Supporting my Son and Standing Together to Stop Bullying


My son has had a rough week.  I had posted earlier in the week that he was not able to go to school Monday and Wednesday because he was upset over Thanksgiving.  He went to school Wednesday and he was in a great mood that evening so I thought all was well.  Thursday I had difficulties getting him to school.  He told me he didn’t like Mrs. T.

Mrs. T is the other teacher in the room with his case manager.  Between my son and the case manager (through texts) I pieced together what happened.  She explained an assignment, he did what he thought she wanted and then she came back and asked him to do more.  I am guessing she had implied the more but he is literal and did what she asked.  Also he was upset because he must have said “you told me to do x” and she said no, that wasn’t what she said.  He also has a very good memory and it upset him that she would not admit to what she said.

I sat down with him and discussed how I also have that “tape recorder” memory, although I have to admit my tape recorder isn’t as good as it used to be!  But I explained to him that I understood the frustration when he knows someone else said something but they don’t remember saying it.  I told him that they don’t intend any harm it is just they may not really remember exactly what they said.  My son looked at me and said “or it’s pride”.  I about fell out of my chair.  I didn’t know he understood that emotion but he had it completely on point.  That possibly the teacher couldn’t admit she was wrong.  We talked through it some more and he eventually went to school.  I was so proud of him for telling me what was wrong, talking through it and understanding the emotions involved, even from the teacher!

Again it seemed Thursday was a good day at school until I went to get him ready on Friday.  Again he refused to go to school and I had to piece together what happened.  Apparently in World History the other kids were assholes.  Okay the school used the word rude and they said they addressed it with the other kids but I am okay with my son saying they were assholes.  The case manager explained my son was answering all of the questions and adding extra information each time.  The other kids did not respond well and they were told they were being rude.  The case manager told me my son needs to let the other kids have a turn.

I went in to my sons room where he was hiding under the covers and I told him I was sorry for what happened.  I said that I understood he was excited about World War I but he needed to give the other kids a chance.  He said no other kids raised their hands.  My son also said “it was World War I weaponry I HAD TO COMMENT about ….”  and then he went into a whole discussion about weaponry.  Of course he is fascinated with weaponry.  When he plays Call of Duty and other war games on the PS3 he is very interested in the actual weapons, not just shooting at things.  I have also taken him to various war sites such as Normandy and Gettysburg.  I took him to these places because of his interest but this also makes him even more interested and wanting to add information in class.  He has actually seen some of the weaponry from the Civil War and World War II.

It irritates me that he was so enthusiastic and instead of that being a good thing it was a bad thing.  I know this did not make my son think he should be less enthusiastic and I am glad for that.  I can see where he may need to curb it a little in class.  We all have to do that sometimes and I can talk to him more about that.  I know I get passionate about things but I have learned I can’t monopolize meetings, although it is really hard for me sometimes.

But I think the school also needs to be more supportive and needs to be clear with him that they appreciate the enthusiasim.  I also think there should be some discussion with the other kids in the class.  The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism is coming out with a new book which includes very helpful information on this.  Since I expressed an interest in this @ShannonRosa provided me a link to a recent article that I plan to share with the school.  The article is about discussing the differences with other kids in class.  I know some people think this is wrong but they already know why my son is different and they need to have an understanding so they can be compassionate and help.  I think it could be a good learning experience for all.  This coming week is actually Inclusive Schools Week so maybe it is good timing.

I am sure I will be writing more about Inclusion this week but this post is more about my son’s immediate need to feel supported.  I discussed with him that he needs to go to school but if this school isn’t a good fit we will find another one.  We discussed we both want to try to make this one work out.  We discussed that it is possible he was still upset over Thanksgiving and maybe more sensitive this week.  But it was very important to me that he knew I support him and I am always on his side.  If we need to switch schools we will, I found an alternative school over the summer because I was afraid that he may not like the public high school.  If we have to figure out homeschooling we will.  I told him we will make sure he is safe and happy but he needs schooling of some type.

Later in the evening I started to second guess myself and think maybe I should have made him go to school.   I am not sure what all the kids did and it sounds like the school addressed it with the other kids.   But if he feels uncomfortable there I just couldn’t make him go.  He needs to be comfortable.

When I watched Extreme Makeover, Home Edition last night I knew I made the right decision in supporting him.  If you haven’t seen it please go here and watch or at least read the story.  It is heartbreaking.  Carl, an 11 year old boy committed suicide because of being tormented at the school.  This is my biggest fear.  This is one reason why I always have my kids back. I have been bullied and my son has been bullied before and it is horrible.  Too many kids are taking their own life and things drastically need to change for ALL kids.  Like all parents I have been advocating for change related to my son but I am becoming more involved in advocating for all kids at the school.

All kids are unique in their own way.  I think because they want to fit in they find another kid who is maybe more unique and call attention to it to try to make themselves look like they fit in better.  All kids deserve to be accepted and treated with dignity.  Extreme Makeover Home Edition started Stand Together for us all to stand up against bullying.  Please go here and sign up.  I am number 60,320.  What is your number?

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Comments

  1. I am sending prayers and hugs for you and your son. I think you are doing a wonderful job of dealing with a difficult situation. Thanks for sharing your story and the Home Edition information!

  2. First of all, how awesome that he recognized it might have been pride keeping the teacher from admitting what she’d said previously!

    Second, I’m sorry to read of all the trouble with the school. Knowing when to speak up in class and how much to say is a real balancing act and the other students need to be more understanding. I forget who it was that was discussing this last week, maybe Thinking Person’s Guide, but anyway there this emphasis on getting people on the spectrum to conform to NT standards, but very little expectation that NTs will meet them halfway, and that’s not fair.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Are HereButton CollectionContactSeries on BullyingWhere I have been ← Supporting my Son and Standing Together to Stop Bullying December 5, 2011 · 4:13 pm ↓ Jump to […]

  2. […] son said he is still mad at Mrs. T. from the other day, post here.  He also said she over reacted to him having his head down.  Okay well that is fair but why […]

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