I have a friend who has a son in C.S.'s class. She frequently reports my child's "bad moments" when she stops by to see us. This happened again yesterday. I know her intentions are to be kind and understanding, but each time, it is terribly upsetting to me. I think it's because she just tells me what her son said my son did (that he screamed, he cried, he was having a hard time). It just sounds so much worse from this perspective and is so much more upsetting than when I learn of situations from his Special Education team. So this is what I'm thinking...
• She must at some level be searching for understanding too, but doesn't know how to offer it. But, perhaps she is willing to take my lead. I'm going to try to use this as an opportunity to offer that understanding to her.
• This is an opportunity to help her, help her son understand the situation and what he can do. Can I suggest her son ask the Para the questions he is asking himself?
• I've been afraid to suggest anyone address the class about C.S., but so often dreamed of the support MOM-NOS was able to rally for her Bud. Perhaps, C.S. is secure enough now with his support that we address the other students about him specifically? Could MOM-NOS's toaster brain analogy help explain my C.S.?
• Even with the kindest intentions, what she's telling me sounds like talk, bad talk about my son. Talk is upsetting and talk can too easily become gossip. How can I point this out to her without jeopardizing the relationship?
Still trying to figure it all out!
Silver Lining: Conversations are good. Challenging conversations are even better. Although I didn't know what to expect, of course I now recognize that this is exactly what I wanted.