Well I knew it would happen someday. Not sure I could ever prepare myself for it. Even though I've had lots of stares, had even some pointing, and have had questions about Brian or his behaviors, I don't think I was ready for this.
The mean, name-calling, ill-informed young children. They are mean. Today we were hanging out in the Resource Room waiting for school to get out as I had a meeting with Brian's teacher. Some of the bus kids were waiting in there to get on the bus. I was talking away with the special-ed director when I look over and I see Corbin kind of trapping his little brother into a corner of the room with a bunch of kids gathered around him. I excused myself from the conversation and went over.
"Corbin, what are you doing?"
"I don't want those kids to see my brother."
Kind of confused. Didn't really know what was going on. I went and grabbed Brian's hand and pulled him out of the corner (he didn't mind being there, by a window, as he was mesmerized by the rain) and started to tell Corbin we needed to go to meet with the teacher. Corbin wasn't moving from his position in front of his little brother.
One of the boys, that was gathered around, looked at me and said, "Are you his Mom?" I replied that I was. He looked me straight in the eyes and said, "I don't like him," pointing at Brian, "He's weird and scary!" Corbin yelled, "No he's not. He's my brother!!" And I told the little brat to get away.
Okay, no I didn't, but honestly that was my innermost reaction. Instead I said, "He's not weird, he has autism and sometimes he acts differently, but he's not weird or scary." He said, "No! He is just weird! He's just a baby, why does he come to school!" I looked at him and said, "He's a big boy, just like you." Then I walked out pulling my children, behind me. One child oblivious, the other fuming, steam coming out of his ears.
I've heard of mama bear reactions, but Corbin definitely had a brother bear reaction on this one. Later in the car I talked to him about it and he told me that he hates it when kids "stare and stare and stare at Brian and say mean things that aren't true". We talked about how some people don't know about autism and so sometimes they say or do hurtful/mean things. I told him it's hard to not feel angry when people do that but sometimes we just need to teach them a little bit about autism and then they would hopefully treat him nicely.
If only, it could always be that easy.