When the local children mocked my son with special needs

img_5960For months we had watched a new children’s play park being build behind our house. We had walked along to see it with excitement and I checked the plans to see what equipment would be suitable for my children, especially for my son who has significant support needs.

I saw advertisements for an opening event but knew this would be more than both my children with autism would be able to cope with, so I never mentioned it to my daughter. Instead, later that evening when the event was over, I put their socks and shoes on and surprised them with a walk around to the new park for the first time.

There were no roads to cross but I still had to hold both their hands tightly since neither has any awareness of danger, but once in the enclosed park I allowed my son to run ahead flapping with excitement. I opened the gate and guided the children in. It was early evening but still daylight and it was no surprise that they were the youngest children there. The park was busy and noisy though with older children and teenagers, yet not one parent in sight. I was unsure if my children would cope but what happened next made me realise that it would not be my children who would struggle but actually me!



img_5958As my son laughed and walked around stimming I helped my daughter climb to get to the slide. As she climbed up a bunch of children ran towards her shouting, having climbed up the slide and over the top of the frame she was on. I looked round to see another bunch of children running in circles around my son laughing in his face. My children were shocked and scared. They had come to play not be tormented in their local playground!

The more I asked the older kids to leave my children alone the more they seemed to annoy them. They spun the roundabout with my son on far quicker than he was happy with making him scream. They mocked his stimming and noises and ran amok round all the swings and apparatus. It was as if they saw how vulnerable my children were and that made them an instant target. It was awful.

I shouted at them to stop. There were no adults around and the kids were clearly not caring. They poked at my son, knocked into him and climbed on whatever he was playing on. My non verbal son with vision impairment and severe autism was oblivious to what they were doing. The more he made noises and flapped the more they laughed and pointed. His twin sister thought they were being ‘silly’ and kept asking why big children were in a little kids park.

img_5955I played with my children and tried to ignore them. I took ‘happy pics’ and planned to post them to Facebook when I got home. People don’t like hearing the bad stuff so I was just going to head those pics up with ‘fun in the park’. My children did have fun. Unfortunately for them other children also had fun at their expense.

I wonder if the parents of those older children have any idea what their kids were up to that Saturday evening? My twins are unaware of what really happened that night, but I am. In an era where disability awareness is common place and inclusion in schools is the norm it scares me that other children still see bullying and mocking kids with special needs something entertaining.

My local authority website boasts that this new park has equipment that is ‘inclusive’ for all children. They have changed some apparatus but sadly we still have a long way to go to change attitudes before I can once again take my children to the park without fear of local children mocking my son with special needs.

img_5959We will be back at that park soon. My son will once again flap, spin and make noises. My daughter will want in the baby swing and will sit on the roundabout with her brother. She will go down the slide again and again and again. My children thrive with repetition. Let’s just hope the local children don’t repeat the bullying I witnessed of my son last weekend.

The park changed. Now it is time to change hearts and minds too.

14 thoughts on “When the local children mocked my son with special needs

  1. Pingback: When the local children mocked my son with special needs | faithmummy

  2. It always makes me question what kind of homelife these older children have, to think that it is perfectly ok to bully other children regardless of if they have any additional needs, and to totally not even listen to an adult figure! Do not let them put you off taking the children to the park as they both looked like they enjoyed themselves.xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. One of my friends had the same experience in a park near us.
    She contacted the police and was told it was a hate crime!
    They then dispatched a policeman to go and talk to the children who were taunting her son due to his flapping and stimming.
    All we want is to be included in society. The days when our children were shut away in institutions are long gone, and won’t be returning.
    Jane xx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I am disgusted and angry. I would contact a lawyer and the police to see what can be done. If an adult were to do that they would be reported to the RSPCC.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Miriam

    Have been reading your blog for a while it’s really good btw.

    Anyway what little shits to pick on a small boy and girl enjoying the park. I bet they learned this behaviour at home. They obviously knew your son is young for his age and were unkind. Your daughter is a very clever girl to realise they are silly and didn’t belong in the park; she is a good sister to your little boy as I have noticed from your blog she gets very anxious so she was brave as well to say what she said,

    Yes call the police they would have know not to pick on a little boy who is younger in his mind and not cared.

    Any of us are a head injury away from being disabled.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I had same problem with my daughter she has severe difficulties she is 3and half to 4 in learning.. she gets put off by large crowds now it is disgusting how older children act they should know better..


  7. I recall a similar time when my son played in the plaground opposite our home and the older kids were mocking him. He was unaware and quite a large group built up and I had taken a picture of my son. The next thing I know, one was shouting that I was a ‘paedo’ because I was taking pictures of them. It all got a little heated and some passerby stopped to help me. It was awful and I didn’t want to go again but my son loved it there.


  8. Thats terrible. We’ve had our fair share of that stuff. The older kids will allow her to play but setup the game so they can poke fun. When i see that i simply say why dont we go play where someone will play fair and appreciate you. In the meantime singling the kids and making them feel terrible indirectly. Problem with alot of kids is that they not exposed to or educated on people with disabilities or how to show plain respect for others. Great post by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

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