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You should help if a person is struggling?

(202 Posts)
Motherhood01 Fri 14-Aug-20 19:29:39

I have an autistic child and because they are without any sense of danger and have severe learning disabilities I have to place them in a trolley to shop to keep him safe.

My child is 5 and just about fits into the seat but hes heavy and he kicks and struggles,pulls my hair,lashes out(is fine once in) and basically needs two people to get him in one to guide him and one to hold him.normally I shop with my partner who guides sons legs into the trolley, this is the part which causes him distress if not done quickly,but today I was alone and desperate for essentials so I had to try myself.i couldn't get him in,he was crying stimming pulling my hair and i asked a lady walking by if she could help me,she said no I'd rather not!! I couldn't believe it,have we got to this stage in humanity that no one actually gives a toss,that all feelings of empathy have disappeared?she saw me struggling,my son crying me crying but shrugged her shoulders.
I gave up and came home without milk.
I'm crying now writing this.its tough enough being a parent of a child like mine,but today it was emphasised to me just how tough.

OP’s posts: |
Cherry321 Fri 14-Aug-20 19:31:44

That sounds shit. I’m sorry she didn’t help. flowers

weepingwillow22 Fri 14-Aug-20 19:33:01

I have an autistic son as well and appreciate it is tough. Do you think though the lady may have been worried about catching covid and wanting to keep her distance becuase of that rather than not wanting to help?

Findahouse21 Fri 14-Aug-20 19:33:42

Sorry she didn't help you OP, but she may have had a million reasons not to want to, including fear of being hurt. I would have happily helped though. Could you ask a member of staff maybe next time?

Merryoldgoat Fri 14-Aug-20 19:34:04

Sorry, but I think YABU.

I do understand the difficulty (I have two children with ASD) but it’s a big ask for a stranger to manually handle an unwilling and distressed child.

Do you have a special buggy or wheelchair for him? Would that help? Or could you use one of the trollies for those with disabilities?

AlexaShutUp Fri 14-Aug-20 19:34:40

Under normal circumstances, I'd have some sympathy, but with social distancing in place, she was well within her rights to want to keep her distance. She might be vulnerable for all you know, or live with someone vulnerable.

I'm sorry you came home without your milk, though. It sounds really stressful and I sympathise, but I don't think you can necessarily expect help from random strangers in the current climate.

hammeringinmyhead Fri 14-Aug-20 19:34:54

I'm really sorry but I would have said no too. I'm working in an office, DS is at nursery and I have no idea whether I have asymptomatic covid or not.

Lockheart Fri 14-Aug-20 19:35:02

I'm sorry you were distressed OP, but she was probably worried about covid or being hurt herself.

Sootikinstew Fri 14-Aug-20 19:35:16

I'm sorry you had a tough day OP. I understand you wanted her to help but with Covid people are far more reluctant to get close to others. She may have had her own vulnerabilities you wouldn't be aware of.

Practically he won't fit into the trolley for much longer even with help. Have you tried online delivery for supermarket shopping? Or explored other alternatives?

OddBoots Fri 14-Aug-20 19:35:22

I am so sorry this happened to you, it sounds like that was a very challenging visit for you and I am sorry you had to leave without what you needed.

We don't know anything about the woman's situation and she possibly didn't know how she would be needed to help. From your description you would like her to help guide his legs in but she may not have known that or have an good reason why that wouldn't be possible for her.

Please don't let it stop you asking for help in the future though, there are people who can and will help.

ClementineWoolysocks Fri 14-Aug-20 19:36:43

I'm sorry, that does sound really shitty. However, people are not at this particular point in time comfortable with being near strangers/other people in general. Or, she could have been worried about being kicked, having her hair pulled etc or even just about putting her hands on a strangers child.

DifficultPifcultLemonDifficult Fri 14-Aug-20 19:38:15

Sorry you've had a rough time op flowers

I think it's really unfair of you to ask random people to help you physically help put a crying, struggling child into a trolley under normal circumstances, let alone with the whole covid thing going on at the moment.

I get it though, I've been there with my child having meltdowns and it's not easy.

MagicMojito Fri 14-Aug-20 19:39:38

If its any help, I really don't think that's a typical reaction to a parent asking for help. I, and most people I know, would help in a heartbeat if asked.

I think alot of people are in the camp that you wait to be asked rather than offering incase it comes across as interference. It could very well be covid anxiety on the ladies part of not wanting to get too close to you or your child? I'm very careful to stick to social distancing but would have helped out in this situation.

cake try to put it out of your head x

Aquamarine1029 Fri 14-Aug-20 19:39:47

I'm so sorry about this op. I have all the sympathy in the world for parents who have children with special needs, but I admit I don't know if I would have been comfortable helping in this situation either. Your child was extremely distressed and physically lashing out, and I don't think many strangers would feel comfortable with manhandling another strangers child.

D4rwin Fri 14-Aug-20 19:40:00

I am a keen to help person. BUT nothing would convince me to "assist" a distressed and unwilling child to do something they didn't want to. Unfortunately not knowing your son I could only work on information in front of me. I would offer to get milk/ things for you instead though (if it wasn't much I'd even do it for free).
She may have had her own issues. That doesn't help you though.
Sorry today was tough.

Spinakker Fri 14-Aug-20 19:42:18

It sounds really tough OP but there must be another way of you getting shopping without taking your son into the shop with you. Can you ask a friend or relative to watch him while you go to the shop on your own ? Can you shop online and stock up ? Maybe have a supply of long life milk cartons incase milk runs out. I know it's hard but you will have to come up with another way of shopping. For milk could you to a corner shop and call inside and ask for what you need and explain you can't come inside. Maybe they will be able to help. You won't be able to rely on strangers to help unfortunately every time.

User43210 Fri 14-Aug-20 19:44:38

Whilst I would normally like to help in those situations, I'm currently pregnant for the third time having lost two this year. If I saw a child in that situation, I would personally be anxious to get close for fear of kicking in the stomach, I am absolutely paranoid even if I lay on it in the wrong way so sorry but, without knowing her story, it's hard to judge if she was unreasonable. Also as others have said, someone may not want to be involved with a child who is clearly distressed. I would have probably asked a couple more people in your shoes.
I'm not sure if there's a reason she couldn't offer to pop in for you, but I suppose that's possibly a hindsight thing.

Saucery Fri 14-Aug-20 19:46:55

That sounds rotten, I’m sorry. I would have helped but I have mask (would have been on already), gloves and hand sanitiser with me - maybe the lady you asked didn’t. Or didn’t feel comfortable doing it if your DS was so stressed. I work with children who have autism too, so his behaviour wouldn’t have phased me at all.

gypsywater Fri 14-Aug-20 19:48:43

YABU. It's not her responsibility or duty, sorry. It's literally up to her. She could have so many reasons for not helping.

heartsonacake Fri 14-Aug-20 19:50:48

YABU. I also would have said no.

It’s not her responsibility, and particularly with social distancing in place and the worry of Covid she was right to say no.

PurpleDaisies Fri 14-Aug-20 19:51:22

Sorry you’ve had such an awful day, and it’s totally understandable that you’re upset. flowers

As others have said, there are lots of sensible reasons that the lady couldn’t help that aren’t just she didn’t want to.

Motherhood01 Fri 14-Aug-20 19:53:22

I definitely get the covid fear she may have had or if she was afraid,I said I needed help with his legs for minute,she shrugged her shoulders and looked rather disgusted at me and my son.she didn't offer an explanation, I know I'm not owed anything from a stranger,it just struck me as odd and cruel.if I had covid fear or was scared id explain why I couldn't help.

OP’s posts: |
Sierramike Fri 14-Aug-20 19:54:04

It would have been nice if she'd helped but it's her prerogative not to.

Leaannb Fri 14-Aug-20 19:54:13

No way would I try to force a strangers child into a trolley during the pandemic or not.

gypsywater Fri 14-Aug-20 19:54:47

I would be shocked to be asked tbh

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