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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok - i took my 3 DCs out today (first time in like a month - between heat, rain and just life with kids in general (nt or sn) can be hard with 3!)<br><br>
So in our journey today (stop at a friends house to drop something off, the school, library, bank, store, cafe, then back home - so quiet the day), when we got to the playground there was a bunch of kids there... no problem - my oldest DD got to see a couple of friends from her old 2nd grade class. My youngest DD needed to go to the bathroom, and was safe enough to leave odd outside playing while i took ds and ydd until the school to use the bathroom. By the time i had come out, her friends had all left, and there was 3 teen boys there, and what were they playing on, the 1 swing the school has for disabled kids (a highback swing, with a lap and chest safety strap. 2 of the boys strapped the 3rd boy in and then were pushing all they could to see how high to get him to swing.<br><br>
No, my dd doesnt need a highback swing (thankfully), but i certainly understand how hard it must have been for the parent/s with a disabled kid who needed it, to get it... on top of the cost for them. I marched over there, and asked the boy in the swing if he was disabled. He said "No, it's just fun" and when i explained that when they break that swing that disabled kids will not have a swing, while they still have a who playground full (another 9 swings at least). The boy got off the swing (jumped off, instead of waiting for it to stop).<br><br>
To make matters worse, a (i think) young woman was there with her nieces and she said that the girls sometimes play on it when i explained about telling the boys to leave it alone when they were swinging rough on it.<br><br>
Why do people automatically think it's ok to treat stuff like that? I see it all the time!!! Oh i'm fuming mad about it!!
 

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We have a special needs adapted playground here, too, and I have seen kids doing that. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: I never had the guts to say anything to them, but I will from now on. We have many disabled kids that actually come to and USE that playground, too, so it's not like the equipment is there and never used by those for whom it's intended.<br><br>
I just don't understand the need some teenagers/kids have to destroy things that aren't theirs.
 

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The playground across the street from my house has one special needs swing and of course someone took off the safety straps and they are gone. Whenever we go there and my son wants to swing I ask the swinger if they are disabled. If they say no I ask nicely if my son may use it. He has 4 fingers and 2 thumbs and cannot hold himself on a swing. His arms are still too weak (hypotonia). Then I put on the safety strap I bought. When he's done I remove it. Once a grandma told me not to steal the strap! I told her I bought it because the one that came with the swing was long gone!!<br><br>
Now I don't shoo children off the swings just for fun but I kind of see the disabled swings a I see handicap parking spots. You shouldn't use them if you don't need them. Then again if no one else is there what is the harm?<br><br>
The local teens broke the digger, the merry go round, and 2 animal shaped spring swing- rocker things. They also broke the refrigerated water fountain. It seems all the other fountains are perpetually clogged and if they work they dispense warm water.<br><br>
Sincerely,<br>
Debra
 

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Teens. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> Most of them just don't get it. I don't think most of them realize the harm, damage, or hurt they might be causing....they're just oblivious.<br><br>
I was as good a good girl as a good girl can get in most ways, and even I grafittied a perfectly clean (almost new) tunnel at my favorite local park. Didn't occur to me for a second that I was ruining the tunnel for other people, or that someone would have to spend days (and $) painting the tunnel. I just thought it was fun. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Good for you for saying something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My thing as a teen was i would shop lift... i never thought a lipstick here, a candy bar there would hurt - but it really adds up i guess (as i later learned)... other then that (and i never got caught, it was a short summer rebellion phase apparently) i keep to myself and my nose clean... most people thought i would be a nun <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch">:<br><br>
anyways... yeah - i doubt anyone has ever said anything to the kids who rough house there... and the school playground is better then the village park (we refuse to go there at ALL now in the summer).
 

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I'm going to start this by saying I wasn't there, I didn't see how the young people you described were swinging the swing, and maybe if I did I'd feel very differently. However, I have to say that I'm not sure I agree with you.<br><br>
First of all, I don't think that playground equipment for children with disabilities can be compared to handicapped parking spaces, for two reasons. The biggest reason is that with a parking space you aren't there when your using it. With a swing, it's easy to swing and watch for people who need it more, being prepared to get off if someone else deserves a turn. The second reason, is that I think that the playground is about playing together, sharing equipment, making friends. If we make one piece of equipment that's for X kind of child and one that's for Y we aren't promoting friendships or empathy between the groups. For that reason I would welcome children without disabilities (or those with disabilities that don't effect their swinging ability) who want to try out a piece of specialized equipment, as long as they were able to share it and allow a child who needed it to take priority.<br><br>
Secondly, I think that children and young adults tend to live up or down to our expectations. "Teens" get the message soooo frequently that they aren't welcome or that people expect the worst of them, and I'm convinced that that contributes to many of their issues. Here we have a situation where a group of teenagers have chosen to be doing something innocent and age appropriate, in a safe place where there were people of all ages to interact with -- they had chosen a piece of equipment that was designed to be particularly sturdy (having installed one of those on a playground recently I can tell you that they're rated for 150 lbs +), and they were using it for it's intended purpose. After you spoke to them, despite the fact that you "marched" over, and started with sarcasm, they did what you asked them to do (getting off the swing -- yes they jumped, that's how kids play with swings), showing that they were good kids at heart. If you did decide to speak to them, why not approach them gently and let them know politely of your concerns, in the same way you'd speak to an adult or a younger child. You could have said "Excuse me, I noticed that you're playing with the swing that's designed for children with disabilities. I don't know if you know this, but for some children that's the only piece of equipment they can use on the playground. It's very expensive, and I worry that if something were to happen to it it would take a long time to get it replaced. I hope you'll continue to treat it gently while you're here."
 

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I doubt they had any idea that that was what it was for. I have worked with kids with disabilities for 10 years and I've never seen a swing like that. (Good to know they exist, though!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
firstly - had they just gotten on it to "swing" and see what it was like or found it a much more interesting swing then a regular one - i would have let it be... but they were out to either hurt themselves, someone else, or ruin the equipement. I saw the same behavior when they were on the regular swings - as i didnt want my girls to see that behavior - cause i believe in safe use of play equipment...<br><br>
this playground is often "victim" to vandles... griffti, breaking items, moving benches to unsafe places, etc.<br><br>
For the most part - i respect teens. I think you get what you give with people - of ANY age... give respect and you are most likely to get it. Those boys were not acting respectful... and yes, i may have been scarastic, but i made a point... when that swing gets broken they will still have other swings to use - not so for the disabled child who would go to school next week and find out at recess why s/he can't swing now.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>KJoslyn78</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9057590"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">firstly - had they just gotten on it to "swing" and see what it was like or found it a much more interesting swing then a regular one - i would have let it be... but they were out to either hurt themselves, someone else, or ruin the equipement. I saw the same behavior when they were on the regular swings - as i didnt want my girls to see that behavior - cause i believe in safe use of play equipment...\</div>
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OK, then I agree with you, it just wasn't clear (at least to me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> ) that they were doing more than swinging and jumping off the swing.<br><br>
Sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Momily</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9057610"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">OK, then I agree with you, it just wasn't clear (at least to me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> ) that they were doing more than swinging and jumping off the swing.<br><br>
Sorry.</div>
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yeah - i was still mad i was at a loss of words!!<br><br>
here is the type of swing at our public school (ours is read) for Pikkumyy<br><br><a href="http://www.outdoorfunstore.com/images/sp382-407.jpg" target="_blank">http://www.outdoorfunstore.com/images/sp382-407.jpg</a>
 

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Thanks, Kris! I'll keep that in mind. Those would also be useful for children who don't have any physical disabilities but do have sensory ones including vestibular hyper/hypo sensitivities and have trouble balancing and knowing where their bodies are in space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
no problem <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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