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to think I've been a complete fool?

(129 Posts)
KanelbulleKing Tue 22-Oct-19 12:09:14

My DS is 6 and autistic. He's a very quiet, gentle child who is often a bit invisible because he doesn't assert himself. He goes to mainstream school but doesn't really have any friends. He'll happily join in games with the other kids but is always kind of on the fringes, not quite connecting with the others. He's never been invited to a play date or a birthday party but I think that's because he's never in anyone's inner circle.

So I was really pleased when over the summer he got a few invitations to go to a local theme park. He had a lovely time and I was really grateful that he was included.

It's half term next week and the theme park is doing halloween stuff all week. Again DS has been invited by 2 families for definite and 1 not yet confirmed. Wonderful, or so I thought. I mentioned it to my friend earlier and she pointed out that the park has a new policy for disabled visitors whereby they get an exit pass and can take 5 other people with them.

What a fucking idiot am I? DS is being invited so that they get to jump the queues. I feel like crying at the thought of him being used, but at the same time he's more than happy to go. So I guess this is more a WWYD, put a stop to it as they're exploiting him or allow it to continue as it's mutually beneficial? My head is a mess.

Ginandgingers92 Tue 22-Oct-19 12:12:32

If it was me, I'd initially be tempted to say f* them, because it does seem that he is being used as a means to get queue jump, but then on the flip side, it could lead to meaningful friendships being formed. I'm sorry, I'm not much help, but I didn't want to read and leave!
Are you going too? So can see the dynamics between the kids, I.e is he being included?

I'm so sorry though, that's truly a heartbreaking thing to be feeling xx

Ginandgingers92 Tue 22-Oct-19 12:13:08

Ps- he sounds like a lovely young man

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Tue 22-Oct-19 12:13:37

Erm do you know this for a fact or is it just your imagination running wild?

Do they take along his paperwork to prove he has a disability?

100PercentThatBitch Tue 22-Oct-19 12:15:37

shock

Oh dear OP, that could be why they are inviting him

HOWEVER

To give you some hope that it is not the case, most venues now require some "proof" of disability in order to get the special wristband or pass

Proof is usually a DLA entitlement letter

If you haven't provided them with this, chances are they can't get the pass

Sadly, people have been known to ask to borrow DLA letters from people in order to commit this fraud

Google the theme park and look at their access policy

thanks Send him if he gets something out of it, but if this is what they are doing, you need to make it clear you know and shame them somewhat

KanelbulleKing Tue 22-Oct-19 12:15:56

That's my thoughts too. Initially fuck them but then ah but he enjoys it too.

No I won't be going but I'm not worried about him being included. The children and parents are all really nice.

SweetEnough Tue 22-Oct-19 12:16:05

Are you sure this is the reason, I would be offended if someone accused me of using a 6 year olds disability when it would never have crossed my mind.

Also how would the park know your dc was disabled?

I would tread carefully, you could ruin your dc's chance of being included in with anything with accusations like that. However if that is the case I'd be livid.

TheMustressMhor Tue 22-Oct-19 12:16:07

I would be utterly heartbroken at this, OP.

I think your DS probably is being used.

All the same - he must enjoy going, so that is a good enough reason to allow him to go with these insensitive fuckers who are just using him.

Why don't you go along too on the next trip and see how he interacts and if they're being good to him?

SellmeyourMLMcrap Tue 22-Oct-19 12:17:05

If that is definitely the reason they are taking him then obviously it is going to hurt you but honestly I feel like everything else is positive. Your son goes and has a great time and is also integrating himself further into his peer group.

As much as this must hurt to know that this is the reason he's being taken it really doesn't make any difference to him or to his friends and therefore I'd leave it, wouldn't even raise it with the parents to be honest.

But I'm not so sure this is the reason, unless you know for certain I'd just forget that I'd heard it in the first place.

KanelbulleKing Tue 22-Oct-19 12:18:57

We're not in the UK. The park says you only need proof if the disability isn't visible and you don't have an official medic alert bracelet. He has one of those.

KanelbulleKing Tue 22-Oct-19 12:19:57

For those asking, no I don't know for sure. That's why my head is spinning.

Pumperthepumper Tue 22-Oct-19 12:20:02

I get that your DS not fitting in is hard but I really think this is a bit of a leap. He’s only six - kids friendships change all the time at that age, he’s maybe just got to know some of his classmates a bit better through group work or whatever. I think it’s a bit strange for your friend to jump immediately to ‘they’ve only brought him to get on the rides faster’

100PercentThatBitch Tue 22-Oct-19 12:21:17

Also

The person that told you this is a 3rd party friend yes?

Who doesn't know these parents?

She has basically said in not so many words

"No one would voluntarily take your son out for the day, they are only exploiting him"

It may not even be the case

She's either a very direct friend who doesn't think before she speaks or she's no friend at all and quietly dislikes your child and was sticking the boot in

RhiWrites Tue 22-Oct-19 12:22:15

You know, I'd be tempted to contact the host and say "I've just found out that if a child has a registered disability there's a quick pass option for theme park. Had you heard of it, would you like me to send you the details?"

And see what comes back...

KanelbulleKing Tue 22-Oct-19 12:22:22

shock

VolcanionSteamArtillery Tue 22-Oct-19 12:22:51

As someone else said. You generally need to take significant paperwork to get the easy access pass. Unless youve been handing over DLA paperwork, doctors letters and photographic id (passport) when hes gone i really wouldnt be suspicious.

Id ask your son if they had to go to a specific desk prior to going on the rides, or if they went to a special entrance on the ride exit.

I dont actually know a theme park that admits 5 with the child either. Regardless that 5 will have to include an adult who sits next to him. If he rode with a mate at any point its very unlikely

KanelbulleKing Tue 22-Oct-19 12:23:30

You know, I'd be tempted to contact the host and say "I've just found out that if a child has a registered disability there's a quick pass option for theme park. Had you heard of it, would you like me to send you the details?"

And see what comes back...

Good idea. I think I'll go with that.

Bluntness100 Tue 22-Oct-19 12:23:33

I also think you're making a bit of a leap here, and if rhe families are nice, and your child has a wonderful time, why think the negative and deprive him?

Hesafriendfromwork Tue 22-Oct-19 12:23:57

Personally I think you are wrong.

I think the friend who said this to you is the shit. And trying to piss on your bit of happiness that ds has friends.

NearlyGranny Tue 22-Oct-19 12:24:44

If he doesn't know, and they are kind, I'd let him go, but find a way to let them know I knew, iyswim.

How about ringing up the day before saying, "Please keep a close eye and call me on this number if there's an issue; he slid his medic alert bracelet off in the bath and we can't find it for the moment."

The response will tell you all you nerd to know.

lakequeen Tue 22-Oct-19 12:25:36

But if you contact the parents as above, of course they will say yes to you sending the info, regardless of whether they already knew.

Bluntness100 Tue 22-Oct-19 12:25:42

I also think the friend who suggested this to you is a piece of shit.

100PercentThatBitch Tue 22-Oct-19 12:26:01

Not UK rules changes it

You need to ask without it looking like you are accusing them

I know he benefits, but there's something so hugely exploitative about it if true, that I would want them stuck in hours long queues every time they went ever again for being so cynical and grasping

prawnsword Tue 22-Oct-19 12:26:50

Maybe they mentioned it thinking perhaps you don’t know about this offer & it was just to inform you?

AnybodyWantAChip Tue 22-Oct-19 12:27:24

She's either a very direct friend who doesn't think before she speaks or she's no friend at all and quietly dislikes your child and was sticking the boot in

I'm not sure that is true - she could be genuinely concerned that OPs DS was just being trailed round by people, having a crap time and being ignored.

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