Through the years I've had parents actively intervene to keep their kid away from mine. One time a mom told me her family would be in Hawaii during my son's Bar Mitzvah. Then we saw her son walking down our street on the day of the service.
Another time a mom whose child enjoyed being with my son said she didn't want them to play together. She explained that she thought her son was picking up "autistic behaviors" and wanted him with "typical" kids so he'd be "more normal."
I'm not sure which is worse--the parent who clearly states she doesn't want your child anywhere near her own, or the one who lies to get out of potential interactions. I felt like I'd been punched in the gut by both of these moms. And I wondered, why do parents exclude our kids and what can we do when this happens?
By Brenda Dater
Brenda Dater is the author of Parenting without Panic: A Pocket Support Group for Parents of Children and Teens on the Autism Spectrum (Asperger's Syndrome). Brenda is also the Director of Child and Teen Services at AANE.