Parents Livid After Dinner Guest Doesn’t Participate In Their Son’s Autistic Ritual, Causing Chaos And Broken Plates

Let’s face it – sometimes kids can be strange. We can all probably agree that sometimes they have odd (but cute!) quirks, and at other times they say the darnedest things. And you can’t always know how to react to them besides shrugging and going with it.

But what if you just can’t agree with something a child needs, especially if they want you to do something? Reddit user u/Happy-Bet-610 tells their story of being stuck in a situation where a friend’s son who has autism wanted them to do something they just couldn’t.

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More info: Reddit

Putting up with kids’ quirks maybe annoying, tiring or plain weird at some times, especially if you’re a guest

Image credits: cottonbro studio (not the actual image)

The poster went to a nice dinner at a friend’s home, until they were faced with a strange ritual of the friend’s son swapping forks with everyone else after each bite

Image source: u/Happy-Bet-610

After they refused to participate in the ritual, the 6 Y.O. son caused a huge tantrum, scattering and breaking plates and utensils alike

The Original Poster’s (OP) story is a short but eventful one. They begin by saying that their friend has an son with autism whom they’ve actually met before. The boy is six years old, and OP describes him as a “lovely lad.” The poster also says that they haven’t spent too much time around him, only short visits to their home or the park.

They were invited to come to dinner, and OP agreed. When they arrived, they found out that the son must perform a routine where he takes a bite of his food, then exchanges his fork with someone else. Their entire family participates in this ritual. The son takes a bite, swaps forks with a family member, takes a bite, swaps again, and so on all around the table. 

According to the parents, it’s the only way that he’ll eat his food. The conflict of the story began when OP attracted the ire of the parents by refusing to participate. They mention that this sparked a huge tantrum by the son. Not many details are provided, but apparently this resulted in plates and other utensils being thrown around the room. The poster was blamed for the son’s behavior and for the plates, some of which had broken.

OP considers the ritual disgusting and says that they should have been warned about this behavior beforehand, as they would have simply declined.

Image credits: CHUTTERSNAP (not the actual image)

You’ve probably encountered children or people with particular quirks. They must have their stuff arranged in one particular way, or else it bugs them. They may do something seemingly random that makes them less anxious and more comfortable.

In children with autism, these highly specific actions are called rituals, routines, or obsessions, although obsessions also involve other things. 

Some examples of these rituals may be an excessive need for cleanliness, repeating specific actions over and over again, and an unreasonable demand for others to submit to a certain way of doing things, among others

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Parents should learn to choose their battles, as when they have kids with autism, they must perform these rituals. For example, if a child needs to repeat some action many times before they are comfortable, it may make things difficult if the family is in a rush. If you determine that the child’s behavior is interfering with social relationships, school work, or health, it may be a good cause to visit a therapist, especially one specializing in consulting people with autism.

For parents with children with autism who would like to change or influence their ritualistic behavior, there are several things to think about, as per FamiliesForLife

You should ensure that your child has the necessary communication skills to understand that you want them to change their behavior and why. The next step would be to figure out what causes the behavior. If it is something that causes anxiety for the child, perhaps it could be mitigated so that the routine will no longer be necessary.

It may also be useful to find a positive outlet for your child, depending on the obsession with a particular ritual. For example, journaling or scrapbooking could help children who are interested in researching and collecting information on a particular topic.

With this in mind, OP should have never been involved in the child’s ritual because it could potentially be harmful to others if one of the parents or guests has a transmittable disease or a similar condition, besides being unsanitary and unpleasant.

The original post received nearly 8 thousand upvotes and 800 comments. Commenters agreed with OP that the ritual was strange at best and that the poster should have been warned of this long before. People also emphasized that the parents need to find a new solution for the ritual because the child will have to eat in public or at school in the future, and his behavior may cause a whole host of issues.

The comments agreed that the guest was not at fault for the son’s tantrum and said that he needs to finds a way to go without this routine

Image credits: Meruyert Gonullu (not the actual image)

The post Parents Livid After Dinner Guest Doesn’t Participate In Their Son’s Autistic Ritual, Causing Chaos And Broken Plates first appeared on Bored Panda.


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