An Autism Diary

A day in the life of David Hartley

It Still Stings…

Why do kids seem to repeatedly think it’s okay to make “friends” with a child with special needs when they have no intent on truly being a friend in the first place?  Why do so many think it’s okay to take advantage of a child with delays and social struggles to get what they want?  Do they honestly think these kids don’t have feelings?  That they are not as important or as deserving of respect as a “normal” kid so to speak?  Do they honestly think their cruel actions are okay simply because the victim doesn’t fully understand what’s being done to them?

Well, no matter what they think I am here to get something straight with past and future fake “friends” who have their eyes on my boys.

My boys are not pawns to be played with and manipulated as someone else sees fit.  They are not toys to be gotten out and then ditched as soon as another, cooler, newer, toy is found.  They have feelings and are just as human as the rest of us and as such deserve to be treated with basic respect and common decency just as much as the rest of us.  They are not here to entertain you, or to fill your time while you wait for something better to come along.  They are not here to provide you with a source of free food and toys via their personal belongings and snacks.

If you want to become a friend to my boys, that’s great!  They make awesome friends with a loyalty and dedication that’s rarely seen in kids their age these days.  They would never knowingly hurt you and they will be the first to stick up for you if they think someone else is hurting you.  They’ll be your biggest cheering section whenever you need one and will never judge you even when others try to encourage it.

However, if your only intent in “befriending” my boys is so that you can have someone to laugh at, manipulate, take advantage of, or use as a “stand by”, you’re NOT welcome in my home.  Please just keep moving on and leave my boys to make friends with others who truly can and will see their value.  They deserve no less and I won’t let them settle.

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