After school today Alyssa was really excited about staying and playing at the school playground because for once we didn't have to run over and pick Nathan up from his school. Nathan's last day of preschool was yesterday and I usually have a 15 minute window between the time she gets out and the time Nathan gets out. Anyway, so I promised Alyssa we could play at the school playgrond after school today. That playground is my nightmare because the kids play rough and they could care less about who's around.
Nathan of course is excited by the playground and can't wait to go exploring, the problem is that he has no concept of danger ( walking in front of swings, walking under monkey bars etc.) so I am forever chasing him. A far cry from all the other parents who get to sit and gab while their kids are playing. Then there's my sweet little Jack. Poor Jack gets to watch from the stroller as I have no way of keeping him safe. I'm afraid he'll get trampled on... okay I'll get to the point now.
As I was following Nathan around the playground, I heard my daughter Alyssa say, " I'm running way from Nathan, quick he can't catch up with us here." My blood started to boil. So I called her over and explained to her that although she thinks it's a game, Nathan is completely unaware of her presents and all of the kids playing with Alyssa were actually teasing and making fun of Nathan. This is not okay. I explained that Nathan has feelings too and asked her how she would feel if the roles were reversed. She got it right away and changed her ways. I was most impressed.
A few minutes later, I noticed three boys (about 8 years old I'd say) staring at Nathan, trying to get in his way. Then they started making fun of him. ( Nathan was giggling to himself and amusing himself, then of course he started to lick surfaces- This is the part of autism that I can't stand!) I really didn't like what was happening, as the circle got tighter around Nathan, I piped up. "Hey " I said. "I really don't find what your doing funny" They stopped laughing. "Instead of staring at him and making fun of him why don't you actually talk to him. He's a person with feelings you know." " Instead of staring why don't you ask me what's up with Nathan, do you have a question or not?" The boys just said they weren't doing anything and then took off.
Unlike my friends Teri and Jessica, I am not as tactful. I'm sure they would have found some better way, some nicer way to talk to those boys but in the moment, I was hurt and Mama bear came barrelling through.
How should I have dealt with this? I'm curious to know your thoughts.