Are Pierrepont Playground Parents Insensitive to Disabled Kids?

The NY Daily News reports on a new play center for disabled kids in Fort Greene called Extreme Kids and Crew. The inspiration for it came when its founder and her son were yelled at by a Pierrepont Playground parent:

NY Daily News: Eliza Factor cringes when she remembers the last time she took her son, Felix, to Pierrepont Park in Brooklyn Heights.

It was a sunny day two years ago and Felix, then 5 and big for his age, laughed as his mother pushed him on a swing usually used by much younger kids.

Then a woman walked up and yelled that Felix should get off the swing because he was too big for it, not realizing that he has cerebral palsy and is too weak to use a swing built for typical kids his age.

“I felt like crawling off with my son and hiding from the world,” said Factor, 38, who lives in Fort Greene. “It ruined our day at the park.”

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  • Ben

    I am not surprised BUT I see few parents in this playground mostly servants with the kids as mom and dad are at work to pay for The Heights, The Hamptons, The cars, etc. few parents here mostly nannys I see.

  • Monty

    I’ve been to Pierrepont Playground many, many times and never seen anyone yell at anyone over anything. Even if this is true, it basically means that there was one insensitive mom, one time.

  • tb

    Nothing that happens at Pierrepont shocks me anymore. I don’t doubt that this happened and my heart goes out to that family. It is not easy raising a child with CP and to be yelled at by a stranger can’t be fun.
    Our family has had to leave that playground more times than I can count.. either being yelled at by insane nannies or crazy overprotective parents. I hope Ms. Factor realizes her family is not alone.

  • Topham Beauclerk

    All mothers of young children are insensitive except to the infinite wonders of their own little darlings.

  • tb

    In regards to my previous post I do want to clarify that there are many parents in the neighborhood who bend over backwards to make sure their kids play nicely, have manners, and generally behave.
    These aren’t the parents I’m talking about.

  • ABC

    When will it be time to bash the old people here on BHB? Because I think the parent haters have had their day .. again and again and again.

    I mean, this episode sounds terrible. But you can run into a terrible person anytime, anywhere. There are good parents too. The parents at Pierrepont Playground were so fantastic when my child was seriously injured there — one mom even running to get her car to drive me to the ER. There are parents in this neighborhood who are just the most supportive people you could ask for. I have a phone full of numbers of neighboring parents who would drop everything to help me out if I ever needed it. And I would for them too. I don’t think that happens everywhere in the city.

    But I know, BHB is all about how the kids are walking too slowly in the snow. Or those “damn double strollers”. Oy.

  • bklyn20

    Pierrepont Playground is too small for the number of kids and schools that use it. It’s been a few years since I went there regularly, but all I recall is occasional huffing when someone abused their swing privileges.

  • Mickey

    I have several friends with disabled and/or autistic children, so I am surprised that Ms. Factor would still be so thin-skinned by the time the child was 5 years old. It makes me wonder — as Monty said — if this is true. There are insensitive people everywhere. It’s no more prevalent at Pierrepont Park than in any other park she could have taken her son to that day. Maybe that’s why they created a special play center in Fort Greene.

  • Steve R

    Actually, the inspiration for Extreme Kids and Crew came from a similar play-space in Eliza Factor’s son Felix’s therapist’s office. Read the full “Letter from the Director” on the website for the genesis of the proposed play-space:

  • Heightser

    As a veteran of Pierrepont Playground (and yes I am a real, live, stay-at-home mom in Brooklyn Heights), I have seem some interesting things over the years. It sounds like Ms. Factor had a terrible experience there, and I am sorry she had that experience.

    That being said, there are only 3 “baby” swings at the park. I have seen many older kids (including those from St. Ann’s – who are not being watched), abuse the swings and then they break from that abuse. When one of those swings is broken, sometimes it can be months before it is fixed. I am not defending the way Ms. Factor was treated, but there is a weight limit printed on the back of the swing, and if your child exceeds it, please keep them off so they don’t break.