We were in a line-up. We stood behind the red line which designated the appropriate social distance. In front of us were a mom and her son, a teen with Downs Syndrome. They were right in front of us and they were speaking loudly so we could hear. It began when Mom grabbed him, he had been standing in a reverie so he was startled, then she pulled his head down and gave him a big old kiss. She said he looked like he needed it.
He said, "Don't mom, I don't' like it."
She said, "Oh yes you do, and grabbed him again, he resisted but she was forceful and she kissed him again calling him her little boy."
He said, "Mom Stop! I told you before not to do that."
She said, "You can't tell a mother not to love her baby."
He said, "I'm not a baby, I'm a man."
She grabbed at him again, laughing, he fell backwards into the wall trying to avoid the coming kiss. He failed.
That was it for him he just gave in. He was deflated.
I leaned forward in my wheelchair and said to the mom, "no means no." I thought that was the shortest way to get to her to make her stop to think.
She said, "You don't get to tell me how to parent my son. And it doesn't like you ever said 'no' to cake, think about yourself first and leave me alone."
Her son was watching her and seeing her anger wash over me.
He seemed relieved to be left alone for that period of time. He mouthed the words, "Thank you," to me, and then they were called into the store.
People with disabilities are over-compliant.
People with disabilities are statistically more likely to be abused.
Her son was setting boundaries, she was breaking them.
She was preparing him to be a victim.
Sometimes it isn't just the perpetrator that grooms victims