Having a kid that’s different is life altering sometimes it permeates in invisible ways.
One of the things that is rarely spoken about is the constant vigilance to protect and shelter them (him) from those that judge. You develop, after a while, a thick skin…during the meltdown at toys are us, the “I don’t want to be buying paint at Home Depot” grumpiness that isn’t typical looking, or the talking him into getting back into the car at the intersection at wadsworth and c470 because he jumped out convinced you left something behind at the lake since he can’t find the missing piece of his set.
Typically, thick skin isn’t necessary in schools that practice inclusion, various disability only anythings, and our home.
I let down my guard at “Dannys gym” because I thought I was dealing with disability anythings.
I was wrong
Even though d did nothing wrong, in fact was on his stinking best behavior because that place was so reinforcing, other moms were still not ok with his size utilizing the same space and equipment while they were there because he was bigger than their children.
Yep, he’s 17…they haven’t entered kindergarten…but still they enjoy the same things.
Dan has been the same since he was five. He has a kind heart. He will wait his turn. And would never intentionally hurt a fly. Most especially, if you watch, he is incredibly good around little kids.
It shocked me to my core when we were asked to change times because the preschool moms were afraid of him??
wait! all over this place you spout inclusion.
His behavior didn’t hurt anyone and still you are asking us to leave because the little kids moms are uncomfortable?? Wait wait wait. This isn’t for typical kids. This is designed especially for kids on the spectrum. This is SUPPOSED to be a tolerant place.
Inclusion takes work. Work on all parties. Me, the other moms, AND those that advertise they provide an inclusive environment. Because sometimes part of that management is explaining to someone uneducated what they are actually seeing.
That didn’t happpen.
Today, I received a rambly in and out couldn’t understand what was said voicemail from the CEO from We Rock the Spectrum. Note that we’ve never actually spoken, especially when i phoned when all this went down and spoke with the “trainer” at their corporate office….no one picked up the phone to speak to me directly beyond a 5 minute call while they were in the car. Dan and I are either welcome to use or barred for life. I think we are barred for life….so much for “inclusion”
This is not a place that is designed for bigger (teens) to access inclusively when THEIR schedule allows. Nor is it an environment I will enter into again.
Home Depot today, when Danny expressed he didn’t want to be there in his unusual way…was incredibly more sympathetic and compassionate than I found the “inclusive sensory gym for all ages and abilities” to be.
And so done.