Author Topic: Dear Abby: Developmentally delayed adults at weddings?  (Read 6408 times)

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nuit93

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Dear Abby: Developmentally delayed adults at weddings?
« on: October 23, 2012, 02:08:29 AM »
http://www.uexpress.com/dearabby/

Letter is the 3rd one down:

DEAR ABBY: We have two family weddings coming up soon. One of our cousins has Down syndrome, among other medical problems. He's a grown man, but he has the mental capacity and manners of a 7-year-old. His parents don't discipline him and he is out of control. He screams and talks loudly and will jump around on the dance floor and run into couples while they are trying to dance. His parents bring him to special occasions, even when it's "adults only."


Edited since I had forgotten about posting full letters.
What do you think, E-Hellions?  Frankly, I think the LW's line of "don't his parents have any common sense?" strikes me as a teensy bit Special Snowflakey.  Other than that, I kind of understand her concerns.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 12:19:50 PM by nuit93 »

Slartibartfast

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Re: Dear Abby: Developmentally delayed adults at weddings?
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2012, 02:15:45 AM »
I think Abby's advice (this time, anyway) was good: invite the family, don't invite the misbehaving family member, and if the rest of his family decides not to come then that's their choice.  I agree that "Don't his parents have any sense?" sounds whiny, but if you replace "parents" with "caregivers" (since they're filling both roles here) it doesn't sound quite so much like the letter-writer is whining about a spoiled child.  It's unfortunate if that cousin needs more one-on-one care and isn't getting it, but short of hiring him a babysitter there's not much a happy couple can do other than not invite him.

hannahmollysmom

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Re: Dear Abby: Developmentally delayed adults at weddings?
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2012, 03:59:29 AM »
While he is physically an adult, if he has the capacity of a 7 year old, and children aren't invited, then he shouldn't be either. If his parents will not attend without him, then that is their choice.

If children are invited, then maybe someone close to the parents could suggest they keep him more under control, although I'm sure no one wants to go that route.

I know a family that has a Downs child who is an adult, and likes to hug (especially women). His parents keep him under control though and tell him when it is enough. He listens very well and I would have no problem inviting him, as long as his parents were there too.

kherbert05

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Re: Dear Abby: Developmentally delayed adults at weddings?
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2012, 06:09:57 AM »
It sounds like the real problem here is that the parents used the "he is disabled so we don't have to discipline/teach him card" Now the entire family is paying the price. I say don't invite that branch. People like this are responsible for the people with X disability are scary stereotype. Growing up my best friend's older brother was cognitively disabled. Their parents spent a lot of time and energy teaching him how to behave. They also recognized when situations were to much for him and arranged for care. This was especially true for events for their other 3 kids. He wasn't allowed to take over. They would never have tolerated the type of behavior described in te letter.


The letter writer is putting the blame squarely on the parents, and not blaming the young man. They deserve it. If they had some common sense they would have taught instead of making excuses. They wouldn't but this man in situations he can't handle.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

sparksals

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Re: Dear Abby: Developmentally delayed adults at weddings?
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2012, 06:59:23 AM »
You need to snip the letter and include only a few lines.  It is against the rules to copy an entire letter from another website.  Provide one or two lines and then the link to the letter.

As for the LW, their concerns are valid and I don't see anything wrong with the common sense question.   

Zilla

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Re: Dear Abby: Developmentally delayed adults at weddings?
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2012, 07:39:57 AM »
A seven year old can behave.  I too blame squarely on the parents.  Regardless of age, issues etc, if a person can behave or be redirected quickly, then I can see attending.  Especially in the scenario presented.  But it sounds like it's isn't and it's known the parents won't attend without him.  It's a tough situation but either invite them making it clear it's only for them or not invite them at all and have their closest kin explain why kindly to them.

Venus193

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Re: Dear Abby: Developmentally delayed adults at weddings?
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2012, 08:23:44 AM »
I think it is special-snowflakey of the parents to think that their son's behavior is acceptable.  I have no problem with the common sense question.

Miss March

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Re: Dear Abby: Developmentally delayed adults at weddings?
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2012, 08:30:32 AM »
If the son (who is a full sized adult) really does "jump around and run into couples on the dance floor" like the letter writer says, then I can see why Abby replies "Don't his parents have common sense?" That's not just a case of being disruptive, it's a liability issue. Someone is bound to get injured.
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WillyNilly

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Re: Dear Abby: Developmentally delayed adults at weddings?
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2012, 09:39:33 AM »
Wow, that's a really sad thing for the LW, her family and her cousin.  Its unfair to him, and those who want to be around him, that his parents didn't teach him better behaviors.  Its not his fault he's delayed but it is his parents fault he's not disciplined.  I think the LW has every right to not invite him to her wedding.  If I were a guest and a strange, full grown man ran into me while I was dancing I'd be uncomfortable, if it happened repeatedly I'd be upset - the LW has an obligation to her guests.

VltGrantham

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Re: Dear Abby: Developmentally delayed adults at weddings?
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2012, 09:43:27 AM »
Quote
I think it is special-snowflakey of the parents to think that their son's behavior is acceptable.  I have no problem with the common sense question.

ITA--I don't understand why it is unacceptable or confusing that when people want to enjoy a mile-stone moment in their lives that they want to do so sans unreasonable disruptions.  A child crying out and being removed from the room is one thing--that same kid sitting there wailing at the top of his lungs because his parents refuse to miss any of the fun themselves is quite another.

I do not see it at all as "special snowflakey" that someone does not want a huge disruption like this going on during such an important event in his or her life.  And the parents should have the common sense to understand why.

HorseFreak

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Re: Dear Abby: Developmentally delayed adults at weddings?
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2012, 09:46:48 AM »
That's a tough situation to be in without looking like a huge, insensitive jerk to outsiders. It's one thing for a rambunctious 7 year old who's less than 4' tall and weighs 50 lb to knock into people (not that it's right), but a much bigger likelihood that a 6', 180 lb grown man will send grandma to the hospital for moshing at the wedding.

I probably wouldn't invite the couple at all if they're at all likely to show up with him and not try to control his behavior.

Queen of Clubs

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Re: Dear Abby: Developmentally delayed adults at weddings?
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2012, 09:55:17 AM »
My uncle is developmentally delayed and he's never been excluded from family events because he was taught how to behave himself.  I don't blame the LW at all for wanting to avoid having her special event ruined.  She doesn't want to exclude her cousin because he's developmentally delayed; she wants to exclude him because he's so badly behaved.  And that is down to his parents.

So, I think the LW should make it clear her cousin isn't invited, and if his parents are all offended and refuse to attend, that'd be fine too.

siamesecat2965

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Re: Dear Abby: Developmentally delayed adults at weddings?
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2012, 10:12:14 AM »
I don't see any issue with the LW; as has been pointed out she's not excluding him because of his condition, but beacuse of his behavior. To me, its no differnet than not inviting your Uncle Ed who drinks heavily, and behaves badly when intoxicated.  You're not excluding him because he drinks, but because of how he acts WHEN he's had too much to drink.


Sharnita

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Re: Dear Abby: Developmentally delayed adults at weddings?
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2012, 10:12:48 AM »
If his developmental level is 7 years old then his parents should have been able to teach him enough self control that he could sit through most weddings and not fling himself around on the dance floor.  It would have been hard and maybe even a bit heart breaking at times to deny him what he wanted but the end result is that he probably would have been welcomed at far more social events.

WHat will happen if his parents predecease him? Where will he live and how will he cope when they aren't making excuses?

Winterlight

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Re: Dear Abby: Developmentally delayed adults at weddings?
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2012, 10:12:57 AM »
This sounds like a safety issue to me, if people are getting knocked over.
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