Friday, March 26, 2010

Bullying- and other vents....

How does one handle this bullying thing. We are in the era of "zero tolerance". This is the era of being "politically correct" and being kind to everyone no matter what.

As a parent of a disabled child, this sounds like a load of "codswallop", we are regularly told our children Must learn to get along with others; even if they are little, um, turds. OK I know that is not a grown up thing for me to say. When i have to deal with a kid who is upset about things at school, my rational pretty much hits the toilet...albeit not literally.

In the last several years since being re-introduced to the regular district we have been through the mill. There are advantages to being the only parents in the PTA, and being in charge of the Boy Scout troop at the school. One of the big ones is that you don't have to deal with other parents. Which is a good and bad thing. It is good when you are working in Boy Scouts and want the kids to work a certain way. It is bad because there is no social life to be had as a family.

As far as the bullying goes, I can say that the middle school dealt with it effectively. I can also say that my son was blamed for all or most of it. The worst example I have is the time I was called by the assistant principal and told that my son would not be graduating from school with his class and that he would be suspended. I was later called and informed that the person that accused my son lied. Other students heard that my son would not be allowed to graduate and they told the assistant principal that the accuser harmed himself and then put the blame on my son. They still allowed the accuser to graduate with his class, although my son was innocent and there we witnessed something amazing.

Most of the kids didn't shy away from my son. In fact, at the graduation, if he came over to them, he was pounded on the back, congratulated and generally accepted by the gen's as part of the group. When the other student came by, the crowd scattered....and this was at the pre-graduation ceremony. It is a bleak tale, we were fortunate that other students intervened. It doesn't always happen that way.

Even more recently, our son was being harassed in the high school hallway. He was on camera at the time. From what we heard, he did everything right. He evaluated the situation, and even though he believed he was in extreme danger he got away and went to his practice. What we got when he got home was another story. He was extremely frightened. Since we were able to talk it out and deal with the high school, who handled it well, and has given our Aspie son more tools to work with.

Now what does this mean in the long haul? Does my Aspie son know how to instantaneously deal with kids who are turds and tell him he is stupid, a moron, and retarded? No it doesn't. Does he still want to hit or be mean, duh, yeah. Is there a better way to deal with the problems? Yes there is. WE go back to the training, the practice and the information giving. The constant reminders that he is becoming a man and saying and doing certain things are just not appropriate. Because there is a bully doesn't mean he should bully back. There are better uses of the English language.

There are more current examples, but as they are still being resolved and too close to home we aren't going to disclose them here. Or at least right now anyway.

I think the thing that hurts the most is that the family that was supposed to accept us for who and what we are, generally doesn't. They think we are too strict, and are very watchful, maybe too much so. If they understood what we have to deal with when we get home, like being at a family party and having someone who doesn't know us start discussing the loss of my Dad with my son. Good grief, let's just throw about 10 additional weeks of therapy at us, thank you very much. In fact, I know this sounded terrible, but I had to walk over and forbid my Aspie son from mentioning it at any time. The, "You are not permitted to discuss this right now or ever publically." made me sound like the worst bully ever.

Yet, we get chastised regularly for being the type parents we are and making certain our Aspie son eats enough, as we have to watch that blood sugar, and is being appropriate, because if he isn't there is going to be some cousin (male or female) that will have a hissy fit over something he said. Makes me just not want to show up; there are times that if I could get out of it I would (I have tried). I think this is the only time my husband and I argue about things. When we are at a family party and he ignores everything while I have to stand there like the freaking security guard to make certain it is going OK. If I ask him to help with my son, I get shot down, "Oh, it is fine you are over-reacting. Go find something to do". Usually, by that time, I am so frustrated that I will leave to talk to a friend, or my Mom on my phone in the car. It is cold, but at least I am sane for a while longer.

So what does all this have to do with bullying? This is what it has to do with bullying...generally speaking, a child who is bullied will dish it out worse than they got it because they are angry, mad and maybe don't like themselves very much. The best thing I can do for my son is teach him HOW to behave in that situation and work through the issues to become a better more useful and productive person.

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