When you have a child who's a handful, there are enough strangers around to give you the evil eye and wonder why you don't just stay home. It would be nice if family didn't have the same attitude. Yet often, parents of children with special needs find themselves unwelcome at events that will allegedly be "ruined" by the presence of a young family member of insufficient perfectness. That's the situation faced by Summer, who posted about the insensitivity of her husband's family on the Parenting Special Needs Forum. She wonders whether the family is right that some children should be neither seen nor heard, or whether she should stick to her guns and bring her little guy to family functions whether he's wanted or not.
Personally, I'd say that some families should be neither seen nor heard, and it's their loss if they don't want to get to know a special child. But of course, it's not that easy, especially if, as in this case, one spouse sides with his excluding parents. My advice in this case was to follow the child's lead, and either carve out something acceptable to do within the family activity, or blow off the clan altogether and do something super-fun between mother and son. I'm lucky to have never had to put that advice into practice; both sides of our family were loving and accepting of our kids, thank God. I'm curious to hear from those who have struggled with this kind of rejection -- did you fight or flee? Share your experience in the forum.