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To have asked the question?

(66 Posts)
ReturnoftheWhack Sun 17-Apr-16 12:32:26

So. DS is 4 and in reception. He has made friends with another boy in his class - let's call him Bob. Bob has recently been diagnosed with autism and is having support in and out of school to manage this. I speak to his Mum at pick up etc and she has said about his sensory issues and how a lot of the problems Bob experiences are due to being "overly stimulated" and school overwhelms him and then his behaviour suffers. I really feel for the family.

DS is having a party and wants Bob there. The party is at a local soft play - I asked his Mum (when it was just the two of us) if Bob would be ok with it as DS really wants him there and if she felt it would be too full on we'd reconsider the party venue or arrange something for Bob and DS to do alone to make up for it. Bob's Mum was a bit off at the time and said "he should be fine" but was a bit distracted and short.

She has since posted on Facebook about "almost losing her shit with parents who insist on treating Bob so differently and how those parents shouldn't be so narrow minded..."

Have I really got it so wrong? We were all informed of Bob's diagnosis as requested by his Mum and she shares a lot of "Autism Awareness" day things on Facebook. I feel really upset and embarrassed that I've got it so wrong and caused this upset.

MattDillonsPants Sun 17-Apr-16 12:44:10

No you weren't wrong to ask.

wheresthel1ght Sun 17-Apr-16 12:44:45

I think you handled it brilliantly and I would have done the same.

The brother on my best friend growing up is autistic and I know his mum would have sobbed over the kindness you have shown to Bob.

She has told you that school over stimulates him so it is perfectly reasonable to expect that a busy, loud soft play centre would also have the same impact. If she cannot see that then that is her look out.


curren Sun 17-Apr-16 12:47:26

No you didn't get it wrong.

However if she has had a day, week or month where people are constantly doing this it can get wearing and some people aren't as nice and tactful as you. It may have just been the straw that broke the camels back.

But you did the right thing by asking. I have aspergers and would prefer people asked if they were concerned. Rather than not invite me or me being overwhelmed. Then I can decide wether to attend or not.

You tried your best. That's all anyone can do

Buscake Sun 17-Apr-16 12:48:41

Yanbu. In fact you're being incredibly thoughtful. My 5yr old girl has autism and even close family members don't 'get it' that soft play is great fun for her but can cause sensory overload. She doesn't get invited to as many parties as other children; someone making such a considered effort to include her would mean the world.

Birdsgottafly Sun 17-Apr-16 12:50:15

She's probably coming to terms with the diagnosis and the difference it will make to his/their lives.

You should have just given the invite and wait for the answer, tbh and if it didn't go well on the day, then offered an alternative day out.

Let her open up to you. The remark may not have been just about your question tbh.

I used to be amazed at the stuff other parents would come out with. They'd post memes on FB about children with SN, but then not quite believe how I had to adjust to my DDs, or think my DDs less capable than they were.

I wish they would have just asked an open question such as "do you think they'll enjoy it" and then listened.

stilllovingmysleep Sun 17-Apr-16 12:52:09

YANBU. You were polite and thoughtful. It may be that the FB message has nothing to do with you anyway

MyKingdomForBrie Sun 17-Apr-16 12:53:21

I would screenshot it and text to her saying 'is this aimed at me? If so, I was trying to be helpful, how about talking to me about how to do that better instead'

BackforGood Sun 17-Apr-16 13:01:34

YWNBU - indeed, you were kind and thoughtful.

I wouldn't screenshot it and make a thing about it, but might, if chatting, mention you saw that she was complaining about people trying to make adjustments and were wondering if she felt upset by what you had said, and, if so, could she give you a steer as to what she'd prefer.

ReturnoftheWhack Sun 17-Apr-16 16:40:12

Phew! Was preparing to be flamed! I don't think I will send her anything or mention the Facebook post, I don't really know her that well and don't want to make her too uncomfortable or awkward about the whole thing.

Maybe I should have just given the invite and let her decide as all parents would, that's a valid point. I just didn't want her to think I chosen a venue that he then couldn't come to and that was some sort of deliberate decision to exclude him. DS adores him and I would hate for him to feel left out.

Thank you all for your feedback.

RidersOnTheStorm Sun 17-Apr-16 16:44:55

YWNBU -just don't invite him. She's lost someone who could have been a good friend. Don't waste any more time on her.

HolgerDanske Sun 17-Apr-16 16:47:22

Are you sure she's actually referring to you? Might be a completely different situation she's venting about.

ReturnoftheWhack Sun 17-Apr-16 16:51:25

No, I'm not 100% sure - but it is was within the hour of us talking and age was clearly put out about something I had said from her reaction but I could be wrong linking the two. It's just been playing on my mind all weekend and wanted thoughts as to if she were talking about me, had I been wrong.

HolgerDanske Sun 17-Apr-16 16:57:09

It would be a real shame if it was about you as you have clearly not acted maliciously at all and you were actually being quite thoughtful and sensitive to possible additional needs. I guess it may be more about her and how she's feeling about the diagnosis.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 17-Apr-16 16:57:42

It could be you being nice reminded her people so often aren't which frustrated her? I think parents of children with SN generally face something of an uphill battle with having their children treated fairly and people being thoughtless.

So possibly the conversation you had was the trigger but not the cause for the status?

ReturnoftheWhack Sun 17-Apr-16 16:58:55

Yes, that's true. Good point.

Pseudo341 Sun 17-Apr-16 16:59:04

If it's about you then she's being massively unreasonable. I'd be tempted to reply on her FB post with something like "oh dear, what happened?" as though it couldn't possibly be about you and see what she says.

ReturnoftheWhack Sun 17-Apr-16 17:04:27

Oh I couldn't do that! It seems really quietly aggressive! If I have upset her I would really want to apologise! I suppose I don't know the complexities of having a child with SN and could have inadvertently said something stupid.

HackerFucker22 Sun 17-Apr-16 17:07:46

Hold on, you offered to change the whole party venue based on Bob's needs? What would you have done if the mum had said "oh yeah please can you change to venue to some where less stimulating?"

PaulAnkaTheDog Sun 17-Apr-16 17:13:51

Awwww op you did everything perfectly. Ywnbu. Some of the responses on here lack a bit of empathy for the mother though. I get the feeling that you're the kind of person who would just bypass those posts though smile

specialsubject Sun 17-Apr-16 17:15:36

shame for the kid, but if this post is aimed at you I'd stay well away. You could not have been more considerate or kinder, so I really hope it isn't about you.

CwtchesAndCuddles Sun 17-Apr-16 17:15:44

I have a ds with autism and I think you very lovely and thoughtful in checking with her. If it upset her then I would think she is having a hard time accepting the diagnosis and the reality of having a child who is always going to be different. Things may be very raw for her right now but she will need to grow a thicker skin as she will have much harder things to deal with than a well meaning parent checking that a party venue is suitable.
If you can, put the remark to one side and continue to encourage the friendship.

Princesspeach1980 Sun 17-Apr-16 17:18:52

My boy has asd and I would be so happy if someone asked me that way, and actually put the thought in to consider his needs.

Parties can be tricky, and I always feel awkward approaching parents to ask what a party is going to involve, so I can plan how to handle it.

I would think the comment was aimed at someone else. If not, then maybe she was feeling over sensitive and misjudged what you were asking, but definitely not an unreasonable question.

Mishaps Sun 17-Apr-16 17:25:23

You were trying to be sensitive to the child's needs on the basis of what his mum had previously told you; so you have done nothing wrong.

I think that you have to assume that this poor lady was feeling under stress at the time.

Children's parties drive me nuts - other peoples children can be a total pain, especially en masse and with their hair let down. I just grit my teeth till they are over.

BalloonSlayer Sun 17-Apr-16 17:30:54

Maybe he's always been fine at soft play sorts of things, and sensory overload doesn't mean what you (and I!) would imagine. So you've inadvertently said "Is he going to be OK at a place where he is perfectly OK at?" which has offended her as his issues are not so bad they affect him there and she feels you are implying they are.

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