It was brought to my attention, by Kate's awesome autism support worker, that two little boys at Kate's daycare thought it was funny to tell her that her daddy was there to pick her up, because they thought it was funny to watch her get excited and run up the stairs and latch onto a man, not her dad. You see, Kate believes all men are 'daddies' and all women are 'mommies'. She is known for running to any 'mom' or 'dad' that walks in the door and latching onto a leg saying, "Hi, Mama" or "Hi, Dada." I am guilty of laughing at this. I found it cute. The moms and dads that she latches onto find it cute, too…..I think.
The first problem is that now the kids think it is funny, based on my example, and they are picking on her. I don't know which boys and I don't want to know because it was not their fault. It was mine.
The second problem is that this behaviour is dangerous. Although, I know, Kate would choose Alex or I over a stranger, I also know that she would have no problem going with a stranger if we were not there.
Kate's daycare is phenomenal. I don't talk about them because I don't want people to know where Kate spends her days but let me tell you they are wonderful and they protect and love Kate. They quickly spoke to the boys about teasing Kate and informed me of what happened.
Even so, I worry. I worry because Kate does not perceive danger the way other children might. I worry that if a child told Kate her daddy was there to get her, she might go looking for him. The daycare is secure. There are fences and multiple people watching the children at once but a parent worries.
Do your children, autism or not, wander? Do they understand danger?
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Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)