09:00:50

zzz it must be exhausting being so shocked and offended all the time hmm

DumSpiroSperHoHoHo Sat 29-Dec-12 09:01:54

There are lots of mentions about society changing on this thread, but perhaps we need consider how that can be actioned/encouraged on a wider level rather than getting at individuals.

A poster up thread mentioned their theatre had panto sessions designed to make it a bit easier for people with SN to enjoy the performance.

Our local cinema (very small, not particularly 'with it' town) offers showings aimed at children on the autistic spectrum. It's not aimed at segregating these children, but at allowing them to enjoy the experience and be more comfortable with it - the seats are spaced out, sound volume a bit lower, lights not completely dimmed etc.

Obviously it's a very difficult line to tread, but perhaps more of this, whilst also making people welcome at main showings of course, would help and allow parents to make a decision that would best suit their individual child.

KittyFane1 Sat 29-Dec-12 09:02:46

kungfu Agree totally. You are spot on.

KittyFane1 Sat 29-Dec-12 09:04:26

... it works both ways.

zzzzz Sat 29-Dec-12 09:06:11

Not really kitty. I think most of what you have written is incorrect.

cansu Sat 29-Dec-12 09:07:13

Kitty I am not easily offended but actually if I was asked to take my severely autistic ds out of a panto because he was jumping up and down and flapping then yes I would be offended and very upset. Do you have any useful comments to add about this particular OP? thanks for clearing up what bold type is. If its for highlighting important words then use it for the important ones. I didn't understand why you had chosen those particular words.

You also need to put into context what life can be like when a family member is disabled. The parents may be up every night with their child, managing sleeplessness (common), seizures, medication or perhaps a feeding pump. Just getting their child up, dressed, fed and out of the house in the morning may have involved sensory meltdowns and will most certainly have required vast amounts of energy and patience.

Their car journey into town may have been fraught with dealing with a child who has no cognitive ability to understand danger, maybe continually undoing their seatbelt or trying to open the door on the motorway. They arrive and try to park. They get glared at for parking in a blue badge space because their son can walk.

He fills his nappy (yes it is common for children with disabilities not to be continent). They have to find somewhere to change him but he is too big for the baby change. They change him on the floor of the disabled loo after being glared at, because their son can walk.

It's been a trying few months for the family as they manage endless appointments with paediatricians, neurologists, dietitians, occupational therapists and SALTs and try to ensure his needs are met at school.

They are hoping to give their son a taste of normality and a bit of Christmas magic by taking him to a panto. They finally get there and are made to feel like they shouldn't be there by a bunch of bigots...

I could go on.

Kittyfane - Tourette's is nothing like severe autism & learning disabilities. You do realise that don't you?

It's a bit like saying 'well that person over there is getting on with it with a limp so I don't know why that fucker needs a wheelchair, entitled idiot'.

Comparing my son (non-verbal in teens, SLD's) with Tourette's is somewhere beyond bonkers.

The child in the OP sounds more like my child than s/o with Tourette's.

All rather depressing really, I really had thought we might be able to do the panto one day.

Ah well.

KittyFane1 Sat 29-Dec-12 09:13:37

zzz Ditto.
cansu have I suggested you take you son out of the theatre? I don't think I have. Also I can't believe my choice of text is really having such an impact on your reading experience hmm are you just trying to pick on something? That's not nice.

KittyFane1 Sat 29-Dec-12 09:19:09

saintly No, I'm not comparing directly with ASD. My friend's disability impacts physically mainly. We had been talking about the impact his movements have as others had talked about flapping.

Tourette's does not impact learning ability or life expectancy. It is a minor disability.

Marne Sat 29-Dec-12 09:21:31

I have 2 dd's with ASD, if i took dd2 to a panto she would either hide under the seat or jump up and down flapping, the more i try to stop her stimming the more she would stim. TBH i would not take her to a panto unless there was a area we could sit that would not disrupt other people (but i probably still wouldn't bother as she would not enjoy it.

I can see why op was anoyed (its a lot of money to spend on a trip out only for it to be ruined) but i also think he had a right to be there and a right to have fun, his parents should have thought it through a bit more before taking him (where they should sit etc..).

KittyFane1 Sat 29-Dec-12 09:24:11

starfish You really have no idea. How dare you call it a minor disability?!! So only disabilities that affect the brain or kill you are serious? You are joking?

cansu Sat 29-Dec-12 09:25:13

Movingonnow your post really rang bells with me especially the sentence 'disability should be included but I regularly find myself not including him" this is what I also find. One of the reasons is that I fear other people's reactions. We also wanted to take our ds to the cinema as he loves to watch Disney films but we are scared that he might get distressed or even just flap and make noise like in this Op and that others will complain or ask us to make him leave. So we don't go. It is really incredibly sad, as it may be something he can enjoy that he won't experience. The older he gets the less activities are suitable or accessible for him. The attitudes of some on this thread confirm my fears are actually justified. I hope that I will be able to be more daring as he gets older as I feel more and more that I should be able to stand up to people like the Op and others. I also think that some people forget as Starfish says that for some parents life is just too bloody hard to face people who are judging them as well.

cansu Sat 29-Dec-12 09:28:07

kitty what is your view on the situation I describe. I really don't want to get hung up on arguing about bold! I guess I am a bit frustrated that you haven't actually said what your view is.

That's right kitty. It is classified as a minor disability. That doesn't detract from the fact it may make life hard at times but it is very different to being cognitively impaired, unable to move ones own body or life limited.

Anyway, we have digressed.

Redstockingswillstopsanta Sat 29-Dec-12 09:30:55

I am taking my son with asd to the panto today,I will not hide my son,make him conform,change who he is for anyone,but he sits on the end of the row and I sit beside him.

Pagwatch Sat 29-Dec-12 09:31:07

Can I say again because it gets lost in the acrimony on here..

Odeon cinemas do relaxed screenings for people/children with asd or other conditions that make regular screenings difficult.
Obviously it isn't the answer but it is a help.
And it illustrates that whilst people can be unhelpful and unsympathetic, society might be starting to budge a bit in terms of understanding.

Our theatre had a relaxed performance of the panto this year too.

Cansu - check your local cinema before you dismiss the idea of taking him.

Why are people comparing disabilities? confused it's not a "I know someone with worse disabilities then your friends" competition.

Every disability is hard for the person who has it and their family no matter what it is!

cansu Sat 29-Dec-12 09:34:15

No unfortunately Pagwatch they don't. There is one in the next town that does once a month but they tend to put on a film for older dc not Disney unfortunately! Also it is in centre of town with no easy parking and waking ds through town would be stressful and we near to be near the car in case he refuses to walk or gets distressed and anxious.

silverfrog Sat 29-Dec-12 09:36:06

But surely this thread would not even be here if the family in question had not moved their son away from them, directly into the OP's field of view. And then not moved with their son (apparently there were only 2 free seats, which meant they were moving their son to sit directly next to someone anyway)

I do find this an odd move on the family's part. They had no idea who they were sitting their son next to (not in a peeeeeedo, clutch pearls kind of way) and therefore no idea whether it would be ok (from their son's point of view)

And given the boy was either highly excited (good, the whole point of going ) or maybe a bit overwhelmed, then surely it would have been a good idea to have an exit strategy? I know we always do when we take dd1 anywhere.

Yes, the people around have to accept a certain level of disruption (both as it is a pants and because of disability) but I do find it odd that if the boy had found it all too much there was no way of his family getting him back out.

The situation as set out in the OP does feel a bit as though the parents were abdicating responsibility. I wouldn't deliberately move my very predictably behaved dd2 to sit away from me for a couple of hours, let alone my dd1 - dd1 is ok in a theatre and knows what to expect bt even a small comment from someone next to her can be a trigger for her behaviour to escalate and that is something I won't expose her to, certainly not without me or dh to mediate.

zzzzz Sat 29-Dec-12 09:38:53

Special viewings do have a place, and certainly I view them as a good practice ground. But they are not "instead of" attending with everyone else, more like dipping your toes in befor you take the plunge.

I do believe in inclusion. I think the onus is on the able to adapt to the less able. The move towards inclusion from integration is IMO a very positive one.

I'm honestly surprised by the number of people on this thread who really seem to think disabled individuals should only be tolerated if they can conform. Mercifully that has not been my experience in RL for the majority of the time.

Pagwatch Sat 29-Dec-12 09:39:40

Thats a shame Cansu.

I wish the screenings/performances were better advertised though. I didn't know our panto had one until the school contacted us.

The irony is that ds2 finds a relaxed screening harder. He wants everyone to sit down and be quiet.

Special viewings are great but I have the same view as zzz about inclusion. I think especially because my disabled son had an NT sibling and I want her to have a rounded experience of family life too, not just an SN one.

KittyFane1 Sat 29-Dec-12 09:43:58

Parents of ASD DC must feel like they do all of the fitting in around others. People don't show much tolerance. People don't always make allowances when they could.
In the OP's case, we don't know what the child's situation was. If the child was ASD, this theatre trip caused stress for everyone: the parents constantly shushing, the child constantly getting told off and the people behind who were being disturbed. I feel most sorry for the child who shouldn't have been put in that horrible situation.

insanityscratching Sat 29-Dec-12 09:43:59

Well I'm taking my dd with autism to a panto tonight because she is a child and deserves to have the experiences that every other child enjoys. I'm reasonably confident that her behaviour won't impinge on anyone else's enjoyment (by booking early and getting seats on the aisle etc) but to be honest at a pantomime I'd expect people to suck up a bit of flapping, clapping and whooping anyway it's hardly the Royal Ballet at the end of the day.
Of course I will do my best to ensure dd doesn't disturb anyone else (she hasn't the last six times we've been) but I have to say I would advise anyone complaining to me to go and move elsewhere tbh because I will definitely not be moving nor threatening dd with a smack on her bottom.

KittyFane1 Sat 29-Dec-12 09:45:54

starfish You have no idea.

About what kitty?

cansu Sat 29-Dec-12 09:50:23

It sounds though kitty like the dc was enjoying the panto from the description in the op. so why would you say they shouldn't have been there?

DozyDuck Sat 29-Dec-12 09:52:34

The thing is about special viewings is its ok for dipping your toe in etc but with children who copy behaviours and take their cues from others it can make the situation worse if you see what I mean

Pagwatch Sat 29-Dec-12 09:55:54


Of course they are not the only answer. But they are a welcome addition. And for some children they may be the answer.
If a child is happy and comfortable at a relaxed performance then that is not a lesser experience than a regular screening - its not substandard or part of a learning curve before they can 'achieve' being part of a regular audience.

I believe inclusion is the aim right up to the point that the child gets the most out of it. Ds is at special school. That is not a lesser experience, a toe in the water of a regular education. It is the optimum education for him.

Vagaceratops Sat 29-Dec-12 10:01:23

We go to special cinema screenings, and DS enjoys them.

I know he wouldnt enjoy the regular screenings at our local multiplex - there are too many people, he doesnt like the dark and the noise would be too much for him. At the ASD friendly screenings they have the volume lower, they dont turn the lights out and children are free to move about freely.

We go for him, not to 'save' people in the regular screenings.

We have been to the theatre - to see Chris and Pui and Peppa Pig. He was excited, handflapping and squealing, but then so were 95% of the children there.

zzzzz Sat 29-Dec-12 10:03:16

Pag I agree. Mine is HE but still educated....not less, different. I'm sorry if I made it sound like special viewings were substandard, I was trying to make them sound like they could be used as a stepping stone if you were nervous (and deal with a minor drama off stage, how could Dh have suggested Shreddies when the whole universe knows a waffle is appropriate breakfast fodder grin and [sigh!]).

Pagwatch Sat 29-Dec-12 10:03:19

Anyway - have to go.
We are taking all the children to Twickenham.

If you ever want to take your dc into a supportive, non judgemental environment I can recommend rugby crowds. 12 years - never had a single problem and the guys near our regular seats bring sweets for DS2 now. Harlequins gave us free tickets for him during the early years when he sometimes couldn't sit out a whole match.

I think the real world isn't as bad as threads like this make us feel.


DozyDuck Sat 29-Dec-12 10:03:21

Pagwatch I think you explained it better than me. For some children special school is a toe in the water and they can be slowly introduced back into mainstream. For some, like my DS, it's where he needs to be all the time. This really does depend on the severity of the disability and the individual needs of the child.

A bit like sensory rooms and play areas. DS cannot go to play areas, too much noise and people. But the sensory play areas (which are ridiculously expensive) are perfect for him. But some children are ok with a bit of both.

You really can't judge a child's needs you don't know. It's up to the parents to do that.

Also people with SN are a part of our community and should be included without judgement.

The thing is if someone with a wheelchair was slowing down a line no one would complain now, hopefully this will eventually be the case with people with invisible disabilities. The more it's made unacceptable for people to have opinions like that in the OP

Pagwatch Sat 29-Dec-12 10:04:07

Sure zzzzz grin

Good luck. Arn't shreddies a bit like teeny waffles....

Whosaysitstheseasontobejolly Sat 29-Dec-12 10:04:41

I think the biggest problem with intolerance of others is due to cost.

I hate going to the cinema spending £50 for the pleasure of taking my family in, and then having crucial points of the film missed, due to chattering teenagers, or someone's mobile going off, or anything else occurring such as a chid screeching.

This has nothing to do with whether the individual is disabled or not, my viewing experience that I have spent an awful lot of money to go to has been ruined as the plot was missed and therefore I avoid going to the cinema and wait for the film to come out to view at home.

I presume the Op feels the same way as the price is mentioned, she has spent £100+ for a couple of hours entertainment, this is a lot of money and she wants to enjoy the experience she has paid for, not be distracted by another person's behaviour.

As others have said it would be the dad talking/threatening that would be annoying me more than the child not sitting still.

zzzzz Sat 29-Dec-12 10:05:58

Oh Pag don't tempt me, the fall out from that little concept could last months grin

Enjoy the rugby pagwatch. I know exactly what you mean about rugby crowds!

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 10:35:05

I actually think that all these accusations of 'disablist' are damaging to people with disabilities.

When you do something as ridiculous as call someone disablist because they just want to enjoy a show they have paid a lot of money to see, then you are actually making it harder for people with no experience of disability to know how to react when they are faced with a difficult situation involving a disability. It could make someone with no experience less likely to be kind, understanding and tolerant, because even when they do all of those things they are going to be called disablist by some just because they want to do something as harmless as enjoy a show they have come to watch.

You are expecting them to put someone elses child ahead of and above their own, and then justifying it by saying that your life is harder than theirs so they should suck it up. Yet you have no idea about their lives, no idea how big a special occasion a trip to the panto is for them, how difficult it has been for them to get there, but you want them to consider all of this things on your behalf.

It saddens me that so many people that are fighting so hard on this thread for the rights of children to be included, yet children like mine, who would not be able to tolerate certain behaviours because of his own autism are given no thought whatsoever.

I am all for inclusion, but I think disregard for anyone else to the point where it's ok to spoil their experiences is detrimental to that cause.

zzzzz Sat 29-Dec-12 10:48:33

It's not about how "special" a trip is, how much money has been spent or pitting one disability against another's. It is a fact that in a public place people of all abilities can and will attend.

I don't agree that challengeing disability discrimination makes life harder for people with sn.

mymatemax Sat 29-Dec-12 10:49:07

i do think it was odd to move the child to sit alone, however!

Maybe the dad thought giving him more space would reduce sensory overload & stimming? We dont know.

Maybe the family were suprised just how excited the child was by the eperience? We dont know

Maybe leaving him to jump & shout was the least disruptive of options. We dont know?

Maybe the Dad knew that trying to remove him would cause greater disruption? We dont know

If i had been the OP'S PARTNER (AN ADULT) I would of found the child off putting (despite living with my severly disabled son 24/7) but I would hope i would be THE ADULT and realise that really in the grand scheme of things its not that fecking improtant.
The kids ALL enjoyoyed themselves ffs

I think it comes down to one's own personal threshold of what constitutes a 'spoiled' experience. A child with SN making a little noise might be irritating for some. Some might view this as a spoiled experience which, IMO, is totally unreasonable.

I don't think anyone on this thread is expecting parents to put other children ahead of their own, just to understand that it can be very difficult to lead a semblance of a normal life when you have a disabled child and have this consideration front of mind before making judgements or assumptions.

I have been at playgroups with DS, for children with additional needs, where the noise of one child has visibly distressed another. Both parents have worked together to find a way that both children could continue to enjoy the group. I would like to think that this is what would happen should you find yourself in such a situation, festive. One can hope, at least.

mymatemax Sat 29-Dec-12 10:53:55

YES actually festivelelment thats EXACTLY what my NT ds1 has to do often... put other peoples enjoyment ahead of his own.
We are often in situations with his disabled brother or friends disabled children where my NT son is asked to step aside and let them have a go/experience something/let them win to experience what success looks like the list goes on.

I'm not sure what that does to "society" but it is certainly helping tho shape my NT 12 yr old son in to a kind considerate young man who will consider the needs of others alongside his own

Spinkle Sat 29-Dec-12 11:08:08

I'm sad to read this OP.

My son has autism and can flap, jiggle and make noises. We cannot take him to the theatre in case of this happening.

We cannot shop, holiday or have days out like 'normal families'. It's like grieving on a daily basis. However, I would not inflict this other people who have paid good money for events.

There are special performances for ASD folk at the cinema and there are a few in the West End theatres too. But too few and far between. I would personally prefer to take my son to performances where he can be himself without spoiling other's experience so we didn't attract attention and I don't get judged.

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 11:20:46

I'd like to think that a solution could be found so that both children could enjoy the experience too Starfish, but I think it's very easy to say that and a lot harder in reality.

One solution could be that the children were moved away from each other, but in a full theatre with no spare seats, it's unlikely that's going to be possible, even with the best will in the world.

I do understand that it can be very difficult to 'lead a semblance of a normal life when you have a disabled child and have this consideration front of mind before making judgements or assumptions'. I really do.

Yet according to MN and people on this thread, I am still considered disablist if I want my children to see and hear a show without being disturbed by someone else's behaviour.

I should make it clear that I am not so intolerant that I would be bothered by a small amount of noise and movement, but what is described in the OP isn't only a small amount of disruption, and there are people on this thread saying that they would allow their child to disrupt others to any extent if its because of something their child can't help. I just don't think that's right. I don't think people can expect consideration if they are not prepared to show any.

Your preferences are based on what you have judged to be right for your family Spinkle. I expect you'd defend the right of a family to take their disabled child to a pantomime though?

I don't think people can expect consideration if they are not prepared to show any

I agree festive.

I'm pretty sure that even in a crowded theatre, it would be possible to find a solution. After all, there would be NT people there in the majority, who could shift about quickly and with minimum disruption, to accommodate two individuals who needed a bit more of their own quiet space, to help everyone enjoy the experience.

FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Sat 29-Dec-12 11:31:13

I am meant to be taking a sanity break from MN.

But my situation right now is just so apt.

We are in a cafe and DD who is 6 and has severe autism is shouting and banging table. People look annoyed.

I cannot stop her without physically restraining her. No matter how much consideration I have for others.

Should we leave out of consideration for others and eat in car?

Should we sit separate from others?

No, because that would be utterly unfair and disablist.

It is not about people with disablities having consideration for others if that consideration means they have to miss out and be treated like second rate people.

FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Sat 29-Dec-12 11:32:29

People who advocate making "them moderate their behaviour" please give me tips now on how the hell to do it

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 11:34:37

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FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Sat 29-Dec-12 11:35:35

So we are allowed in a cafe but not a theatre?

What a disgusting point of view

FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Sat 29-Dec-12 11:38:18

Can I have a list of where I can't take my DD?

Thank you. You have illustrated disablism beautifully now on the thread. I rest my case.

ladymariner Sat 29-Dec-12 11:40:30

My NT son started to scream and cry at the top of his voice at the pantomime because he absolutely hated it from the start.....I tried for 10 minutes to calm him down then I took him out because he was ruining the show for the people behind who were trying to watch it and enjoy it.

I wouldn't expect anyone to remove any child for a small amount of noise but when it spoils the enjoyment of those around then I would think it only courteous. Those people have paid good, maybe hard-earned money, to take their children to see a show and they deserve to be able to see it.

I don't think that attitude makes me in any way disablist.

I'd like a list too Fanjo. I'm trying to plan my son's birthday and instead of having a party at home, which I will find wildly upsetting because DS has no ability to form friendships so it would just be us, I'm trying to plan a day out that he will enjoy.

He loves music. Taking him to a performance of some kind would make his day. I can just see his little face lighting up with glee. But god forbid we should upset anyone in doing so hmm

FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Sat 29-Dec-12 11:42:33

Yes cos thats the same hmm

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 11:44:28

There must be a variety of definitions of disablism then. But considering its a term that I have heard nowhere in real life, only ever on MN despite being fully involved in the SN community, that doesn't surprise me.

FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Sat 29-Dec-12 11:46:30

Sorry starfish..I x posted..was addressing ladymariner smile

mariner there is a giant chasm between an NT child having tears and tantrums, and a child with a disability that manifests itself in involuntary noise or behaviour. One is preventable/stoppable, the other is a symptom.

Are you suggesting the child should be removed from the theatre because of his disability?

Thought so fanjo smile

cornystollenslave Sat 29-Dec-12 11:49:13

aren't the audience expected to make a lot of noise and move about in a panto?

In every panto I've been to there have been children of all ages wiggling about and making noise throughout.
That's what happens in shows designed for families surely?

In the panto that we saw recently, the actors reacted to the many random noises made by the children in the audience with a bit of ad lib - it was inclusive and we all felt part of the show. The actors didn't seem to mind at all that children were being noisy - in fact they encouraged it.

I'm sure the actors would rather have an audience of children participating in whatever way they can than an audience of stony faced adults.

No it's not a disability competition but it's a bit ridiculous to say 'well my friend with Tourette's does this' when are talking about people with severe learning disabilities.

I would go to special cinema viewings if we had any, but i'm not driving 2 hours there are back for them. I'm a big fan of separate sessions for ds1 - it means we don't have to run the gauntlet of the tut tut brigade (who are always more of a problem than ds1), but as I said before whilst I will minimise his impact on people I won't tell him off or apologise when he is just being disabled.

Lady - would you have removed him if he was squealing with excitement? I remove ds1 from situations if he is upset, but not if he is just noisy (bearing in mind we don't go anywhere being noisy actually matters).

ladymariner Sat 29-Dec-12 11:55:07

Absolutely not.
But by the same token that it would be totally unfair to do that then why is it fair to expect other people's enjoyment to be ruined?

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 11:57:41


Why don't you try asking if a black person should be removed from the theatre because of the colour of his skin?

Obviously, the resounding answer would be no, and anyone who didn't automatically come to that answer would be considered racist.

But then ask the question, (which is actually the reality) should someone be removed from the theatre because they are making it impossible for others to see or hear the show because of their behaviour.

Common sense would tell you that yes, it is ok to remove someone from a theatre if they are making it impossible for others to see or hear the show.

The colour of their skin or their level of disability is irrelevant, the fact is that they are making it impossible for others to see or hear the show.

If people think it's ok for them to make it impossible for other people to see or hear a show that they have paid to see and hear, then they are being selfish. It's that simple. To then take it one step further and accuse someone of prejudice and superiority over someone else because of the they just want to see and hear a show they have paid to see and hear is just bizzare in my opinion.

IsaXMASbelleRinging Sat 29-Dec-12 11:58:23

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cansu Sat 29-Dec-12 11:59:17

I am not sure that other people's enjoyment would be totally ruined lady mariner, this seems a bit exaggerated. But I would say that disabled people have as much right as NT people to enjoy a trip out. If their enjoyment means that they make more noise and flap their arms and jump up and down at a bloody panto then yes I would expect Nt people to cope with this.

Because in a civilised society, human beings make concessions for those who are less able than themselves, they offer help, they share experiences willingly and without grudge or judgement.

Oh no, I forgot, we live in an entitled society, not a civilised one hmm

The real problem is who you end up next to. I have been on a train where ds1 was being hugely challenging (he wanted it to go) but the last next to us was lovely. She had a severely autistic grandson mind.

I have been in an outdoor space where ds1 has done nothing other than be a bit autistic - no effect on anyone else - to be met with a lot of grief.

Other people really are the problem - if we could filter out the tolerant from the uptight whenever we went somewhere we'd have no problems.

cansu Sat 29-Dec-12 12:01:55

FGS I really don't see how some people can fail to understand that some disabilities affect people's behaviour and social communication. It is a symptom of their disability. What do you suggest? should these people be locked away or only allowed to attend events for disabled people?

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 12:03:19

Sharing experiences willingly and without grudge or judgement is absolutely what we should expect from a civilised population, I completely agree.

But there has to be a balance.

Of course people are just being intolerant and bigoted if they won't put up with a small amount of disruption to include a child with SN, but where do we draw the line?

Is it ok in your mind to completely ruin the experience for other people because of a disability?

I appreciate that it's only in very extreme examples where some own else's experience is likely to be completely ruined, but the way some people are talking on this thread, they do seem to believe that it's ok to take it that far in the name of inclusion.

FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Sat 29-Dec-12 12:03:47

Am really shocked this thread is allowed to basically consists of people arguing for the segregation of disabled children due to behaviour caused by their disability and people trying to argue against it.

How abhorrent

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 12:05:37

But I would say that disabled people have as much right as NT people to enjoy a trip out.

So would I cansu. So we are agreeing that NT people have a right to enjoy the theatre then?

Pantomimedam Sat 29-Dec-12 12:08:01

That's exactly right, JJ, no-one decent or reasonable expects a child (or adult) to be told off for being disabled. No-one has the right to tell someone off for being disabled. And anyone who does tut or stare isn't worth bothering about. At the same time, if a parent can minimise any disruption in a place where people are trying to pay attention, that is helpful. God, I'm almost getting all sick-buckety and saying 'why can't we all just get along...'.

As it happens, I've been working hard to try to encourage staff and my fellow governors at ds's school to be more welcoming/thoughtful about the needs of children with learning disabilities. (It's easier for people to grasp how to/the need to adapt to physical disabilities.) Some people just didn't know enough to realise how things needed to change, some parents worried that there would be a negative impact on their own child, one or two people were actively hostile. But we are making progress. Mostly by creating opportunities for people to talk together and learn together. For staff to listen to parents and find out what their children are like as people outside school, not just the snapshot they see during the school day, for instance.

It's not perfect, we aren't there yet but I do hope the changes a few of us are driving will mean parents don't end up taking their children out because they aren't getting the support they need, as has happened in the past. Every child deserves to be welcomed into our school and to get the very best education we can offer. And I hope one side-effect will be that the NT children grow up to see people as people, and will not be tutters or starers.

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 12:08:04

No one is arguing for the segregation of disabled people! hmm

You are completely twisting people's words, and conveniently ignoring things that are put to you by just accusing people of disablism.

Arguing that people have a reasonable expectation that they will be able to see and hear a show that they have paid to see and hear is not the same as arguing in favour of segregation hmm

Festive ime ds1 breathing ruins the day for some people. Absolutely I would not let him cause massive disruption (would remove him) but some people have ridiculously low tolerance & I do not concern myself with them. In this case I think the OP should have asked whether he could be moved back rather than seething about it.

I would like to think it would have to be very extreme, sustained behaviour for an NT person to view their theatre experience as being ruined. Sadly though I suspect that the mere presence of a disabled child making a little noise would sully their perfect day out sufficiently for them to wish the disabled child hadn't been there.

Pantomime - I honestly don't think I'll ever allow my son near a mainstream environment again. BTDT got the war wounds.

FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Sat 29-Dec-12 12:10:44

You are saying people with disabilities only have the right if they can control their behaviour. Which they often can't. Utter discrimination. You should be ashamed festive.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 29-Dec-12 12:11:55

Festive you are being intentionally obtuse.

Child who is distressed by something is actually distressed. It is quite wrong to leave a child who is distressed in that suituation.

Child who exhibits symptoms of a disability but is not distressed should not be removed

Do you understand the difference?

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 12:13:10

You are saying people without disability have no right at all if there's a disabled person around.

It's not me that needs to be ashamed, because I am considering the needs of more than one person.

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 12:15:47

Sadly though I suspect that the mere presence of a disabled child making a little noise would sully their perfect day out sufficiently for them to wish the disabled child hadn't been there.

And if that happens, that would be wrong and I would agree that would be disablist.

Sock, yes, of course I can see the difference. I still don't think it's right that someone can make it impossible for other people to enjoy the theatre whether or not that is related to disability.

insanityscratching Sat 29-Dec-12 12:16:02

But it was a pantomime where noise and movement is par for the course so yes in that instance it was unreasonable for the OP to expect that the child was removed and had it been such an issue then surely they could have moved themselves. This will be my stance when I take my dd to the panto later.
I wouldn't however take her to the Royal Ballet because I can't guarantee that she wouldn't disturb others.
It's give ad take from both sides needed.

Pantomimedam Sat 29-Dec-12 12:16:16

Yeah, I know, and it's desperately sad and unfair that that is not an uncommon experience. A few of us are trying to make sure that isn't something that happens in ds's school in future. One of ds's best friends turns out to have ADHD - something that wasn't diagnosed until recently, but he's needed support throughout his time at school. The interesting thing is that, unlike some experiences I've read about on here, he's always been very popular amongst his classmates, despite the fact that he has sometimes behaved in ways that have affected other children negatively.

Pantomimedam Sat 29-Dec-12 12:16:56

Lots of NT people are ruddy irritating at the theatre, btw.

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 12:17:13

So, just to be clear, are some of you saying that you think it's ok for people to spoil a special experience for someone else if the reason they are spoiling it is because of a disability?

IsaXMASbelleRinging Sat 29-Dec-12 12:17:58

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Maybe it hasn't happened to you much festive. People often react very badly to ds1 doing absolutely nothing. Which is why I rely on my judgement as to whether ds1 is doing something disruptive and difficult or whether the other person is an intolerant lemon sucking arse.

If he is genuinely being disruptive of course we leave. If the other person is one of life's lemon suckers I leave then to stew in their own misery.

What constitutes spoiling, festive?

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 12:19:45

Festive ime ds1 breathing ruins the day for some people

Those people are being intentionally bigoted, and I don't think people shoudl lumped in with people like that just for wanting to see and hear a show.

SchroSawMummyRidingSantaClaus Sat 29-Dec-12 12:20:22

We had an almost identical experience last night, it was a family of 5 and the mother was just as bad as the kids, I don't think they had SN, they were just a loud annoying family who were enjoying themselves far too much.

I eventually did say something when it got to the 3d part of the panto and the boy in front kept 'punching' the stuff coming at him and jumping all around the place. He stopped and behaved nicely the rest of the time after that.

You should have said something.

And yes, at panto - noise and movement is par for the course but there is a limit and panto is bloody expensive!

threesocksfullofchocs Sat 29-Dec-12 12:21:11

oh ffs
when will people realise that being disabled is not some life style choice.
some of the posts on here are vile.
of course a child with sn should be able to go to the * pantomime*
if people are offended by them, they should move.
the family with the disabled child will have paid to see the show a well.
why should they leave.
apart from that being discrimination and I think illegal, it is nasty

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 12:21:13

Your judgments sound like they would be fair then Saintly, and that's all anyone can expect.

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 12:22:54

What constitutes spoiling

I would say that a show I'd spoiled for someone if they had been unable to see or hear around 40% of the performance or more.

Oh but I'm sure there are people grumbling away somewhere about us.

I ignore the double teapots as well. Wankers.

JakeBullet Sat 29-Dec-12 12:24:12

What I really can't comprehend is that in the OP's case we are talking about a PANTO....the very essence of noisy and disruptive. My son struggles in some environment but in a Panto I'd feel he could be himself and join n the general chaos and noise without someone moaning because he can is "different".

I have taken him out of cinemas on the other hand if he becomes noisy. As a child with a disability we can get in for a £1 each which means I don't lose too much but everyone else's viewing is not disrupted.

FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Sat 29-Dec-12 12:25:11

No I am not ashamed.

I would be ashamed.if I was a disablist arsehole though.

SchroSawMummyRidingSantaClaus Sat 29-Dec-12 12:25:22

Jake Pantos aren't noisy the entire time through and you still want to be able to hear/see the jokes.

I use the lemon sucker test, a la Fanjo.

FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Sat 29-Dec-12 12:29:36

Yes. .let the disabled person spoil 40% of the performance then chuck em out. Sit there with a big stopwatch then say "you have had your quota of being disabled now get out"

JakeBullet Sat 29-Dec-12 12:31:41

Last time I took DS to a Panto he was impeccable to be fair, he laughed at the appropriate places, got over excited at times but I was able to calm him down.

I think it's easier to ask staff if seats can be changed if there is a noisy child with the non-disabled people making the move. I would find it too hard to enjoy a Panto if I felt DS was disturbing people though....such is life when you have a disabled child and I'd probably end up leaving thereby wasting a ticket or tickets.sad

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 12:32:56

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FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Sat 29-Dec-12 12:36:54

I actually jst spent 30 mins shushing my DD in a cafe as I am considerate..festive.

Still think your views are appalling though.

Special expensive events are special expensive events, for every ticket holder, with disability or not, serious or not. Being in a public place means making allowances for the abilities and limitations of others. Honestly it would have to be a very extreme situation for an event to be "100% ruined". Or a very intolerant individual. Hence the lemon test...

JakeBullet Sat 29-Dec-12 12:38:08

Difficulty is how do you manage it? Do you say to the disabled person, sorry, you've wasted your money and will have to go? Or do you accept when you buy tickets that people with disabilities will also be able to do the same and it might end up being difficult?

I don't know what the answer is apart from free tickets if you have a disability (for the disabled person and Carer) and allow them to make a decision to try again in a day or so.

Like it or not, those with disabilities are still part of,society and sometimes you have to think "there but for the grace of God" etc.

FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Sat 29-Dec-12 12:38:40

But hey..thanks for fighting for the rights of the NT..a worthy cause

zzzzz Sat 29-Dec-12 12:38:46

Off to ruin someones day with our presence

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 12:40:25

It would be an extreme situation for it to be 100% ruined, I agree. But I'm still surprised that others would say it's ok for that to happen, in any circumstances.

cansu Sat 29-Dec-12 12:40:59

Like it or not those with disabilities are still part of society
I don't know what to say to this.

Did they festive? I didn't see that.

SchroSawMummyRidingSantaClaus Sat 29-Dec-12 12:43:47

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FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 12:46:57

I'm not fighting for the right of the NT Fanjo. I'm arguing for the rights of everyone. I'm arguing for the rights of

People with ASD who cannot tolerate disruptive behaviour happening near them
People who are otherwise disabled and who have had to make a big effort to get out to the theatre
People who have ASD that results in difficult behaviour (as they shouldn't be affected by someone who is just bigoted)
People who have saved up all year to be able to afford a trip to the panto
People who have any number of difficult circumstances going on on their lives and are hoping to enjoy a one off experience

All of those people have as much right to enjoy the theatre as someone who displays disruptive behaviour as a symptom of their disability, but you are arguing that they don't have as much right to enjoyment.

blueemerald Sat 29-Dec-12 12:46:59

Surely this isn't about segregation or banning children with SN from public events but the father's spectacular mishandling of the event?

He chose to dump his child, who probably has ASD, in the row in front of him. Away from his family. So, the child was either on his own or around strangers. Neither seem like a good idea for an child with autism to me. Having worked with children/teenagers on the spectrum the vast majority (I'll admit not all!!) I have met will bolt when they are stressed/over stimulated/bored or just feel like it(that or curl up in a ball under their chair)! If he'd bolted the 'other way' (away from his parents) down the row he could have made some distance/got lost before someone caught up with him. Equally it is possible that someone could have been hurt (not necessarily intentionally but by a flailing shoe for example). Surely this isn't ok, if it can be avoided by the child sitting with/nearer his family (which he would have to have done if all the seats were full)?

When the child's behaviour became disruptive the father was verbally aggressive and threatened his son. I've never met an autistic child who has responded well to being shouted as or threatened.

I know that no human being is perfect half the time, let alone all the time, but this shouldn't stop the OP pointing out that the situation was badly handled and she was annoyed by it. I feel for the boy if that is how he is dealt with by his parents on a regular basis.

If I knew that my child, or student, was prone to jumping up and down and hitting himself with his shoe when excited I would seat him in a place where he can do that as much as he wants/needs and cause a little disruption to others as possible, a compromise that helps everyone, failing that I would certainly not deliberately move him to sit on his own in front of others.

Once again I am getting the firm message from around here not only that my family is scrounging and entitled because we rely in benefits, but also that we should further the social isolation that we face as a family with disabilities so as not to 'spoil' an expensive treat... Which actually we've paid for too.

Just how much can the panto experience be spoiled by a bit of noise and flapping anyway?

Some people just don't get that some of this behaviour is an unavoidable manifestation of disability. Our kids don't choose to do this.

Sorry was forgetting... They're not actually human like your little darlings are they? Why the fuck should they be allowed a CHILDHOOD, the disgusting creatures?

People are making up ridiculous scenarios now.

How many times have you actually been to the theatre and not been able to enjoy the experience because a person with disabilities has been making constant, loud, involuntary noise or movement?

Also, even if you had experienced this, do you not think that their family, too might be 'skint and having saved to go to that one night of the year'?

zzzzz Sat 29-Dec-12 12:48:15

There is no point in spending money to go to a public performance if your expectation is that you will get to vet who attends.

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 12:48:24

Yes Starfish, people are saying that. That's what is being said when people say that it is disablist to suggest that someone who is ruining an experience for others should be removed from a theatre.

FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Sat 29-Dec-12 12:48:27

Its so hard being NT <sob>

SchroSawMummyRidingSantaClaus Sat 29-Dec-12 12:50:31

They might have saved all year but so are the people who haven't been able to enjoy it at all!

I am not talking about a "bit of noise and flapping", I am talking about loads of noise and jumping around constantly so the people behind cannot see at all and no one even attempting to calm them.

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 12:54:03

It's not just about being NT Fanjo, see my earlier posts about my child with ASD who would become distressed at having disruptive behaviour going on around him.

It's a shame that your holier than thou attitude only extends to people who have ASD experiences like your own.

cansu Sat 29-Dec-12 12:54:14

How many NT people have 'suffered' as a result of someone's disability at a performance or other special event? Hold on while I get my box of tissues ready.

SchroSawMummyRidingSantaClaus Sat 29-Dec-12 12:54:54

Festive I fit into 4 different examples that you gave of people going to the theatre.

I'd still be considered disablist on this thread though.

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 12:56:31

Ridiculous, isn't it Schro. Apparantly I'm disablist too, despite having a child who has autism.

cornystollenslave Sat 29-Dec-12 12:56:48

I think I may have been more distracted by your cat's bum face than by a child participating in a panto.

Being removed from a theatre because others are put out by involuntary behaviour and noise due to a disability IS discrimination against the individual with the disability though festive.

I know we've discussed upthread the complication of one person's disability distressing another disabled individual. We'll go round in circles all day if we keep discussing this hypothetically. Each situation must be judged on its own merit, with kindness and consideration, surely.

SchroSawMummyRidingSantaClaus Sat 29-Dec-12 12:57:29

I don't think it's disablist to think there is a limit the tolerance that should be expected of others around you.

SchroSawMummyRidingSantaClaus Sat 29-Dec-12 12:58:40

" Each situation must be judged on its own merit, with kindness and consideration, surely."

That's what I have been meaning, I just haven't been able to get it across well.

FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Sat 29-Dec-12 12:59:05

I really wonder how festive will feel if her son is ever enjoying something and some twunt demands they leave. ..

Well Festive it's quite clear you don't speak for us all.

There is a vast difference between making the decision not to attend an event as it would cause your child distress and feeling compelled to not attend something your child would enjoy due to the bigotry of others.

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 13:01:05

You have Starfish, but others haven't yet considered the possibility that autistic behaviours can be very distressing to others with autism.

I agree that each situation should be considered with kindness, but some posters don't seem to want to consider the fact that the disruptive behaviours that they think have a right to be present in a theatre may well be genuinely upsetting to other children.

I have as much right to point out my sons needs as any other parent has to point out their child's needs.

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 13:03:21

If someone demanded my child leaves because he is autistic, then I would consider them to be a twat. If someone demanded my child leaves because of his behaviour, I'd be upset, but I'd consider that I probably shouldn't have put myself or my child in that situation in the first place.

And Glitter, no I don't speak for 'us all'. But then nor do you.

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 13:06:19

A panto wouldn't cause my child distress. A child jumping up and down and hitting himself in from on him would cause him extreme distress.

He can understand that in theatres there will be loud noises coming from the stage. He can't understand that people might behave in a disruptive manner because of a disability. The same way he finds it hard to grasp that someone who has legs might not be able to walk.

I think they have festive in the discussion about special screenings, for example, in saying that it's sometimes harder to attend with their autistic child than to go to a mainstream showing, precisely because the children can distress each other.

In the grand scheme of things, you'd be unlucky to experience the situation you describe at a regular performance. I can see the point you are making but I think we're now getting to the point of getting het up over hypothetical scenarios that would probably be manageable, with a bit of give and take from all involved.

What I cannot abide, is the intolerance and outright discriminatory views by some other posters upthread. They are quite saddening to read.

FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Sat 29-Dec-12 13:11:23 when Festive said my child could go to a cafe but not the theatre.

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 13:15:22

I completely agree with that Starfish.

I'm arguing this like a dog with a bone because it worries me that society will end up with a perception that all disabled people expect to be able to do whatever they want whenever they with no consideration of the effect that might have for anyone else. I don't know how I can expect my son to be treated with consideration if people believe that he (or I as his parent) wouldn't do the same for them.

I don't want him to be considered just because he's disabled and therefore entitled to it. I want people to see that he has difficulties but that he also has a lot to offer as well. I don't want him to be avoided by people for fear that if they expect don't do what he wants/needs all the time then they will be seen as disablist.

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 13:17:12

I didn't say that Fanjo. You are twisting my words to suit your own weird agenda, while ignoring other very valid points that I have made, even when they are responding directly to you.

blueemerald Sat 29-Dec-12 13:19:08

Of course a bit of noise and flapping is easily over looked and you'd be a jerk to point it out but we're talking about '*jumping up and down on the seat* in front, shouting loudly for sweets, flapping arms, banging his head with his shoes which he'd taken off and generally distracting everyone around him'

I think FestiveElement's point is a good one. If her child with ASD is distressed by another child with ASD's behaviour, then what?

SchroSawMummyRidingSantaClaus Sat 29-Dec-12 13:20:23

Okay, lets look at it from a different perspective?

If something happens around me that is too much, like someone starting to touch me that I don't know or a really loud noise I am not expecting or someone acting violent near me. I will sometimes not be able to take it and freak out, I might cry or hyperventilate or act 'strange'. I can't control it and while it doesn't happen often, I have in the past completely blacked out and not remembered a thing, I have also become violent when I have blacked out.

I would expect if this happened in public then people might want to move me. I accept this and it happened a lot in school and college as well.

I take it, it would bother none of you if I acted like this around you or your kids when you have saved up and paid to see something?

threesocksfullofchocs Sat 29-Dec-12 13:21:19

"You have Starfish, but others haven't yet considered the possibility that autistic behaviours can be very distressing to others with autism."
my dd does not have ASD but is disabled.
she could get upset by a child with ASD's behaviour.
I would have to work round it as her sn does not trump theirs.

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 13:25:08

I'd have to work round it too threesocks. But apparently, if my child was removed from the theatre because of a symptom of his disability, I would be being disablist against him.

SchroSawMummyRidingSantaClaus Sat 29-Dec-12 13:26:47

I think this is going to have to be an 'agree to disagree' thread.

JakeBullet Sat 29-Dec-12 13:27:36

I'd be more concerned for you than any special event I'd saved up for in that scenario Schro.
I certainly wouldn't allow something you couldn't help to spoil my night. I'd want to help and know you were okay.

SchroSawMummyRidingSantaClaus Sat 29-Dec-12 13:28:57

Maybe I just have strange expectations from school then. confused

threesocksfullofchocs Sat 29-Dec-12 13:32:21

festive....I didn't say I would remove my dd.
why would I.
I would speak to staff and ask to be moved.
no one should have to leave.
unlike the op of this thread who seems to have left hmm

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 13:37:50

I didn't say you would remove your dd, but if my son was becoming distressed because of someone else's behaviour, I'd have no choice but to remove him if there were no other spare seats that could accommodate our whole family.

FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Sat 29-Dec-12 13:50:57

Festive. You said my DD cant go to the theatre unless I can make her quiet. I can't.

FWIW I don't even take her to the bloody theatre. And am always trying to shush the poor girl. You would think me very considerate

But it is my choice and not for you or others to dictate where she should go or when she should be removed.

Not a 'weird agenda' is it?
No weird agenda here.

FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Sat 29-Dec-12 13:52:49

To suggest the segregation of others due to behaviour caused by a disablity which they cannot help is disablist.

To remove your own child is your own choice.

threesocksfullofchocs Sat 29-Dec-12 14:02:51

festive I don't get what you want people to say.
no one persons sn trumps another.
if you choose to remove your child fine.
but no one should dictate who can or cannot go to a pantomime.

fanjo, it is a shame we are not near each other. my dd would adore yours. and we would have safety in numbers

I think Fanjotime has explained the difference well, Festive.

Again. The choice of a parent to remove their child because they are distressed is an entirely different matter to being compelled to remove a child enjoying themselves due to the bigotry of another.

madmouse Sat 29-Dec-12 14:17:01

I had kind of come back to MN despite the disablist attitudes and MNHQs ongoing unwillingness to address disablism. Now I've read this thread and have been to