My son has a little friend in our duplex who is just his age. For being only 4, his little friend has been pretty understanding and patient with Eli. They run around together in the yard we share and ride their bikes up and down the driveway together. Sometimes his friend comes over and they watch TV or watercolor together.
Just recently though I have been noticing that his friend has been starting to take advantage of the fact that Eli has a hard time communicating. On acouple of occasions very recently Eli's friend has done little naughty things to him, like taking things from him, when I am not looking. Once I noticed a little smirk on his face when Eli couldn't tell me what was wrong.
Now of course I am not mad at the little neighbor boy. He is probably behaving age appropriately for whatever typical 4 year old phase he is going through. Most little boys probably would have started this type of behavior long before now. I should probably explain to his mother because I happen to know it is very important to her that her son learn how to interact and have patience with people who have special challenges. I know she will be able to gently explain to him why his behavior is not appropriate in a way that he can relate and understand.
I am finding myself upset about this today because it's alittle bit traumatizing to me. It makes me scared for my son and how people may treat him in the future. If you are familiar with the play, "Flowers for Algernon," you'll remember that Charlie, the man with special challenges in the play has coworkers who he says are his friends. All these men do all day is poke fun at Charlie and laugh at him. Although Eli is very bright and I hope for much recovery for him, I do not know what level he will be at socially when he is, say, a teen. Or when he enters the work force. It makes me afraid of people taking advantage of him because of his challenges.
Dear God, protect him. Even from his friends.