Today I took my boys to the park for some time to play and get out of the house. My wife has been sick for two days and the boys were starting to get stir crazy. They couldn’t go into the room where mom was and yet she was here which is not normal for them during the week. So after 2 days of taking care of her and the boys I needed to get out of the house and just relax. Little did I know that the park was going to be a place where my biggest fears come to life.
My oldest son PT has a language delay. He has the body of a 7 year old but the communication skills of a 3 year old. Actually our three year old Eman communicates better than PT. We have seen great progress this year but there is still the delay. As a parent you never want your children to feel pain, but What is really hard is when I hear children talk about my son and call him stupid or dumb. He is neither he is very smart and has strengths that make him really special.
So we get to our local park and there are a couple of groups of kids there. Normally that is a good thing because the kids just chase each other and I sit over in a bench and observe. I am paranoid I want to make sure that my kids act correctly and don’t hurt any of the other children. In today’s society that is not something that people do. They don’t teach responsibility they teach entitlement. I never want my kids to think that they deserve something just because I want them to work for it and to earn it. That is the only way that something is special and means anything.
So I can tell that this is going to be interesting because one of the parents there was already smoking. Now I could care less if you smoke or not. Personally I never have smoked and never want too because see what it can do to you but I have my addictions so who am I to judge you, but when you are at a public park where kids are I think that you should be a little more considerate as it pertains to what you do around kids that are not yours,her daughter was loud and a little pushy. My youngest was in a swing and she tried to push him out of it but i was right there a couple of feet away and when she saw me she moved to another swing so crisis avoided. The funny thing is Eman has the concentration of a nat so he moved onto his next thing about 30seconds later.
PT likes to play chase but he really doesn’t have good conversation skills. If you don’t spend a lot of time with him you would think that the things he says are strange but in reality they are memorized phrases that he has learned from TV or Movies. It is called echolalia and it is part of his disability he can watch a tv show and after 2 times of seeing the show he knows 90% of the lines and songs. Well the same young girl told him to stop chasing her and normally that does not bother me but this time she is screaming at my son to stop chasing her because he is dumb and stupid and ask stupid questions. Now here is what really annoyed me. I was on the other side of the playground and heard her, but her mom who was 10 feet away from her child said nothing to her. No “honey we don’t call people names” she said nothing.
I never want my son hurt and the thing is he doesn’t even know that she was making a fun of him but it was killing me! I wanted to walk over there take the little girl by the arms and explain to her that my son was not stupid but he was not what we call “normal”. As a parents we try really hard to make sure that our children treat others right, and that they learn what they should say and what they shouldn’t. That is a process that we continue to refine but we are to show our boys what it means to be considerate and thoughtful.
Having a son with a language delay I struggle with how people will treat him and how people look at me as a parent. I know I shouldn’t but so many times we base success off of what our children do, and if they don’t succeed like we or others think they should we view ourselves as failures. I know this is not how we should judge success but in a world where people have no filter and say whatever they want too I just want my son to have a good life and to be safe.
So learned a lot about myself and others today. I learned that I want to see my son have fun but I also want others to accept him for the special boy he truly is! I also hope that parents will take more time with their children to teach them to think before they speak it will really save them much needed problems in the future.