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Today at the video store, a little boy (about 6 years old) came up to my dd (22 months) and tried to grab her and kiss her. He seemed very aggressive, and my dh and I tried to intervene by separating the two. However, he started grabbing her and pulling on her and almost knocked her over, had I not gotten a hold of her. Then, in his frustration, he started hitting me. Dh was holding the 5 month old, so he couldn't do much either. We tried to get out of the way, and the boy came back at us, then started running around the store. The people working the store were all very young (teenagers) and didn't seem to know what to do, as he was out of control, running around. He was swinging at anyone who tried to stop him. I was holding my dd trying to comfort her, while the boy was running about, and I was trying to find out who the mother was. Finally, a lady at the counter calmly claimed him. She was checking out, and this all occured on the other side of the store. She got into my face and started yelling at me, telling me that he was autistic.<br><br>
Now my reaction....I didn't say anything to her. The thought crossed my mind to tell her that his being autistic does not give him a free reign to behave this way, and that it is her responsibility to keep him under control. However, in my former life I was a teacher, and therefore much more able to keep myself under control under such circumstances. The situation flashed through my mind, and I decided that I am not the social police, and didn't feel obligated to tell her off, as my dd was in more need of my attention at the time. Meanwhile, dh didn't hear the whole autistic speech, and was on the cell calling 911. I encouraged him to drop it and lets just leave. Meanwhile, the mom grabbed the child up, tossed (literally tossed) him into the car, and attempted to go back into the store. The child started honking the horn and got out of the car, almost getting run over in the parking lot. Fortunately dh decided to drop the request for the police and we went on our way.<br><br>
Dh still feels he should have had the police come.<br><br>
I feel that the mother should have taken better care to prevent this situation, but on the other hand I feel that I haven't walked in her shoes, so I don't really know what her time with him is like. I am glad that my dh came down and didn't do anything farther, but I understand his feelings. The situation could have been much worse, and the mother didn't seem at all concerned for her child's safety or that of other people.<br><br>
How would you have handled the situation?
 

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I used to be a caregiver for autistic children, where i worked was a place parent could leave their children for respite. There were some really dedicated parents who had educated themselves about autism and worked really hard to be the best parents to their children, their were other parents who felt their children were a great burden and couldnt wait to drop their children off with us their children were always the worst behaved.<br>
This mother may not have much support for her child and many autistic children can sense an overwhelmed parent and seem to behave worse, calling the police could have been the worst thing for the situation. While it would have been hard for you in this situation imagine the stress this mother faces on a daily basis, so in this situation I would have grinned and beared or because of my background I have often asked a mother if there was anything i could do for her (this has usually just meant carrying her groceries while she settles her child).<br>
OTOH, the mom probably could of been supervising her son better and her reaction would indicate how stressed she is.
 

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I think I would have continued with the request for the police. If this woman really is trying hard to be a good parent to this child (and from this, it doesn't sound like this was the case at least at that moment), she may be overwhelmed and need help, and maybe this could be sort of a wake up call to seek out the help she needs. Maybe getting a family member who can spend some time with him while she runs errands, or getting more help from his school or doctor, or whatever. I mean yeah, her life is probably difficult, but like you said, that doesn't give her the right to let this happen to other people. Going to the video store is not a vital life function.
 

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I don't think calling the police was in order. Yes, if you have an autistic child, you obviously shouldn't let them run around a store unattended. But people have all kinds of problems and we can't solve them all <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">.
 

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nak<br><br>
calling the police on a 6 year old? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch"><br><br>
i would have just picked dd up, told him firmly STOP and moved as far away as i could (even if it meant out of the store) to calm/comfort dd and then go look for the parent/caregiver and tell them what hapened and to plz watch him more closely
 

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I guess if I lived in Florida or something, I'd be unlikely to call the police. I'm not saying they should have had the kid arrested or something. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!"> I like to think that the police in my area would have talked to the mother, asked her about what kind of support she has for his condition, and told her that she can't allow him to physically assault strangers in public places. And at least then they'd know about it; I mean, what if he does this three times a week? Something's gotta give there.
 

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My policy if a child can't behave in a public place (for instance screaming for a toy in Wal-Mart after you told him we aren't buying toys today or something of that nature) then DON'T TAKE THEM. Autistic or not. It's no excuse for what happened. She should have been watching him, heck she should have been holding his hand! I would never let my dd's run around a store freely without me until they were a teenager....but that's just me. But kudos on doing what was right for you guys at the time. I probably would've stepped on my soapbox if it'd been me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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sorry paquerette. i wasnt even referring to ur post <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> i just meant in general it seemed like an odd thing to consider<br>
i guess it seems odd because around here there better be some criminal activity going on to call the police<br>
but then again maybe it's because we do have other (government funded) alternatives to call?..for example, family respite services, children's aid (in no way do i think that is an option in this case), the family first program etc<br><br>
dont really have anything else to say on the topic...that part just caught my eye
 

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Ok I wanted to add one more thing. I just wanted to make sure no one thought that just becuase a kids autistic you shouldn't take them in public. That wasn't what I was saying. Just in general if a kid can't behave in a public place......yada yada yada....
 

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I am glad that your Dd is okay. It's really an awful feeling when we fear for our kids' safety. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> I can imagine you were panicked.<br><br>
I don't think calling the police would have helped at all <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> I think sometimes things like this just suddenly happen, and we can't predict when and we can't always know why. The mother is likely very sensitive about her child's behavior, and therefore probably very defensive as well. We can't know what she deals with on a daily basis. We don't know if normally going to the store is something he usually handles very well and looks forward to, but then this one time he was overwhelmed and reacted the way that he did.<br><br>
I am sort of putting myself in the other mother's shoes. They likely aren't easy ones to be in.
 

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(no I'm not down on all police, I really respect the good ones and not trying to perpetuate the bad vibes towards cops)<br><br>
police aren't social workers. I cannot think of what they could possibly do except call cps on this woman. is it really necessary to call cps on someone for letting their kid run around a video store unsupervised? I'd hope not.<br><br>
911 is for emergencies. this was not an emergency by any definition of the word. I realize it could have *felt* that way because you love your child and feel she was attacked. However this is a child with special needs who doesn't understand the difference between right and wrong well enough to know what he was doing is bad- in fact, what he was actually trying to do is be affectionate towards your baby, not hurt her.<br><br>
yes the mother definitely should be much more aware of her child and considering she "tossed" him in a car she probably needs wayyyyy more help. unfortunately we're living in a society with very minimal resources for these types of situations and calling the police will either a) do absolutely nothing or b) get an already troubled kid in even more trouble.<br><br>
unpleasant things sometimes happen. I would have just let it go.
 

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I dunno. I think maybe that it was a bit of an over reaction on your part. (Sorry I am sure that isn't what you wanted to hear.) I mean yes, as a parent of a special needs child you have to make sure that your child adheres to the rules of society to the best of their ability. To me it sounds like the mom was very frustrated at that time and needed a bit of understanding not another lesson in parenting. Maybe I am over sympathetic. Maybe she just was just trying to rent a video for herself so that she could escape from her life for an hour. Maybe she was just trying to rent a video that her son hasn't watched six billion times and she was going to go crazy if she had to hear it one more time. Maybe she was someone who felt like her child was a burden. Maybe she doesn't have any support and she is trying to live as normally as possible. Maybe she just knows she will get stares and people whispering about how she needs to take better care of her child and is hardened by that. Maybe I just see myself in her. Sorry I didn't mean to preach, it was just a really rough week for me and this struck a cord.<br><br>
I do think that you did what you thought was best. I think that you absolutly did the right thing by protecting and caring for your daughter first and formost. I just didn't understand what the police would be expected to do.
 

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Why was she yelling at you?<br><br>
I don't think there's much excuse for letting any child run rampant and hurt others. But I don't think I would have called the police.
 

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I've worked with autistic children, and have a non-autistic 6yo, and there is no way in the world that I would EVER let my 6yo be on the other side of a video store. (He's a bright, competent little lad.) IMO, it's not the child in that family that has the problems.
 

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I have a cousin who is autistic. He can't<br>
"behave" in public, ever. I cared for him for a while when he was ten and it was, bar none, the most difficult thing I've ever done. That could have been him in that video store. People did call the cops on us. I tried very hard to be right next to him all the time, but I had no one to help me with him and I had to do things like go to the grocery store, gas station, do laundry at the laundromat, etc. And yes, heaven forbid, I did take him on unnecessary trips, like to the beach or the park.<br><br>
You can't make any judgements about that woman based on what you saw in that short period of time. Should she have kept him with her? Absolutely she should have. Unless you've cared for a child with severe autism full time with no relief, you can't really understand what it means to do so. My cousin flipped out at the beach one day. I have no idea what set him off, but he lost it. He was very large and powerful for his age. He started throwing sand and yelling and really scaring the crap out of all of the tourists. You would not believe the things people were saying to me about him to my face, about how much money they paid for their vacation and now they had to deal with <i>this</i>. I was forceful with him because I had to be. Autistic children can be very, very strong. Someone called the police, so then I had to stand there and deal with some idiot cop while my cousin was losing his mind. That made the situation about a zillion times worse.<br><br>
I understand that you and your child were scared. In that situation, I would have picked up my child and left. Not fair, I know, but the kindest thing I could do in that type of situation.
 

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I can't believe you would even consider calling 911 on a <i>6 year old child</i>. And what would you have the police do? Arrest the kid? Throw the mom in jail?<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">:
 

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Wow, why would you call the police? While the mom might have been lacking in supervision, there wasn't any reason for police involvement.<br><br>
I just don't know what to say.
 

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I agree... dont see the point in calling the police even if the child wasnt autistic.....The mom could have been closer to him yes, but sometimes we all have bad days (kids and parents) and it sounds like she was overly stressed and needed some compassion and understanding.<br><br>
ETA : I wanted to say that I would have probably done the same thing and just smiled and not said anything.... or just smiled and said something like "oh i understand, we all have our bad days" or something like that. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Not too sure what I would have done in your shoes. I am quite the lioness when my children are involved. I would have definitly said something to her especially if she was yelling at me for something her child did.
 
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