It seems to.
A special needs buggy – Maclaren Major Elite – designed to hold a child up to age 10 or so. Is it the fact that it doesn’t look like a wheechair? Or again, that this particular disability that cannot be seen.
I receive so many comments when pushing D in her buggy. They range from other children on the school run (who don’t know her) calling her “a big baby”, elderly customers in the supermarket or walking past us on the pavement saying “isn’t she too big for that” and “shouldn’t she be walking?”.
So, although I know they’re never going to read this:
YES, D can walk but she’s scared of unfamilar places, strange sounds and people coming past her quickly scare her. It’s called Autism. The buggy is the place where she feels safe, it’s her “sanctuary”, her “comfort zone”. NO, she is not being lazy. Would you rather she was bolting everywhere without thought for her safety?
Would these people make those comments if she were in a wheelchair?
Again, it’s lack of awareness. I have thought about a badge or something similar for her…but would these people actually take the time to read it and if they did, would they understand?
Maybe I should carry a supply of leaflets and hand them out whenever this happens….
This is the “offending” buggy – Maclaren Major Elite Special Needs buggy – up to about age 10, although she’s on the lower level at age 7.
You’d like to think your child wouldn’t be subject to discrimination and ignorance in a park, wouldn’t you?
Not so. It was near the end of the school holidays and I decided to take T, D and the two girls I was looking after to the park near us.
If we go to this park, I tend to go just after lunchtime as it’s normally quiet.
The park was empty (phew) apart from one mother with two young boys – probably 5 & 6 years old. They were telling each other to shut up quite aggressively and she wasn’t correcting them, just looked really fed up, so I positioned the children at the other end.
My group started playing hide & seek and all was going well, D joining in nicely. The older boy shouted if he could join in and, as D ran past she answered “no” – not nastily, not aggressively, just “no”.
I decided not to intervene, after all, if the mother was happy to let her children say that to each other, I didn’t really want them playing with my lot. I was going to go over and explain to the mother why not but too late:
“Your children are rude and you’re rude” I got shouted at. I started to try to explain about the autism but no “I don’t care about that, they’re rude and you’re rude. Come on boys, we’re leaving, away from this rude woman”.
It was easier to just turn my back on her & her refusal to listen.
Charming eh? What hope have her children got of accepting anyone who is not the “norm” with a mother like that.