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

YANBU

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

Yabu.

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

Pantomimedam.

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

yohohoho

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

Oh FFS.

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.
Generally.
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

Pantomimedam

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 out.it 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

Beaniestats

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

yohoho

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

*less

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

comments

(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

THIS!

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.

Sigh.

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.

grin

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

yohohoho
you seem to be missing the whole point of this......
why?

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

yohoho

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

Beanie...reported.

dayshiftdoris Fri 28-Dec-12 22:55:02

HOLD ON

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?

[Angry]

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.

C

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

C

threesocksfullofchocs Fri 28-Dec-12 23:01:54

U

AmberLeaf Fri 28-Dec-12 23:02:10

N

zzzzz Fri 28-Dec-12 23:02:31

T

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.

confused

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

yohoho

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?

Blimey.

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

Festive

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)