Thursday, March 28, 2013

Help This Woman: I Want to Kick Her Taco

We got this email recently and we're asking all of you to help this woman (who is so obviously awesome). Check it out and if you have any good ideas for her, please leave her a comment.


Dear Guru and Lydia,

I need some advice. My husband is friends with a very nice man whose wife has a permanent case of raging B. I've tried avoiding them. Not hanging out in situations where they are there. It's just not happening. I always end up around them. 

The raging B is absolutely horrid to my three year old son who has autism. She teases him. We were at a party on Friday. My son was trying to get a piece of fruit and a cracker. She told him to go away and took the food away from him. I was irate and made sure he got his snacks.  


I've tried playing nice. I'm almost to the point of field goal kicking her in the taco. I need some advice on how to deal with this beezy because I cannot avoid her and the hubs has verboten the taco kicking.

Thanks,

-Anonymous Mom

(c)Herding Turtles 2009 - 2013

92 comments:

  1. Sweet Baby Jeebus! I think it should be not only legal but mandatory to receive a field goal kick in the taco for being so ignorant and mean towards ANY child. Particularly a special needs kid. Perhaps you can verbally kick her in the taco? Is that allowed?

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  2. I recently decided that I am all done with my own father based on how he treats my son. When given the choice ("Dad, we love you but you're really mean to my son and I am parenting differently than you did... And so our deal is this: we know he can be a handful but we are focused on the long term goal of his self esteem and feelings of self worth in the world. You seem focused on shaping his behavior at the moment. We think there are long term consequences to the ways you speak to him and treat him and we don't expect him to fit into the 'seen and not heard' box you seem to badly want him in. Bottom line: you need to treat him kindly and with respect or else we can't hang out with you until he stops annoying you. You decide"), my dad stopped being an ass and started to enjoy my son more. He also stopped yelling. It opened up a cool conversation about parenting and intentions with my dad. He's actually nicer to me now as well.

    I guess I would say who give a flying f how an acquaintance reacts when you're barring her from treating your son poorly? I highly recommend the good old fashioned foot down.

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    1. I like this. It's not a fun as taco kicking, but it just might help in the long term. Or at least get her to leave him alone.

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    2. I agree ~ sometimes sacrificing a relationship for the better good of someone who needs an advocate is the right thing to do.

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  3. Kick her in the taco when your husband isn't looking. She's earned it and then some. You could also loudly call her out on her poor behavior towards your son whenever she does it so that everyone knows what she is doing.

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  4. You've tried playing nice, but have you tried straight up? This woman sounds like she actually doesn't get pulled up on her behavior, ever. So just tell her "that was mean. I want an apology for my son". If she does it again, pull her up again. Just because she is a bee with an itch doesn't mean your son should see that when you're an adult it doesn't matter how you treat people because they'll still be nice to you. You have a responsibility to your son to protect him until he can call it out himself. You will be teaching him how to deal with mean people and what he can expect to demand from how others treat him.

    Be that rocking mama bear and roar!!

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    1. This! Well said.

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    2. This! so much. Not only does it draw attention to her ghastly behavior but it shows your son how to stand up for what's right.

      And if this doesn't bring her back to planet Earth, well then a little taco kicking is definitely in order.

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    3. Agreed. Call her out on her behavior. It's unacceptable.

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    4. yesssss. This is how I would handle the situation.

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    5. Yep! Simple, firm, and not unkind.

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    6. As a mother of a child with autism this is what I would do, and than when my son wasn't around I would kick her in the taco! Some people don't realize how absolutely ignorant they are being and need to be told straight they're an asshat! Good luck mama!! :)

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    7. Absolutely! I have to admit I would aim for the jugular with asking "does it make you feel big to treat a small child like crap?"

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    8. "Play it straight up" - abso-freaking-lutely! This is a situation where you stand up and say "I am his Mother and I will not allow him to be treated this way." There are some situations where you just have to Mom (with a big 'ol capital M) and accept the consequences as they fall where they may. Your son deserves it and she needs to know. I have no doubt in my mind that she won't want to hear it and that consequences will be... less than pleasant. Adults who are made to feel like children (because they are acting like children) rarely accept any sort of rebuke well -- but its usually because they are ashamed of their action and come to relaize they earned a rebuke. We take correction with less grace the older we get, but that it no reason to continue watching as she mistreats and disrepects your son (or ANYONE for that matter)

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    9. I want to say "THIS!" but also "THIS- PLUS HUSBAND!" I understand the hubs in this sitch is good friends with the B's hub, but dad needs to get on board with the best move for HIS son. This isn't just a "mom to mom" talk, she and her husband both have a responsibility to do what's best for their child. So yes, a respectable but very direct and clear convo needs to happen with the B, but before that a convo needs to happen with the hubby so he makes it clear at the time of that confrontation that he has her back.

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    10. i have to agree. she should at least be made aware that what she is doing is not acceptable so that possibly she will choose to change.

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    11. This is exactly right because you are making it all about her behavior and not your response. People like her rely on the fact that most people try to be polite and avoid confrontation - you will be modeling excellent behavior for your son as well. When she comes back with the "I was just kidding" response, you can tell her that it is not funny - end of story.

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    12. I agree too!!
      Punching or kicking sounds righteous in this case but I don’t think it would be good example for your son. :)

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  5. The next time she teases your son punch that beeeatch straight in the mouth and if hubs can't support you kick HIM in the nads. NO ONE- I MEAN NO ONE messes with my kids. My son is a 99 out of 100 ADHD and I will go nuclear if some one teases him. I want to punch the witch in the face for you.

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  6. Personally, as a raging B myself, I prefer either of the following responses from my audience: 1) vague, wimpy politeness or 2) getting snippy back (as IF you can out B me! oh no you d'hant). The reason is that both keep me feeling like I am all powerful!! (meuhaa haa haa)

    What I DETEST is when my audience feels sorry for me as if something ain't right in my head, or they silently stare and watch my performance as if I was some circus freak! The worst is simply walking away with NO pathetic excuse in order to go talk to someone else - ohhh just makes me shrivel inside...

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    1. Hmmmm....... acting as if you don't really exist or matter at all, huh? Just getting on with life. But does it discourage your behavior?

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  7. Honestly i would call her out on it. It would make me so mad that I would say "is there a problem? Why can't he have the fruit?" as for when she teases him, if she is doing it to be mean (which she very well may) maybe tell her "you do realize that he has autism and what you said was really mean"

    I am curious how she acts around other kids? is she just like that with your son? or is it all kids? does she have any of her own? I do know some people that have no kids and haven't been around many and just don't know how to act around them. If hubby knows how you feel maybe he could spend more time with his friend without the whole family around.

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  8. Does she know he's autistic? Maybe she just thinks you have a bad kid. I recommend you just be honest with her. Tell her you don't like her teasing him and being a d-bag to him and she needs to lighten up. Sometimes people just don't realize they're offending someone.

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    1. There may be 'bad' behavior but I certainly would not label a child as a bad kid. Autistic or not, children deserve to be treated with respect. It is not about offending the mother, it's about the child.

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  9. Has your husband said anything to her husband? Have you said anything to her?

    Like, ask (somewhat loudly so other hear) "Why'd you take my three year old's food and tell him to go away?"

    Is she like this to other kids? Does her husband recognize this? I wouldn't want to be around them. At all. Your husband can go, or his friend could come over. But I wouldn't want to be around someone that is nasty to a child.

    Oh, and your husband said you couldn't kick her in the taco... I'll take care of that for you. Just let me know when and where.

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  10. I vote for the taco kicking. direct approach is the way to go with this B! catch it on video as well to share with everyone here.

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  11. Can you stage some sort of "accidental taco kicking"? I kid. (Not really.) Is taco punching also not allowed? Sigh. I do not have a child with autism, but I have three daughters and I would probably not take the nice route with this witch. Maybe she is wildly uneducated, and maybe she is just a B. My suggestion is to take her aside and explain that you have noticed these particular instances of her teasing your son or not letting him get a snack. Explain to her (if this is accurate) that your son does not respond well to that type of behavior and this is how you prefer she interact with him. If she can't or won't, then do not subject your son to her craziness. Tell your hubs that there is no way you or your son can be around her, and he can hang out with his dude friend anywhere except where you are. If you are forced to be around her (like at a party), avoid her. And really try to get your husband to rethink this whole taco kick ban.

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  12. Honesty is the best policy....say something, in front of both husbands, to the tune of..."i can't tell if this is a very dry sense of humor or what, but you are coming off as rude and it is a hard pill to swallow"....this should at least give her leeway to say how she feels. If that doesn't work, I vote taco punting.

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  13. I always find a well placed "well, if your goal of the day was to make a three year old cry, congratulations!" Does the trick. Or, a more direct route "excuse me, I've got this." If she persists in making fun of him, correct her and then excuse yourself and, after making clear to the host why you are leaving, go home. What a freaking piece of work she sounds like! Ug!

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  14. Just kick her in the taco when your hubby isn't really paying attention. What's the worst that can happen? You don't have to see her anymore? Let me tell you, if someone teased my child in a mean way (let alone my Autistic child), they would WISH the worse thing I did was kick them in the taco. WTF is wrong with people?

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  15. Hmmm... I'm pretty non confrontational, but I think I'd find a time I was alone with her and just tell her that she hurts your son when she acts that way. She may just be trying to connect with him through teasing because that's the only way she knows. My father is like that... if he doesn't pick on you, he doesn't care about you. It's weird, but we've just had to learn to say "Okay too much" and he's learned to listen.

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  16. I think you need to do the straight out approach and tell her to knock it off, her behavior isn't funny. It's mean and it's rude to a child who has done nothing to her. She may think she is doing nothing wrong, she may see it as treating him like any other child, or not giving him "special attention" because he's special need (yes people really think like that). You need to let her know how very much you do NOT appreciate the way she treats YOUR child. If she can't be nice, stop being around them period. Who is more important, your child or your friendship with this couple?

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  17. You just take that B by the arm, walk her out of earshot of hubs/others, and say "If you EVER so much as LOOK in my sons direction with anything OTHER than a huge smile I will field goal kick you in the taco. Is that understood?" and walk away. She'll get the point.

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    1. Oh yes - I like this advice the best! I am not having anyone treat ANY child like that...oh no....

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    2. OMG. This. A thousand times, this!!

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  18. Have your son do the taco kicking. And don't apologize for it. "I guess he's just still mad about you taking away his fruit and crackers" should suffice.

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  19. My 9 yo son is autistic and I don't give a rat's tail who the hell you are, if you are ignorant to ANY child I will call you up on it. I haven't read the replies, but this riles me up! It sounds like this woman has never been called out on her rude and ignorant behavior. I would do so and make her feel "this" small. Educate her on what autism is...and what human compassion is because it seems that she lacks education and feelings. Sometimes, being the bigger person makes you feel even better...although a taco kick sure does help!

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  20. Wow. Well, my advice, as I have a special needs child, is you have to stand up for your child. YOU ARE HIS ADVOCATE! YOUR HUSBAND, old baby daddy, IS HIS ADVOCATE! If you don't stand up for him now, it's gonna bug you forever. So you're going to need to tell your husband - and mine is like this too, I think they just don't want to stir the pot - but you have to tell him, the child and I are either not going to be around this woman, period, OR, we have to confront her and deal with it. But I can't allow her to treat him that way anymore.

    In beezy's defense, perhaps she just doesn't understand. There are people that just don't get it. They don't. It's hard when the child *looks* normal. Everyone wants SN kids to be in wheelchairs and drooling and whatever. Guess what, those pesky SN kids come in all shapes and sizes and mobilities.

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  21. I also agree with calling her out on her behavior. A great way to do this is saying things like "What do you mean by that?" when she obviously means to be a B. If she takes something from your son immediately say something to her, in front of your son. Something like "That is not yours to take. If you want some fruit, get your own plate." And then take whatever she took from your son and give it back to him. I'd also ask her to apologize for treating your child badly. Treat her like you would a misbehaving child. This means that you'd have to be close to your son during any function that she's at, as an immediate reaction is key.

    It's amazing that a grown woman would behave that way to a child.

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  22. As an Aspie and mom to an autistic 6yo, the simple answer is to educate. It's the ONLY answer that has the possibility of making any real difference.

    Whether or not we should also kick the lady in the taco is a fun distraction. However, if we truly want to see change, we have to be the change we seek.

    People are generally assholes when they are themselves uncomfortable. If you see this woman that frequently, you owe it to her and your son to take a moment to speak to her alone, minus your rage, and kindly educate her. You want to help her, not slam her. Most people that are given the opportunity to actually learn something positive about autism won't have the balls to tell you to shut up. MOST folks WANT to feel less uncomfortable and if you can help them to understand autism a little better, she just may think about it a little bit and next time your son is around, maybe she'll see him in a brighter light. Maybe, just maybe, she'll want to kick herself in the taco when she realizes what a fool she has been. ;0)

    Cheers,
    Rachel

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  23. Point blank, no anger, ask - Do you tease the blind? The deaf? People with prosthetics? Because my kid is no different, his issues just may not be as obvious. He still deserves to be treated with kindness and respect, which based on your behavior, is the kind of treatment you do not deserve, but I was raised better.
    Maybe that will shut the Bee up.

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  24. It doesn't matter if your son is autistic or not. There is absolutely no reason for an adult to treat a child like that. Say something to her and if she doesn't change, get these people out of your life!

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    1. Exactly. PRECISELY. What is WRONG with her? My kids are not specifically "special needs" but they are kids. And they should be treated with respect and kindness. Period.
      Anybody not doing this is gonna hear it from me. Firmly. Respectfully (at least at first), giving them the benefit of the doubt (assuming basically that they're ignorant chimps who need some schooling). After that? Pah. Gloves, they come off.

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  25. A few questions: 1
    1) Is this person of the older generation- ala children must not seen or heard, a little teasing never hurt anyone parenting style? Perhaps they don't understand today's active parenting needs. They don't understand the strong self esteem focus.

    2) Does this person know or is aware of the autism? Dare I say it, many people still feel autism is an "excuse".Before anyone gets angry, I will say that I am a teacher and special needs parent with a child on the spectrum. I have seen many professionals (yes, looking at some of my fellow teachers!) that believe autism is an excuse for poor behavior.

    3) Have you seen other problems or just this one? (fruit/crackers) Sometimes as a parent, I tend to get angry about something (school issues mostly- wait until middle school-it's a whole different horror). I have to think sometimes "Is this a hill I want to die on?" Sometimes, I have pulled things out of proportion. Did your little one get mad or was it you? Sometimes we think in Momma Bear mode, and we need to stop, think and reevaluate. Reading what you wrote, it seems almost innocent- has there been more incidents? I will say, as your little one gets older, there will be more challenges-much worse ones.

    If this relationship is that important to your spouse - perhaps its family, or a strong professional relationship- it is worth a sit down with this woman. Bring literature, books or just some advice.

    Remember some people think of special needs as obvious- such as wheelchairs and blindness, obvious facial tics. I can't tell you how many times I heard as a parent "Your son doesn't look or act special"-they thought he was just bad. I had to educate my granparents, my father in law, my brother in laws (all older generation) on what autism was or wasn't. You may have a long hard road with this- so I would settle in get comfortable and show others how to be an advocate. PS- My son is 18 now, and it does get better!

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  26. Quite frankly, why isn't this boys father putting his foot down if it's HIS friend's wife? The B's husband May be a nice guy and all but if my husband sat back and didn't do anything since it's HIS friend's wife I would kick HIM in the balls! Sometimes people loose friends over spouses that are ignorant, I know of one in particular. If MY son was being picked on, they would NOT be allowed in my house nor would I go someone that B would be at. Plain and simple. ... And everyone would know why and if other friends choose to be around that ignorant wife, so be it. Beyond me why boys dad lets this go on.

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    1. Amen to that! No child should be treated like this by ANY adult. Ever.

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  27. I have an acquaintance who behaved similarly in my home. My response was the following:

    I popped her on the back of the hand, held my pointed finger firmly in front of her face, and articulated a very assertive "NO!" in the manner one would reprimand a toddler for attempting to stick a lego in an electrical socket. The room was full of people when I did it. She is obviously not terribly fond of me now, but everyone else in the room laughed, the situation was diffused, and she no longer talks or interacts with my children.

    I'm not saying this is what you should do, but I achieved favorable results.

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  28. I agree with kicking her while hubby isn't paying attention which shouldn't be too hard because obviously the jackrabbit hasn't been. What's up that he allows anyone to treat his child that way and not defend them and not want to make waves? And what's wrong with the wife that she lets him dictate that response? My response would be, "You don't want to make waves, fine. Watch me drown the bitch!" No one messes with my babies - no one, no how.

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  29. As others have mentioned, I think there's some missing information here. Namely, how does she react around other children? Maybe she just doesn't know how to behave around children. Maybe she's afraid that kids touch all of the fruit and crackers with their crumbly kiddie hands before picking what they want, and that makes her naseous. Also, there's no indication that the mom has even tried to talk to this woman about her behaviour.

    Having said that, my advice would be to speak privately and let her know that her treatment of the son is not acceptable, that I expect my children to be treated with respect, then see what happens, and escalate accordingly. (For example, telling her that the rules in my house are that we are all polite to each other regardless of age, and if she can't handle that, she's not welcome in my house, or at a party/social gathering, tell her that she is *not* to discipline or otherwise engage my child unless his safety or the safety of others is at issue. If she has a problem with his behaviour, she is to come find me.)

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  30. Call her on her behavior, in front of others people. Maybe you will get lucky and she will begin to avoid you. There is no good excuse for her bad behavior.

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  31. There will always be a-holes out there who treat others like crap, and sometimes you have to be around them. She might have a reason for it, but it would be just that: a reason, no excuse. Your son might benefit from a lesson from you in how to tactfully deal with people who have no tact themselves.

    Let her have it, but in such a way that you are still being polite but firm. Ask her WHY she took his food away. Ask her WHY she treats him like crap. Do it in front of others. Put her on the spot but make sure YOU are tactful. Make sure you ask her how she would feel if someone treated HER like that (that one makes most people who are not sociopaths think; sometimes you can actually see the light bulb going off in their heads). By standing up for your son you are teaching him to one day stand up for himself, and by asking her how SHE would feel being treated that way you are also enforcing "The Golden Rule."

    If that doesn't work, kick her in the taco and tell her to eff off.

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  32. Oh my. Well, first, if we want our kids to stand up to bullies and mean people, we need to set an example and do it ourselves. A firm foot down with a 'that's not okay.' I don't like the idea of 'waiting until the next time' to have a conversation with this woman, but this will have to be a call that's made.

    I would probably start a conversation that gives her an 'out' - a chance to save some face and behave better in the future. (To save the relationship between husband and friend.) Because if this doesn't go well, I don't see how you can continue exposing your child to this woman. He can't protect himself, so you need to do it. Even if it means a tough conversation between husband and friend (because they don't get to turn a blind eye to this just because they're friends).

    So the conversation you could have:

    You: 'Hey Ms. Taco B. I notice that you seem to be feeling uncomfortable around my son. Would you say that's true?'

    Ms. Taco B: ... She's going to either deny this or say yes. Highly unlikely that she's going to say YES. But if she says yes, you get to have an open conversation about your son's autism.

    If she says 'No.' Denies, and says stuff like 'I don't know why you'd say that' then you move onto this:

    YOU: "I've noticed that your behavior towards my son has been unkind. I like your family and I don't want to see this friendship break up, but it's not okay with me that you treat my son like that. Our husbands are good friends, and out of love and respect for them, I don't want to say we can't see you anymore. But if you don't start treating my son kindly, then we're going to have to go our separate ways. I've been quiet about your behavior but I don't plan on being quiet any more. If you'd like to have a conversation with me about why you think you're feeling this way towards my son, I'm all ears. A lot of people don't understand autism and find it difficult to handle. Talking about it might make you more comfortable around him."

    It's worth noting, I wouldn't necessarily dive into accusations and examples of how she's been 'mean' in the past. Because she'll probably argue and deny and then point gets off track. She likely will NOT own this behavior so don't try. Instead, try to give her an out - a chance to save face with the angle 'autism made me uncomfortable.'

    If this doesn't go well, and then you did your best ... and you get a free pass to keep your son away from her. And husband and friend will need to chat.

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  33. Re: comments about taking her by the arm or otherwise physically engaging her ~ maybe they are said in jest, but if not, DO NOT DO THIS! If she's that much of a witch, it's not out of the realm of possibility that she could decide that you injured her, cause a scene, and maybe even call the cops & hit you with an assault charge. Totally not worth it. As the wife of a cop, I can tell you this happens more than you think, and it's a huge mess.

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  34. Are there others in the friend circle that have seen it, sympathize with you, and are appalled? Are there others you can lean on for support or to back you up? If she sees a whole team of moms (and dads) who don't find her behavior funny or cute, she should back down. Plus, it would take the burden off you sometimes. If you could enlist the help of a few others, you could all tag team who was going to confront her, so that someone different does every.single.time. Ideally, it seems that any confrontation needs to be accompanied with some education. "Here's how we handle this...." "You may comment on my son's accomplishments." "That's actually really normal behavior for a child this age." or whatever. But, you need some support. If you have to do this every time yourself, you will wear out, be furious, feel isolated (etc). If you have a team, you will know that even if you aren't right next to your son protecting him that someone has your back, and that he will be safe.

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  35. Aspie mom whose son is 16 now. At 5y/o he was shunned at a birthday party due to an ignorant mom who informed all of the others stupid moms that they should not allow their perfect children play with him because they would 'catch' aspergers and after all that is just a new name for retard. Well, I had to 'educate' a group of self-proclaimed super moms on the Autistic spectrum and afterwards informed them that my son was not allowed to play with their children due to the bullying and hate that they were encouraging. I approached the PTA and had a guest speaker address all of the super parents and then they all understood. They still distance themselves and walk the other way, but my son got to see how an adult reacts to ignorance and it has allowed him to really see how people are. Making friends is tough enough for an aspie, why do people naturally hate what they do not understand?

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  36. I'm assuming your husband is the father of your son. If so, why is he not helping you with the B? I get the husband is his friend, but that's no excuse to let the wife taunt any the year old, let alone an autistic one. Hubs should stand up against the B with you, and tell his friend he's more than willing to hang out with him, but he will not expose his awesome little boy to someone who makes fun of him and makes him cry for no reason other than she's a raging B.
    Of course, the next time she made fun of your son, as an outsider I'd loudly ask what kind of low self esteem a person must have to think it's okay to make fun of autistic kids. The more public the venue, the better. She's a bully on a power trip, and only willing to pick on those either unable or too polite to fight back. So being polite. If your husband refuses to stand up for his son, tell him you're refusing to spend another minute with B.
    I'm ready to join the track kicking field trip.

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  37. My situation (thankfully) doesn't involve my kids, nor do I have special needs kids, but I do have some experience with my husband's (formerly close) friend's wife being rude to ME, which she blames me for (as does her husband). Bottom line: what I have learned in the past year-and-a-half is this: raging b's rarely see the error of their ways. When you're not crazy yourself, you can't fight crazy. Or irrational. Nothing you say is going to make her apologize, put her in her place, or even make you feel better. You have to be the bigger person even when it kills you inside, when you know you're right and she's ridiculously wrong. You can certainly defend your child in the moment, saying something unemotional (like, "treating my son the way you just did way is unacceptable") so that HE knows you are protecting him, but don't bother engaging her beyond that. As the PP who admitted to being a raging B said, if you get into it with her at her level, it will only feed and justify her irrational behavior. Underlying her acting out is some serious jealousy, insecurity, anger, sadness, SOMETHING. It's no excuse, but it isn't curable. It isn't your responsibility to "help" her learn right and wrong, and trust me, even if you try, it won't work. Don't waste your energy or time on this planet stewing over the actions of one pathetic person. Focus only on the things and people that matter, like that precious little boy of yours, who is so lucky to have an awesomesauce mama bear for a mom. :)

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  38. It sounds almost like the flip-side to this letter: http://www.rantsfrommommyland.com/2011/09/help-this-woman-my-friends-kids.html

    I think we are missing a LOT of information here. Does the woman have kids of her own? Does she know the child is autistic? Was the party at her house, or somewhere else? Has anyone tried to talk to her about the issue, or are we going straight for taco-kicking?
    Was the mother helping her child get a snack, observing him getting the food, or was she in another room not supervising at the time? (see previous letter) Parents (including DAD!) of three year olds, special needs or no, need to supervise their children and teach them how to behave appropriately in social situations outside of the home.

    Just trying NOT to get Judgey-McJudgerston on either side.

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  39. I tried really hard to think of a scenario where her behavior would be ok and couldn't. My husband, toddler and I have voted that you should kick her in the taco. If you really can't do that I'd yell when she is in the act. Ie: excuse me? Is there a problem? If you, an adult, can't be kind to an autistic child, maybe my family can't play with your family anymore! Is there a reason you'd be cruel to a child?!" Yell it loud enough to stop the party. Then stare at her as she attempts to fill the silence. Don't let her laugh it off. Shun her.

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  40. Hubby said no to field kicking the taco... Did he say anything about punching the taco? What about avoiding the taco all together and kicking her balloon knot? Is that possible?

    In all seriousness... Next time she does something that you find offensive to her son just call her out on her behavior. Ask her, "Is there an issue?" It will force her to explain her behavior. I can understand not wanting to ruffle feathers, especially if the hubbies are friends... But an adult should never treat a child in such a manner. Good luck! Let us know what happens!

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  41. I agree, if she embarrasses your child in public then there is nothing wrong with calling her on it: "Why would you take his snack?" "Do you realize you just made fun of a CHILD?" special needs or not, all children deserve to feel safe and as parents we need to protect our children! I assume that if it has gone past "slap with a sandwich" to "taco kicking" then this is by far not the first incident! As a hater of the confrontation I still say you need to ask her intentions, call her on her behavior and then if there is no change, avoid at all costs!

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  42. The problem is not the friend. The problem is your husband and by extension you. Be on the same page about how you will allow your child to be treated. Decide with your husband what you both find acceptable. If he values the friendship of some guy with a cruel wife enough to ignore this, than your problem is not that wife, it is your husband. You cannot control how the world will treat your family but by allowing this friendship to continue you are tacitly saying "this is not unacceptable ENOUGH".

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  43. You know what? I am a nice person. I am usually the person who is trying to please everyone and make nice and be a "bridge" between people who don't always act very nice to each other, and so on. Generally speaking, I try to avoid conflict and like to see people happy.

    But this? No. Oh no. Nope.

    I would have zero problem with walking up to this person, looking her directly in the eyes, and telling her in a very low voice with very slow words that she is never to speak to my child that way again.

    I do not care what the consequences are. I do not.

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  44. Call her out on her behaviour, but do it very calmly, and like you're talking to a grade schooler (since that's how she's acting) example: "Really? You've chosen to mock a small child with autism and tell him to go away, rather than simply helping him with a snack? This is the road you- as a grown woman- has chosen?" This woman is an unfortunate acquaintance, NOT a friend, and does not deserve to be coddled or spoken to nicely if that's how she's chosen to be to others

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  45. It's time to be frank. Ask her how it feels to be prejudice. When she protests as to what you're talking about, remark "Well you clearly have issues with children with disabilities, since you treat my son so poorly."

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  46. Chiding, snarky, passive-agressive comments are for the weak of heart and mind. Be direct. This is your house. This is your child. This is your family. No one gets to disrespect any those and to allow them to do so is no one's fault but your own. A simple "Excuse me but do not speak to my child that way or interrupt an activity that he is engaged in. If you feel the need, you may address me, and only me, directly and I will decide what, if any, action is appropriate."

    You are raising a child with special needs - you are strong and capable. Own it and take control. Do that and I guarantee that her behavior not only stops, but that you begin to see less of her.

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  47. See, I would make sure she is aware that as the parents, only my spouse and I have the right to discipline our child. If she is unable to engage politely with my child, she can simply walk away. Treating ANY child in the manner above is not allowed in my book! In addition, the next time this happens, I would squat down to be eye-to-eye with my child and state, "Honey, you know how we work very hard to be polite to one another at all times? Well, some families don't practice that. Let's make sure we keep on being nice to one another regardless of how someone else acts. Maybe their mommy didn't teach them the importance of respect." I would make sure to do this in her presence, as well as the presence of others.

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  48. I would be direct with her. If I saw her "correcting" my son, I would walk up and explain that if she had a problem with what he was doing, she should come directly to me. I would condescendingly explain autism to her and tell her if she wants to be helpful, you can teach her the best approaches to help him. Then stare her down, smiling.

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  49. I didn't get to read through alot of the comments bc there are so many great ones, but here's what I would do.

    I'm not super comfortable with confrontations especially ones with people who obviously have no concern with how they treat other people, especially children.

    In the case of the snacks at the party, when she took it away, I probably would've said: "Are those snacks not for the children? They are, well then, no need to keep him away then"

    Find a way to call her out on her behavior without making you look like the bad guy. Keep it light and simple and deal with it when it happens. Pulling her aside and telling her she sucks will only make things awkward between you and her and it sounds like she's not going anywhere anytime soon.

    You're obviously a good mom and on the right track with trying to keep him surrounded with friendly, compassionate people. Keep up the good work, you'll find something that works for you.

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  50. A child depends on his parents for protection. From all threats. I'm not saying you have to be rude, or resort to violence, but your duty as a Mother is to make sure that child knows you have their back. Period. You have to stop this woman's behaviour when it happens, and he should see it. Even if it is simply by stating that he deserves to be treated better and walking away.

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  51. I have a hard time figuring out what makes this friend so important to your husband that he would rather have his friend than protect his own wife and son from a crazy woman. I guarantee there *is* a way to not be in this woman's presence. Her husband and your husband are buddies? Your husband can't find the man-up button to defend his own family? Fine. BE THE MOMMY. Tell your husband that he can't hang out with his little friends because they keep shitty company. If his friend wants to get sad and morose that he's not allowed to bring his wife along to torment your family whenever they hang out, it's your *husband's* job to explain why. "Sorry, my wife has to be my mom and intervene in my unhealthy friendships." He wants to hang out with this guy so bad? Fine. They can hang out anywhere they want, as long as it's not in your house and you don't have to be there with them. There are parties given by mutual friends? Don't go. Say why. If enough hostesses are sick of her, they won't be invited anywhere anymore. Maybe this super-fabulous friend with terrible taste in wives can explain to his wife that she's been shitty enough to someone else's kid - someone who's IMPORTANT TO HER HUSBAND, apparently - that they have to meet up at Denny's now. If that's a problem FOR HER, maybe she can call and apologize. Or maybe it's time for this awfully-one-sided-sounding friendship to take a long hike.

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  52. It doesn't seem to matter if your child is on the spectrum or not in this case. She needs to be an adult and mind her own business, esp. because the child's parents (YOU) are standing right there. If she wants to parent a child tell her to give birth to her own. I don't know how you still bite your tongue, or why your husband hasn't thrown their friendship out the window.

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  53. I'll try to make this story short. I was in a museum with my kid and my cousin. My daughter was about 9 and got a little handsy. She was clearly out of line and should not have been touching things. Her bad. My bad for not noticing. A security guard came up and grabbed her wrist and barked at her to not touch the art. I don't care if she peed on the art... he had not right to handle her or even speak to her directly with my standing 6 inches from her.

    I firmly informed him that we live in a very dangerous world where people hurt kids. So me seeing his hand on my kid nearly caused me to pull out my martial arts training and open a can of kick-a$$. I understood that he was doing his job, but in my case, and in all future cases, it would be best to address the parent whenever possible. Had he placed a hand on my shoulder and informed my that my kid was touching the art, I would have gladly and strongly corrected her. But since he took it upon himself to parent her, he took away my chance to teach the lesson and turned my wrath upon him.

    I also gave him an evil stare for the rest of our visit. When all else fails... lock eyes with the perpetrator until they become uncomfortable... then stare for a while longer.

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  54. I'm thinking first you've got to get your husband on board. He's going to have to be willing to cut ties with his friend if friend's evil wife can't straighten up. Then, 1) give it your best talking her down. Perhaps including an explanation of autism with emphasize on the child is not just being "bad", 2) if that doesn't work, your hubby needs to talk to hers and drive the point home, and 3) if neither of those works, it sucks, but you're going to have to rip the bandaid off the relationship and cut them out of your life to the extent possible. Your sweet son comes first, and shelter him now while you still can.

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  55. It's not o.k. to treat any child like that, autistic or "normal" or blue.

    I would make it clear to husband, that bitch is not welcome in our home. And I will not attend events where she is present. If you force me to, I will assert myself and protect our child, which you are failing to do, from her cruelty.

    I am aggressive. It would be a cold day in hell before I'd allow that woman to treat my child like that. And it would be a cold day in hell before I'd allow my husband to choose his bud over protecting his son and backing me up. Probably why I'm divorced, but whatever.

    Grab your boobs, set your jaw, and if this woman dares tease or treat your son cruely again? Give her a verbal lashing that will make her wish you had simply kicked her in the taco.

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  56. If you can control your voice (I'm afraid mine would crack and I'd start shaking with rage, but anyway...) it might be nice to simply call her out publicly in a calm, clear, but not very quiet voice -- as in, "You are an adult and you are tormenting a child -- please stop." Or "If you cannot treat my child with the respect and dignity he deserves, please do not interact with him at all." That leaves no question about the fact that her behavior is intolerable and inappropriate -- sticking to the high but factually accurate ground is the best way to go -- that way she can't tell herself someone else is to blame for her actions (well, okay -- she can still try that, but she has no ground to stand on).

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  57. If I didn't explode first heres what I'd do.....I would correct her bad behavior in public and make sure everyone there understood what happened. Then I'd show that bitch the door. NEVER should ANY child be treated like that under any circumstance, EVER!

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  58. I would go with a very simple, "That was rude. Please apologize to my child."

    I feel like that covers any situation, whether or not she has children, whether or not she is rude to other people/kids, whether or not the child is special needs, etc.

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  59. Also, everyone is being very hard on the writer's husband. All she said is he has forbidden her from kicking someone. That doesn't imply that he has been completely passive and unsupportive. He just doesn't want his wife to get charged with assault :) 

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  60. When my daughter came into my life my husband and I made promises to ourselves, each other and our daughter that we would eliminate the drama in our lives and that meant dropping a LOT of very close, very old friends. It was and continues to be hard but we felt like we owed that to our child. We know we can't shelter her from every bad person but we also don't need to be forcing situations with people we don't find to be the best examples of kind, respectful, open mindedness. If you have tried to talk to her or gently suggest she deal with your son differently and have gotten no results it might just be time to cut the stings cause she won't change and you and your son will continue to be forced into situations with her. Tell your husband that it is fine for him to spend time with his friend but you do not want to be around them nor do you want your son around them either. Honestly I really think your husband should be dealing with this, it's his friend's wife and you don't really even seem to want to be around her at all. Not sure it's friendship worth saving at this point, if she ever really cared she would not have been treating your son so badly in the first. More like a friend-shit than a friendship ;) Good luck with whatever happens. Ultimately, no friendship is worth letting your son be treated poorly, cut them loose.

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  61. I'm not sure how I'd handle this, but I think my first approach to this woman would be somewhat private (i.e., not in front of my child). I wouldn't wait for something to happen; I'd approach her straight off. It wouldn't be totally private though: a few witnesses to a polite conversation can stop the crazy "she said"/"she said" versions.
    I'd then escalate it to public comments (i.e., in front of my child) about acceptable behaviours and inform her that she is not to discipline/tease my child but to come to me instead.
    Then I'd be avoiding her: if hubbie wants to see his friend, that's his call but I'd make it clear to him that there is no way I'm deliberately putting my child's mental health (neuro-typical or not) in potential harm's way. Our role as parents is to educate our children on acceptable behaviour, but not at the expense of their self respect.
    First and foremost in this (or any) situation, I am my child's advocate. I care more about protecting my children and setting a good example than friendships with other adults. If your (reasoned and appropriate) reactions to this woman's behaviours cause the friendship between your husband and his friend to lapse, so be it.
    Good luck!

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  62. I would -not- subject my kids to anyone who was deliberately mean to them.

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  63. Whatever she does to your son, do RIGHT back to her. She takes your son's food away, you take her food away. She says something mean to your son, you say it right back to her. If she asks you what you're doing, tell her you are just living the Golden Rule. It may open an argument, but it may also just make her realize how she makes your son (and you) feel.

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  64. Is it such a big deal? The way a child is treated by his/her parents matters a lot, but other adults may act differently with probably no consequence at all. It also teaches a lot to the child to learn that there are various behaviours around him/her.

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  65. I would give a verbal taco kicking to this woman. I have a brother-in-law whos autistic and if anyone treated him this way they would find themselves hog tied naked in a wheat field with corn cob in their mouth. You don't treat any child that way. Ever. There's good excuse.

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  66. "Going off" on someone seldom makes you look mature or brings good results. Privately address her, politely, saying, "Barb, I've noticed you have a little difficulty knowing how to interact with Jason. Are you aware he's autistic?" If she is, or isn't, explain to her that autistic children have a difficult time knowing how to respond to social cues, and that they do not understand teasing. Give her a few tips on chatting with him (if this is appropriate) and let her know what you allow or do not allow him to do in social situations (like get his own food, or go to the bathroom alone). Chances are, she'll put some thought into what you said, even if it's not til she gets home by herself.

    Just yesterday I read a really good article about how actress Holly Robinson Peete looks out and speaks up for her autistic son. http://www.examiner.com/article/peete-resumes-autism-talks?CID=examiner_alerts_related_articles&no_cache=1365036547
    There is also a link to Holly's articles on Huffington Post. I bet she has some great ideas to share on situations like this.

    Also, I know it has to be hard to have a special needs child, just as it is difficult to have a parent with Alzheimer's, a screaming baby (in a movie) or any other difficult situation. Even though we want these precious people to be able to go anywhere and do anything, sometimes we do have to recognize that they might be ruining the occasion for everyone else and gracefully intervene or even withdraw. I'm not saying this child WAS doing that, but we have to remember everyone else there has some rights too, and the entire purpose of the gathering might be destroyed by too many distractions. My father is a minister and he had to stop bringing his mother to church when she began to disrupt the sermon on a regular basis to share memories of my dad when he was a child. He did continue to bring her to a less formal prayer/fellowship meeting where there was more personal interaction expected and everyone went the extra mile to accommodate her and loved her.

    Another situation: there was a mother who was determined to never force her toddler to do anything, but wanted to reason with her and let her choose the right thing. However, when a child wanders up onto a stage during a speech or handles foods she isn't going to eat at a potluck, maybe it's time for mom to become more assertive in her approach..

    I know it's best to approach the parent in such situations, if possible, when you see a child misbehaving (and I'm not saying this child was. I don't know). Sometimes, if the parent is not taking responsibility, another mature adult has to gently intervene and accompany the child to find his parents. It takes a village.

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  67. I would handle this matter verbally just talking to this woman and explaining her and asking her what is the situation and so on. However, I do not know what does the "taco kicking" mean, is it some kind of metaphor or what is it? English is my second language I know some slangs but "taco" is unknown to me apart from it being a Mexican food type, so I wonder what it means in this context.

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