I know several kids and young adults with disabilities who have a lot of friends, play a sport, and have hobbies. They’re usually busy and enjoy going out in the community. It doesn’t matter what they are doing, they want to be a part of a group.
My son is not like that. We have tried so many clubs and hobbies through the years. My son did not enjoy any of them. I could be one of those parents that force their child to take part but that isn’t my style.
When your child does not have a group of friends or hobbies, parents should find out what they do enjoy. Then make the most of it. I wish my son enjoyed something that did not involve a television, computer, or gaming system. This may happen one day, but for now, his enjoyment is movies and restaurants.
We are always looking for new restaurants to try or revisit places we haven’t eaten at in a long time. This was the case a few days ago. We went to a local restaurant that has a few locations and has been around for over fifty years. We had only been there once before and when I remembered it, my son was happy to go. The only friend he does have will occasionally join us but not this time.
So, what made this restaurant so special this time? The waiter. It made all the difference in the world. My son is a young adult and is responsible for ordering his own food. He tries very hard to sound polite but can come across as rude and loud. He doesn’t mean to be this way. We’ve talked about it so many times. It’s just the way he talks when he is placing his order.
Food is very important to him and he gets excited. The waiter was amazing. He could tell right away my son was anxious about ordering. He was patient and answered all his questions and was very kind. This doesn’t always happen. We’ve received many stares and strange looks because of how my son can come across. It can be very awkward. But not this time. It made eating out so much nicer for the two of us.
It may not seem like a big deal to most people, but it was a huge deal to us. The waiter even joked around with us and my son was so happy. He was young and maybe even close to my son’s age – hard to know for sure. I realize that their job is not to understand my son and his disabilities. But when a stranger is extra nice and goes out of their way to connect with us, it is a wonderful feeling.
I told his manager how wonderful he was and gave him a nice tip. I hope it made his day; it sure made mine! Enjoy other parent articles from Family to Family Network.
Over the years, parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs have told us many stories about dealing with bias, unfairness, racism, ableism or discrimination against their child.
Categories: Family Support
As the parent of a child with mild Cerebral Palsy, I learned that the word “hurry” doesn’t apply to my son, Jason. With motor planning difficulties, hurrying just wasn’t something he could do. I learned to adapt and accommodate our schedule to allow extra time. However, when I found myself in the situation of caring for elderly parents & parents-in-law, and our son, I struggled to find the patience I once had with Jason.
Categories: Family Support