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to be concerned about possible autistic-child scenario/

(31 Posts)
Andrewofgg Wed 31-Aug-11 13:36:39

Not wanting to hijack other threads: parents of autistic DCs have spoken of them not liking to be touched, going into meltdown, etc, and it has got me thinking.

Not long ago I was standing on a bus next to a mother and child of about seven (let’s not get sidetracked into why nobody let her or the boy sit down – they just didn’t) when the driver hit the brakes hard, presumably to avoid an accident. Several of us lost our balance and I ended sprawled against the lad who was jammed up against the side of the bus. Somebody else banged up against me.

Apologies all round, including one from the boy who was charming about it, and no harm done to anyone. I assume he was NT. But what if he had been autistic? Would having me jammed up hard against him have launched him into a meltdown? What if it had?

Parents of autistic DC on this forum: would you have blamed me? Would you have been angry – even in the short term – at me?

What should I have done?

silverfrog Wed 31-Aug-11 13:41:11

dd1 is ASD. she is not so touch sensitive that she would go into meltdown at the touch of a stranger on public transport, but she is wary of strangers, and dislikes being touched.

in the scenario you describe, no I owuld not blame you for ending up sprawled against her. I owuld not blame you for her resulting meltdown (if that is what happended). I woudl only get shirty if you were then not very tolerant of ehr having a meltdown - which after all, is somehting she cannot help.

what is more likely though, is that you would have ended up sprawld over me - super spidey senses and catlike manoeuvring ability where meltdowns are threatened meaning I owuld have ben able to shield dd1 form the worst, and woudl have been the one being squashed and pushed/pulled about

<no joke. has happened several times, and a combination of pfb and asd awareness means I am alert to the issues, and usually would stand where dd1 woudl be protected form what is bothering her>

electra Wed 31-Aug-11 13:43:06

Well of course I wouldn't have blamed you. My dd doesn't have a great deal of meltdowns but she had one recently at a family gathering where another child coloured over her work. Our approach has always been to try to help her learn to cope with the things she finds hard. There is no way that you can get the whole world to change for someone who has ASD. So the best thing you can do is help the person with ASD learn to cope with things they don't like, even though it's certainly a challenge sometimes.

Andrewofgg Wed 31-Aug-11 13:43:43

I would certainly not get shirty - but that is mainly because of what I have learnt on this forum.

worraliberty Wed 31-Aug-11 13:44:31

Errr why would anyone be angry with you in that situation? confused

Andrewofgg Wed 31-Aug-11 13:45:57

Because parents of children, NT or not, are intensively protective of their DCs and not always reasonable when they suffer harm. It's an evolution thing.

Glitterknickaz Wed 31-Aug-11 13:46:43

Strange question.... mainly because autism is such a huge spectrum that what is true for even one of my children would not be true for the other two (all three autistic). Spread that out over the thousands of autistic people that exist and not one answer would be definitive smile

Answering personally, then mine would have had meltdowns at not being able to sit down. Hence why I don't use public transport wink

I never blame people for accidents.... that's not fair on anyone.

JuJuBeans Wed 31-Aug-11 13:47:02

It wouldn't have sent my DD with ASD into a meltdown. She doesn't really notice people that much and doesn't mind contact - she has little understanding of personal space. Chances are that if the young person was extremely bothered about physical contact, the parent/carer wouldn't have tried to take them on a crowded bus.

Who could blame you? I don't see that there's anything you could have done different.

electra Wed 31-Aug-11 13:47:27

I think that's true when the harm is intentional Andrewofgg, but not when it's an accident which nobody could have controlled.

Glitterknickaz Wed 31-Aug-11 13:47:55

Plus what silverfrog says about people's reactions once a meltdown has started matter far more than what triggered it. Thing is you're never going to completely avoid meltdowns happening, you just can't do that. It's how people handle it, and ignorance surrounding that is far more upsetting.

schobe Wed 31-Aug-11 13:48:08

Don't be daft, it was an accident. What could you possibly have done differently?

My DS would probably have loved the feeling of being squashed. Sensory issues can work both ways you know.

Glitterknickaz Wed 31-Aug-11 13:48:49

Actually thinking about it DS2 would probably have laughed and then licked you.

worraliberty Wed 31-Aug-11 13:48:50

Because parents of children, NT or not, are intensively protective of their DCs and not always reasonable when they suffer harm. It's an evolution thing

Then those parents would be quite clearly neurotic imo. It's a common sense thing.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Wed 31-Aug-11 13:49:51

No. I wouldn't have been cross with you.

Like I always tell my children - "nobody is ever in trouble with me for an accident"

SusanneLinder Wed 31-Aug-11 13:50:32

I think you are getting too worried over absolutely nothing. It was an accident fgs.

My DD being ASD and Dyspraxic would probably have banged into you smile (By accident of course)

silverfrog Wed 31-Aug-11 13:51:16

yes, dd1 would proabbly have laughed, and then spent the rest of the journey purposely trying to bump inot surrounding passengers... a situation where I can see why the surrounding passengers wuodl get annoyed, but form dd1's pov - someone did it to her, and it was fun, so why not do it to everyone else?

Andrewofgg Wed 31-Aug-11 13:58:34

Thank you all - I am reassured!

TalesOfTheUnexpected Wed 31-Aug-11 13:59:01

This made me laugh, in a good way. Yes, we can be perhaps more protective but we also learn how to cope with ASD behaviour.

In the situation you described, my son would have screamed his head off, but I wouldn't have blamed you.

He cried for 5 minutes today because I had to brake hard when some idiot pulled out in front of me. "You hurt me Mummy" (said because seatbelt locked due to hard braking).

My kids are going to have to un-learn some choice words they heard from me today hmm

keepingupwiththejoneses Wed 31-Aug-11 13:59:36

I would not have been angry with you in the slightest, my ds has meltdowns for the slightest things sometimes some of which we can not figure out why.
I actually think it is great that you are interested enough to ask things that you need to, most people don't.

thefirstMrsDeVere Wed 31-Aug-11 14:08:32

My NT three year old would have been outraged and would mutter loudly for the rest of the journey about how you dared to land on him.

My 8 year old with ASD wouldnt have noticed, too busy asking me who is the best Dr Who.

ASD as a PP said is a HUGE spectrum. My DS is probably very different from some of the other posters' on the thread.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Wed 31-Aug-11 14:09:19

Bit of a simplistic view of autism. If someone squished my DD she'd enjoy it and giggle...

MugglesandLuna Wed 31-Aug-11 14:16:22

I wouldnt be angry at all, accidents happen and it was all out of your control.

Also, if DS was a child who would have got upset by that (instead he probably wouldnt have even noticed, or he may think it was funny) I would be too busy calming him down to worry about blame.

Peachy Wed 31-Aug-11 14:38:42

Why on earth WOULD I have been angry at you? Why would my powers of reasoning be so low as to blame someone for an accident? I might get mildly anoyed that bus co didn't have enough buses on route but that's it

I have 2 / 3 ASD children.

DS- touch sensitive would ahve been upset but internalised it, maybe saved for me at home as usual

ds3- would not have cared: he is sensory seeking, loves a cuddle in any scenario

ds4 might have got upset but would never have put him in that situation, he's only 3 so if we could not sit we couldn;t get on bus, always goes next to me sat down or on my lap.

I am decidely un-neurotic: I have enough on my plate getting basics like school in place, can't be doing with extras.

WilsonFrickett Wed 31-Aug-11 14:42:09

You're getting us mixed up with parents of PFBs OP. No harm done smile.

But if you'd parked in P + C with nothing but a blue badge to protect you - no mercy would be shown grin

Andrewofgg Wed 31-Aug-11 14:49:26

Wilson I wouldn't dare. Not without upping my life insurance cover first grin

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