For the past year and half, my daughter and one of her friends have taken weekly tennis lessons at our local parks and rec. They are the only two kids who have stuck with it for so long, and as such have become close to the coaches. So when I had to inform the coaches this would be my daughters last session due to an out of state move, they were very sad and immediately said they wanted to make her last lesson real special.
Well last night was the last lesson, and true to their word, they made the lesson more party like, which was very nice of them. At the end of the lesson, there was even healthy snacks provided by our friends who had been taking lessons with us.
Since there was a party atmosphere, during the snacks a lot of the parents were taking pictures of their kids (who ranged in age from 3-6) having fun. One mom in particular stood next to her son and kept her video camera on him the whole time. And when her son removed the orange peel from his mouth, put it back on the food tray and grabbed another, she just kept filming. So my friend picked up the orange peel, handed it back to the boy, and politely asked him to hold onto his trash rather then putting it back with the food. The mom said nothing. Nor did she say anything when it happened with three more orange peels! My friend had to keep removing them from the food, and handing them back. I can honesty say he stayed polite each time (and the moms video will back me up!). One of the coaches also spoke up, asking kids not to touch all the food and keep their trash to themselves.
At the end of the party the mom approached my friends and started to berate them, saying they embarrassed her and her son and he has developmental issues. My friends were startled, and just said they didn’t know he did.
I feel like the moms lack of doing anything (other than filming) while it happened makes this less of an issue about his disability and more of an issue about her expecting special treatment. Couldn’t she have moved him further away from the food (he was standing right in front of it, versus other kids sitting at table) so that she would have time to intercept him? Or she could have gotten him a napkin full of food so he didn’t have to keep going back (again, like all the other kids had). Or were we just suppose to let her kid put his slobbery trash all over the food other kids were going to eat and not ever say anything? 1106-13
You raise some good questions. If one knows your child has challenges, it seems logical and commonsensical to me to do those things which best facilitates the child’s ease in society. Your suggestions on how this mother could have approached the situation seems quite reasonable to me.