From time to time, I hear stories about the fact that the parents of a special child at some point in his life simply close him at home. I’m not talking about the fact that they beat him or try to ignore him, lock him up without food and other nasty things, no, they love him very much and create good conditions within one separate apartment. They limit him and their communication, cease to bring to the street and to shops, having left in the closed world. Question: “Why?”
I do not consider cases when movement is difficult, for example, a lying child, but there are cases when a completely physically healthy child, for example, with autism, parents do not take out of the house. And I do not want to analyze the moral side and the problems of development and socialization. I’m interested in motives.
And this topic interested me simply because one day, telling my husband in the evening a story that I heard in the center where my daughter’s classes are held that the parents of a child under 7 years old tried to rehabilitate him, and then stopped all classes and until 16 years old the boy sat houses. At 16, they led him to a speech therapist-defectologist, but at this age it is too late to expect global changes or jumps in development. So, having told this story, I heard from my husband that I was doing the same. For me it was a revelation. At that time, my daughter was 5.5, we went to classes, without any problems visited shops, went to the sea, etc. His statement really surprised me then. But to be honest, hooked.
I began to analyze my behavior and realized that he was right. If I need to go to some place and I know that Alice will behave badly there or don’t know how she will behave, I left her at home. We almost stopped walking at the playgrounds, we had a clear plan of action, how, where and where to go with her. But this is also a limitation. And after all, when compared with the previous year, the amount of time spent at home increased. I was scared. I had to pull myself together and correct the situation. However, for a start I figured out my motives.
- At home, where the child knows everything, where he developed a program of action, the illusion of his norm-typicality, or at least some approximation to it, may develop. A child can pour water for himself, for example, or turn on a cartoon, go to the toilet on his own. And even if he doesn’t do this, everything is all right at home, a pot, a mug of water in the right place. Here it is – the notorious comfort zone. Being in it is both convenient and familiar and calm.
- Surrounding. Even if the people who are with you and your child in the store behave extremely correctly, you will still be extremely uncomfortable if the 7-year-old child makes a scandal or describes himself or shouts strange phrases, beat himself on the head or take off his underpants. It is extremely difficult to be calm when in the morning you try to bring your daughter wildly screaming (and she screams because she cannot speak, and she cannot convey her desire in another way) to a group in kindergarten, and around other parents or their parents, they lead their children and discussing something fascinating along the way. Yes, everyone is looking at you and not at all with admiration. Unpleasant situation? Unpleasant. And every day I want it to be repeated? Of course not. Or maybe not to take her to the kindergarten? Maybe she’s feeling bad there? Maybe it’s better to leave at home that we will not find at home what to do? Yeah! Here it is.
- Sorry for the child. Everyone looks at him like a fool. He can be offended, he is so unrequited. And if he bumps someone. She will not be able to find friends, they will laugh at her. He is ill without me. A lot of options. Such thoughts very often lead to the fact that you want to protect the child from possible dangers, insults, disappointments, etc. But how to protect? Nobody will offend him at home. I will always be there to protect him. Oops, correction, we, unfortunately, are not eternal and sooner or later this will have to be recognized. Better early.
- Hard physically. It is difficult to drag a stroller up the stairs when they didn’t make a special exit, take a bus to a speech therapist, and drag bags and a screaming child from the store. Of course. We will deal with matters much faster if we leave the child at home. Well the truth is. And now, again, then one, then another time we run headlong to catch up in an hour while he sleeps to remake a bunch of things.
And so, it would seem, not pursuing the goal of limiting the child to four walls, we come to this. Awareness usually comes when a child ceases to be such and turns into an adult. And it’s too late. Too.