Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Stranger Danger and My Special Needs Child

     First off, if anyone happened to be sent here in search of answers by the genie that lives in the interwebs, I'm afraid I have none.  I do have loads of concerns and questions, though, if you would like to have a worry buddy!  Now, back to me (as it always should be, right?)
     Today was Field Day at my children's school.  Children were everywhere, running amok on a tidal wave of sugar and sunshine and sweat.  Tiny little natural disasters, each and every one of them.  Excluding mine, of course, because they are sweet and perfect angel babies who can never do wrong.  (I wish I had a sarcasm font.)
     Anyhoozle, I was doing my best to keep my heathens precious children from injuring themselves or others (mainly the others.)  But, in the midst of all the sunscreen-scented calamity, I turned my back for one moment.  When I turned back around, I realized Skeletor (my five year old) was not standing next to me.  He was about 20 feet away, talking to a man sitting by himself on the playground equipment.  The man was wearing a shirt with a skeleton on it, and had several tattoos scary enough to garner Skeletor's attention.
     This was not an immediate panic situation, as we were sitting on the school playground surrounded by about a bajillion teachers.  I called Skeletor back over to me, and proceeded to warn him not to talk to strangers.  Problem solved, yes?  Um, no.  Not two minutes later, Skeletor was back talking to the creeper man again.  Again, I called him back over to me, and told him not to talk to strangers.  His response infuriated/horrified me.
     "But, Mommy, that man says he's not a stranger.  He's my best friend!"
     Now, I know that his man was there at the Field Day for a reason, and was *probably* not a kidnapping child molester.  But, really, guy?  Why in God's name would you tell a child whose mother is CLEARLY trying to teach him about the danger of talking to strangers that you're not a stranger?  Yes!  Yes, you are!  Does my child know you by name?  Are you friendsies?  Do you two share inside jokes and have a special handshake?  No, pretty sure you don't!  Blergh!
     This whole thing would have been irritating and scary if it had happened to one of my typical kids.  But, Skeletor is not typical.  He doesn't yet possess the language skills necessary to fully explain the dangers of talking to people that you don't know.  I'm torn.  I don't want to discourage him from interacting with other people, but at the same time, certain people are not to be interacted with!  I do the best that I can to tell him clearly what constitutes a stranger, but, let's be real.  In Skeletor's world, nearly every single person is a stranger.  Even children he sits in a classroom with all day long. 
     So, I guess I'm going to be doing some research to see what I can find to help me with this.  Maybe they make stranger danger videos for kids with special needs.  Maybe they don't, but I totally need to.  Maybe this is all gibberish, and I'm just a little touched in the head from all the sun I got today.  Who knows?  Not me!

Some needed levity for a serious topic...also brevity.  Ha, word jokes!

     P.S.  I would like to make myself clear.  Dude at the playground, if you had spoken to my child one more time today, you were probably going to get cut.  I never can tell what I'm going to do.  But, I've always got my pig-sticker close by.  You've been warned.


  1. Sarcasm font - I am SO getting to work on that right now.

  2. You will be an instant millionaire the second you're finished with it!