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Friend wants to report couple at soft play?

(110 Posts)
HavenforHaggis Mon 27-Jun-16 13:52:18

I'm actually bewildered by it all but would like some opinions. A friend I met at a baby group a few months ago became quite close to me and since we have DC of the same age we take them to a local soft play. It was packed so we asked a couple who had a DS of around 2 if we could share the sofa/table near the toddler pit that they occupied, they agreed with no problem. When snack time came about the boy's father picked him up and sat him on a high chair to feed him, the boy refused the food a few times so the father held the boy's face to get him to try the food which distressed him a bit. My friend commented that the boy seemed upset which caused his mum to explain to us that he had autism and quite a few sensory processing disorders so getting him to eat new textures is a challenge. She went on to say that he would happily live off his bottles of cows milk and has to be 'forced' to try our type of food as he does eat it after a few tries. I told her I understood as my own DD has autism.

I felt a bit bad for the mum as she felt the need to explain this to us but I thought that was the end of it until friend and I left. She commented that the father seemed to be 'domineering' his son and forcing him to eat like that while he was distressed was borderline abusive and that she has half a mind to report him. We're sitting in a cafe and she's still going on about it. I have no clue what to reply to this and it's making me
uncomfortable. Is she BU? How to I respond to this? 😳

GiddyOnZackHunt Mon 27-Jun-16 13:57:45

Whether or not she should or shouldn't report him is really irrelevant unless she knows who they actually are.

DesignedForLife Mon 27-Jun-16 13:58:20

Does sound on the edge of abusive, however who on earth would you report it to? I assume you don't know their names and addresses?

Gizlotsmum Mon 27-Jun-16 13:58:36

Who was she going to report him too? Does she have any names etc? I think it's a tricky one...I would have felt uncomfortable but would probably have accepted the mum's answer

Msqueen33 Mon 27-Jun-16 14:00:35

Does she have a child with autism? If not I'd say she's not got a fucking clue.

Savemefromwine Mon 27-Jun-16 14:03:16

She sounds a bit silly op.

HavenforHaggis Mon 27-Jun-16 14:03:20

She doesn't know names or any personal information about the couple but she wanted to report to social services. The boy looked happy, well cared for and no marks on him. He was wearing shorts and a t shirt so showing a lot of skin. Mum and dad were talkative and affectionate and the little guy happily went to them. It's just when it came to food. My DD has autism and I know how hard it is so I don't think it was an excuse.

Buttock Mon 27-Jun-16 14:04:19

Threads like this do make me laugh, sorry. Who will she report him to?

HavenforHaggis Mon 27-Jun-16 14:08:27

She seems to think because the boy 'doesn't act like your DD' that he couldn't possibly have any problems with food. 😐 I've reminded her that DD actually does have sensory disorders in terms of biting and gagging so food can be a nightmare for us too on bad days.

Stillunexpected Mon 27-Jun-16 14:12:36

You still haven't said how she is actually going to report them! How does she think the conversation to SS is going to go - without the names or any personal information about the couple?!

Notthebumtroll Mon 27-Jun-16 14:13:33

I looked after a boy with Autism once who would often refuse food, however- if you could get even the tiniest bit in his mouth so he could taste it, he would then eat.

Your friend is being ignorant.

HavenforHaggis Mon 27-Jun-16 14:14:24

Still, she thinks that if they occupy the same soft play as we do then it would be easy enough to get talking to them and get more information.

WorraLiberty Mon 27-Jun-16 14:14:31

How does she expect to report it, with no name to give?

If you're both sitting in a cafe now, what does she think you're doing? Does she know you've started a Mumsnet thread about her?

NickiFury Mon 27-Jun-16 14:15:25

I have two children with autism. I have gently held their faces and put "tastes" of food on their tongues because I know they will like it e.g yoghurt, cheese on toast. I've never yet given them a "taste" where they've not gone on to eat more as I know what they can and cannot tolerate. As long as he wasn't rough with the child I think what he was doing was absolutely fine and your friend is a bit clueless.

BirdintheWings Mon 27-Jun-16 14:16:43

I'm on the fence.

I have a son with autism and certainly wouldn't have done this for food.

However, I have definitely clamped him firmly under the arm for things like injections, dental exams and haircuts, and said 'Just start - he'll calm down in a minute.'


No, on balance I really wouldn't do it for food. I think they're risking a lot of long'term trouble for short-term gain, and I don't think a cafe is the place to introduce new or unwelcome textures!

Nivea101 Mon 27-Jun-16 14:17:32

As long as he wasn't abusing the child then I don't see how it's any of her business!!

HavenforHaggis Mon 27-Jun-16 14:19:25

Worra, she thinks I'm on Facebook/texting family. She doesn't know about the thread. I needed outside opinions though because as a parent of a child with autism I don't know if I'm biased and if she has a point.

Nicki, he wasn't rough in my opinion. He just needed to get the boy to try the food a few times before he ate.

HavenforHaggis Mon 27-Jun-16 14:20:52

Bird, Mum has been trying him with 'our' kind of food for a month now but according to her he still refuses and fights sometimes.

NeedACleverNN Mon 27-Jun-16 14:21:31

See that's clearly a difficult one...

It could be seen as abuse considering they are forcing their child to eat by putting it to his mouth but it's clear that it's exceptional circumstances and is needed.

Your friend needs to calm down

MeAndMy3LovelyBoys Mon 27-Jun-16 14:22:59

God as if it's not hard enough struggling with a child who has Autism. Now busy bodies want to report parents for doing their best.

NarkyKnockers Mon 27-Jun-16 14:23:00

I think the force feeding is on the milder end of abuse in fairness. And I have a child with asd who has had their issues with food. No idea how you'd go about reporting it though?

bluecoat08 Mon 27-Jun-16 14:23:58

people calling this abuse is why our country is growing up to be a soft-as- sh*t nanny state hides

MiffleTheIntrovert Mon 27-Jun-16 14:23:59

You're sitting in a cafe right now with your friend while you type all this and read the replies?

Lymmmummy Mon 27-Jun-16 14:25:30

Who is she going to report it to exactly ?

Everyone has a different approach - I know nothing of how children with autism should approach this issue - perhaps others could comment on that

Seems a bit of an over the top reaction from your friend

HavenforHaggis Mon 27-Jun-16 14:26:21

Mostly reading quickly, miffle. She's happy going on her tangent. I think I'm going to tell get to get a grip. The boy's mum has explained it's either this or her son won't eat st all.

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