A Woman Accused His Son of Abandoning Her Disabled Child Because He Doesn’t Want to Play with Him

A father of two boys recently sought advice for a challenging situation involving his younger son and a new neighbor who had an autistic son. Here’s what he had to say.

The Dad and His Son Spend Saturdays Together

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Every Saturday morning, the dad and his six-year-old son, Sam, go on a “dude walk.” “We look for spiders, dig in the mud, and stop at our neighborhood park to play. It’s sort of a standard meetup for a bunch of parents in the area,” he explained.

A New Family Arrived

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When a new family moved into the neighborhood, the mother mentioned that she had two boys who were 13 and 7 years old. The dad, being neighborly, told her about the Saturday morning park group in case she wanted to meet some other parents.

The New Boy Played with Them

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When she showed up with one of her sons, Aiden, “it was clear he had special needs,” the dad said. The mom was very friendly and sat with the parents while the kids played.

The Boy Was Very Excitable

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Her son was an enthusiastic player. “Loud noises, banging on things, getting up in the other kids’ faces. The mom was good about correcting him, and he wasn’t aggressive, just excited,” the dad explained.

His Son Wanted to Leave

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The other kids were welcoming and included him in their play. However, one Saturday morning, “Aiden was having an especially tough day,” the dad noted. When he called his son over for a snack, Sam said, “I don’t want to play anymore. Can we go home?” So they left the park.

The New Mom Comes to Talk

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The next day Aiden’s mom knocked on the dad’s door. “She told me that I should have talked to him about differently-abled people instead of just abandoning her son,” he said. The dad agreed that Sam should have been more patient, so he talked to his son about the situation.

The Boys Play the Next Week

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The following weekend, the boys met at the park again and played together for a while. However, as soon as Aiden started yelling and being loud, Sam retreated to the highest platform to escape.

His Son Didn’t Want to Play

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Aiden then asked Sam to be his partner for a game, but he said no, thank you. “I felt that was fine,” the dad said, but his wife felt bad about the situation.

They Play at Their House

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She invited the mom and her son over to play at their house. Things went well overall, but Aiden did have one ‘melt down’ during the visit, the dad said. However, after they left, Sam asked his dad not to invite the boy again.

The Son’s Toy Broke

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The following weekend at the park, Aiden was at the park again with his brothers, and the youngest brother destroyed Sam’s favorite toy. He snapped the arms and legs off. Sam was obviously very upset and called him a “very mean boy.” The father and son just left.

So They Changed Their Schedule

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After this incident, the dad decided to go to the park on Saturday afternoons instead of the mornings. This way, they wouldn’t run into Aiden and his mom. And as it happened, after a few weeks, other parents started joining him.

Dad Thinks He Knows Why

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“We didn’t discuss why, but I suspect that they didn’t all shift their weekend routine around solely because they missed my sparkling personality,” the dad said.

The New Mom Writes a Letter

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The new mom eventually got wind of it and wrote the dad a long heartfelt letter. In the letter, she said that he had not done enough to discourage Sam from excluding her son and that the dad’s “pull in the neighborhood was influencing others to avoid her son now too.”

Dad Defended His Son

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The dad felt that Sam had tried his best; however, “he verbalized his need for boundaries” from Aiden. His older son also didn’t particularly warm to the new boys on the block. “As long as both of my kids treat them with respect, I’m satisfied,” the dad said.

He’ll Still Be a Good Neighbor

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He feels that although he can’t control what the other parents choose to do, he will ensure they remain friendly and good neighbors if they need a hand. But he won’t force his son to play with Aiden. 

The Dad Asked People for Advice

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One user wrote, “Your job is to make sure your kid treats Aiden with respect, not to force him to be Aiden’s friend. You did just fine.”

Another said, “I’m a SPED (Special Education- learning disabilities) teacher, and this parent is not doing their kid any favors. Wanting to be included during group activities (like whole class parties) is one thing, but you can’t expect other kids to be okay with broken toys and ignored boundaries.”

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Source: Reddit