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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

Could we have some positive examples of strangers who have said the right thing on meeting our SN child, or nice things that you say to break the ice with SN parents?

(49 Posts)
lingle Tue 27-Jan-09 11:52:50

We have so many threads on the awful things people say. How about some nice positive examples that people could learn from and so be less afraid to come and be friendly?

I say the wrong or the clumsy thing so very often blush. And people say it to me too about DS2's language issues. I can only think of one recent example where I got it right. I met Nancy's mum at a party. I could see in her eyes that she was waiting to see the reaction. And when I said the truth which was "I've already met Nancy when I was settling DS2 in to nursery - she's a very musical child isn't she" you could just see how pleased Nancy's mum was, and it really broke the ice between us. It probably helped that I'm musical so Nancy and I had something in common.

Seuss Tue 27-Jan-09 12:10:09

I had an older lady come up to us in a cafe once and I thought she was going to say something about ds1 eating his chips with his fingers or something similar, but then she said 'I just wanted to say what lovely, well behaved children'. I felt quite emotional (and still do now) and a bit ashamed for expecting the worse from someone. It's actually what I think about when things are going a bit pear-shaped in public - to remind myself that we have goodtimes too.

feelingbetter Tue 27-Jan-09 12:22:03

A nice thing happened to us at DSs first nursery trial. Another (very young, bless her) Mum had taken her daughter for her first trial too. NT daughter was a bit of a livewire (lovely, but I'm not used to seeing it) and Mum was fretting a bit. My DS was his usual happy self, lying on the floor, giggling at the light up play gym they'd given him and she said 'aw, look how chilled he is. I wish my DD could be like that'. Of course she had no way of knowing he's severely brain damaged and can't move like her DD, but it made me realise that there is a lot for everyone to love about DS. And I din't think 'if only you knew' - I was just pleased that others see what I see - a normal, happy, healthy and contented little boy. Can't ask for more than that.

nikos Tue 27-Jan-09 13:27:11

My mother in law gave the best reaction (to my surprise) of anyone on learning ds had ASD. She said 'You have been faced with a challenge nikos, and you will rise to it'. Somehow it both acknowledged the problem but also let me know her confidence in me. I found it enormously comforting and often think of it.

feelingbetter Tue 27-Jan-09 13:33:53

That's made me slightly teary, Nikos. What a lovely thing to say. I shall think of it often too.

cherrymonster Tue 27-Jan-09 13:38:15

i think the main comment i have recieved about ds2 who has dyspraxia is- "what an adorable boy, he is always so friendly and loving". which he is, but he is the one everyone always remembers as being the friendly one.

Fleurlechaunte Tue 27-Jan-09 13:40:31

Stuck on the bus in a traffic jam, ds was 3 and talking to me quite nicely but occasionally getting a bit stressed out and shouty.

As I got off an elderly woman said to me "that boy will Prime Minister one day and you are such a good mum, you should be really proud". It was one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me.

moondog Tue 27-Jan-09 13:41:22

I read a comment in a magazine article recently that a woman had written about her life with her baby with Down's Syndrome.
'I have realised that life can be wonderful without being perfect'.

I think it will stay with me forever.

etchasketch Tue 27-Jan-09 13:43:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

alfiemama Tue 27-Jan-09 13:45:05

I like this that bsac posted (hope you dont mind me posting) www.our-kids.org/Archives/Holland.html

Hassled Tue 27-Jan-09 13:46:37

cherrymonster - I get that too with Dyspraxic DS2. His class did this thing where they all had to write one positive sentence about everyone in the class - DS2's were 50% "X knows a lot about cars" (he's obsessed) and 50% were "X is always smiling and happy". I look at those slips of paper often.

Philomytha Tue 27-Jan-09 15:21:37

DS was singing rather loudly during the quiet bits of Mass one day. An old lady came up to me afterwards, and my heart sank, but she quoted St Augustine - he who sings prays twice - and said DS was obviously praying really well. That really touched me.

5inthebed Tue 27-Jan-09 16:22:57

Just the other day I was having a really down day, as one of my "friends" told me she didnt want her dc socialising with ds2 as they were picking up his bad habits hmm. So was having a bit of a sob to another friend who said that out of all the dc she had met recently, ds2 was the most happiest and excitible and least expectant. Made me sob a bit more, but also made me feel heaps better.

TotalChaos Tue 27-Jan-09 16:30:38

the nice old lady who offered DS a lollipop when he was having a bus tantrum.

the friend who works at a health authority who dug out details of the local ASD/Social Communication Disorder support group.

5inthebed Tue 27-Jan-09 16:40:22

Just realised my post has nothing to do with the OP.blush Sorry, my head isnt working properly.

feelingbetter Tue 27-Jan-09 16:45:41

Aw, thanks marmaduke grin

5inthebed - you are right, its lovely when people see the good bits. There isn't a decent Mum alive who wouldn't put 'happy' at the top of her wish list for any child.

silverfrog Tue 27-Jan-09 16:48:43

I just like honesty.

A couple of weeks ago I was sat on abench in tyhe shopping centre with dd1 & dd2. They were eating raisins (this constitutes an exciting outing for dd1 grin) and an elderly lady was sat next to the girls. She spoke to dd1 - the usual "what's your name?/what's your sister's name?" etc.

I answered that dd1 might not reply as she isn't always able to due to being autistic, and the lady replied "I don't really know much about that - how does it affect her?" but said in a really nice, interested tone.

Was refreshing not to have any assumptions made, tbh

PeachyBAHonsPRSCertOnRequest Tue 27-Jan-09 16:59:53

PMSL at Seuss as we ahd that- think its the same lady going from cafe to cafe cheering us up? wink

I was going to compliment a Mum on how polite her sopn was in asda the other day but chickened out, really wish I had done.

Silverfrog that sounds nice smile

I'm happy with hello tbh. but i've had too many abd experiences to be able to approach people without a panic attack now so I look standoffish etc etc etc

Seuss Tue 27-Jan-09 17:19:04

I like the idea of a little old lady going around cafes cheering up stressed out mums!grin I'm going to do that when I'm old. I really think it's the little things like that that really make a difference. 6 years on I still remember the lady who helped me put ds1 in the Tesco trolley and the other one who held ds2 whilst I calmed ds1 down. It's too easy to get on the defensive when you are used to looks and comments and forget that some people do care.

Seuss Tue 27-Jan-09 17:20:08

lovely thread by the way

MrsFreud Tue 27-Jan-09 17:38:36

OK a bit naughty but....A friend of mine had her dd same time as me, but her baby really was not a pretty or cute baby at all (honestly, and I know you should never say that)- hence it was hard to respond hoenstly when she said " isn't she gorgeous?". Well everyone took to saying " hasn't she got nice eyes" which made her happy!

Ever since then though I worry if people say my dd's eyes are pretty!blush

Jux Tue 27-Jan-09 18:55:32

that Italy/Holland link made me cry.

Seuss Tue 27-Jan-09 18:57:14

People always say my DH has nice eyeshmm

coppertop Tue 27-Jan-09 19:32:13

The lovely woman who we bump into in the supermarket fairly often as we seem to have the same routine. The first week she met ds1 she told him that he was very well-mannered and gave him 50p to put in his pocket. Since then she always makes a point of coming over and saying hello to us all.

Also the man we buy the Big Issue from when we go into town. He also stops to talk to ds1 and ds2 and doesn't mind when they chatter away about their latest obsessions either.

And a mention too for the lovely elderly couple who came over to us when we were all out together one day and said "We just had to come over to tell you what a beautiful family you have."

Pixel Tue 27-Jan-09 19:39:54

There was a lovely lady who realised that there was a reason why ds wouldn't get off the bouncy castle (asd, not just being a brat) and just quietly let him stay on there as long as he wanted without making a big thing of it. It made such a lovely change from the usual dreaded scenario of me having to clamber on in front of everyone and forcibly drag ds off so the next lot of kids can go on. I could have kissed her, maybe I should have! smile

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