I have a son that is 13 & in 7th grade, he has a condition known as Ausperger Syndrome which is a form of autism. This has caused social & educational delays, causing him to need the help of teacher's aides to assist him in reading & comprehension. I know I am biased, but he is the best son a father could ask for. My son would do anything to make one real friend, but due to his weight problem from medication & social delays, he is need less to say not the most popular kid in school. He is constantly bullied by the other 7th, 8th graders, and we have talked to the school officials only to hear that " the school is aware of the bullying, and will not tolerate it". My wife & I have raised him to be a loving , caring young man, and to treat EVERYONE equal regardless of their attitude or differences. He played youth football last year, and was being humiliated in practice to the point that he was ready to explode. I talked to the coaches & they responded by saying "bullying could make him tougher, and play harder, but they were aware of it & would not let it get out of hand". I got a call last year from a parent of one of his teammates urging me to have my son quit, so that he would not make a mistake and cost the team a win in a game. The father would never identify himself, but my wife and I were not spoken to by any of the other parents all year, and had to find out over hearing another conversation about the end of the year team banquet. My wife and I pray every night that he will gain a real friend that he can hang out with, eat lunch with at school, and just have a buddy. I love spending time with my son, going to ball games, movies, etc. it just hurts when he sees classmates at these events with a group of friends, he goes up to start a conversation with them and gets a coke thrown at his shirt or a football at his head. I am not claiming to be a super parent, but I wish people would treat everyone with respect, even if they are a little different. Thanks in advance for letting me share, and have a good safe weekend.
I was reading an article recently about Ausperger Syndrome - supposedly there is a huge boom in children in Silicon Valley who have this. I believe one of the characterisitics is that both parents are very intelligent and since there are tons of very smart people in Silicon Valley, they are noticing a lot of kids with this in the schools.
Good luck with your son. Junior high is the worst age for children teasing each other. It is very important that we all teach OUR CHILDREN manners and acceptance of others and hopefully if we do this at home, they will behave when we are not around.
I feel so bad for you son, its true kids at that age can be so cruel. My son was on the small side and so was picked on from time to time, but not as much as your son, but I know how much it hurt him and me.
Have you considered a private small middle school, high school, my kids went to one, it was a Lutheran school, and everyone really got along, and the school administration had ZERO tolerance to picking on kids. I know it is a struggle to afford it, but maybe its something you could look in to. My kids graduation class consisted of 40 kids compared to the public shool in our area which had 500 in the graduation class. Good luck to you and your son.
I can relate to the bullying. My son is ADD, (not the hyper kind) and he "sees the world differently" from those who do not have it. He was being picked on at school (5th grade) and I made it very clear to the school that when he is at school they are responsible for his well being. I told them they were not doing a very good job and I expected it to stop IMMEDIATELY. I also told them that they are liable. If I have to take you to court, I will. You know what? The bullying stopped. They called in every child who was involved with the bullying, called their parents, and had each child write a note of apology to my son. He has not been picked on since then. He has managed to make a few friends in spite of this situation.
I truly hope things get better for your son. I know it's hard on you as a parent. Maybe a private school with kids who have Ausperger Syndrome would be better for you. Is that an option for your family?
My heart goes out to you, your wife, and son. My youngest son (now 16) is learning
disabled and ADDH. He has now grown out of the hyperactivity. No one except myself
has understood the daily struggles of my child. These kids are special and need
understanding. Other children and adults can be cruel. I wish all of you the best.
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The best to you..................
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Re: Parents/Kids manners
Illiniandy.............Give your son a BIG hug from me. I was at one time a very shy and sensitive child - overly prone to crying and other things. I was misdiagnosed back in the early '70's as having something similar to ADD.......I was on medication for awhile but my mother stopped it as I was becoming a zombie. I was teased mercilessly by my classmates - some justified it to the teachers and principals that it would make me tougher...........yeah right! School was a burden for me, but I made it with a A- average with very few friends but the respect of my teachers (except my 1st and 2nd grade teachers who my mother said almost ruined me as a person and a student - thankfully my teachers after that were wonderful!) Your son will find friends soon; and he will blossom and grow and he will remain a wonderful human being.
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Understand your situation very well..You might pursue having your son involved in Special Olympics (I've beem involved on all levels since 1968) which may help on several levels, friends, athletics, understanding diversity..let me know if I can put you in contact with the program in your state..God has given you a special blessing in the form of your son
Some of our very best friends in the world have an Asperger's kid just a year older than yours. Like yours, he's the most loving, accepting kid in the world and we're proud to be his honorary aunt and uncle. To boot, the Robster is an only child and he arrived relatively late.
We've discovered that what he lacks on the social/perception front he more than makes up for in intelligence (like his parents), warmth, enthusiasm and love. At his bar mitzvah a year or so ago, the congregation literally cheered his speech--not because he has Asperger's, but because it was a terrific speech!
There are compensations, as I'm sure you know.
I think you should take him on a cruise. We've been on vacation with the Robster and his family and had a great time.
My heart goes out to your family....recently on tv, they have showed several instances bullying on buses ..These poor children have done nothing to warrant this kind of abuse.It amazes me that there is such a lack of compassion, from the kids and the adults..I pray your son finds a friend that will appreciate his good nature, and I applaude your posting...There is no worse pain, than to see your child hurting.
Thanks for all the kind words,suggestions, etc. We took him on the Glory in Dec. 03 & hope to get on another one some day. I work for a small non-profit company & am looking to leave to get some more income & benefits so that we can look at some private school options. The problem we have in our community, is that we have one private school & 2 of the main bullies from the football team would be in several of his classes. God bless you all, and happy cruising to those that have one in their future.
I'm also sorry to hear about how cruel kids can be to others when they are different, and for no other reason. I would hope that the "adults" at your son's school would realize the seriousness of bullying, and handle the situation the way it should be handled.
Kids can be SO mean! If they don't get someone to straighten them out when they are still young, they just grow into disgusting bullies. I sincerely hope your son finds a good friend (I'm sure this will happen as he grows older and others mature).
Best wishes and hugs to you and your family!
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Dear illiniandy, you've brought up a sensitive subject for alot of us. My son, now 15, was bullied mercilessly in elementary school, not because he was different, just because he was a nice kid. I am only now realizing how difficult his early school years were for him, and the scars they have left on him. He never liked sports or the outdoors much, so he didn't fit in. But he is intelligent and clever, and has alot of "quiet" friends like himself. One of those friends is my girlfriend's son who is autistic, but closer to Asperger's Syndrome (is it spelled differently in the U.S.?). They have been buddies since they met at 2 years old. I have always encouraged him to accept this friend as any other, and he does. Too bad other parents don't instill the qualities of acceptance, respect, and compassion in their children.
I'm sorry to hear about your son too. What a heartbreaker for you and how fortunate at the same time that he has a dad who is dedicated to him and spends time with him. I pray that he will find that special friend, and also be able to turn these difficult times into something positive in the future. With a dad like you standing by his side and cheering him on, he'll have a much better chance of being able to do that.
I also have a son that marched to a different drummer, and had a very difficult time in the public schools as well as the private schools we tried. It is very painful and hard to see your child go through that. My heart goes out to you and your son and your family.
It sounds like your son has an amazing spirit! One day, I know he'll find that friend that will recognize that fact and count themselves lucky. I don't know too much about your son's condition, but I DO know about youth sports.
My dh coached youth baseball for 15 years, and I myself coached for 3 years. The coaches response "bullying could make him tougher, and play harder, but they were aware of it & would not let it get out of hand", was out of line. Youth sports is not military boot camp. The kids on my dh's team may not have always produced all stars, but I can tell you they all had a great time. Everyone got to play, everyone supported the team, and everyone respected each other on the field and in the dugout. I remember once after the spring draft, a boy 14 years of age, never having picked up a baseball before in his life ended up on our team. His parents I think had kind of nudged him, and he hesitantly came out to practice. My dh worked with him, and never allowed the other kids to make fun of him. At the end of the season, his teammates were cheering his successes, and telling him to shrug off his defeats. At the end of the year party, he was awarded "The Most Improved" award.
And the parent that made this comment IMO: "I got a call last year from a parent of one of his teammates urging me to have my son quit, so that he would not make a mistake and cost the team a win in a game.", needs to learn that winning isn't everything, and youth sports are more about good sportsmanship and learning how to be part of a TEAM.
I'am 14 and in the 8th grade. I have ADD, I still haven't ground out of it. I've been teased scine the 3rd grade, for no real reason. I'm not one of the kids that makes fun of other people. I'm the one who tells my friends to stop it. But I'm not the one to go and talk to the bullied kids. I don't know what Ausperger Syndrome is, so I'm a little lost. Every day I have to take a pill so that I will not zone out in class. If i'm not taking it I usually am emotional. thats my help, and story.
Doesn't make much a difference to some ppl, but to the ppl who care it makes a world of difference.
I'm sorry to hear that your son is being bullied. I was teased mercilessly as a child as well - though not to the extent of your son - for being a shy and extremely skinny child. Kids can be so cruel.
I have a good friend who is a youth soccer coach and he has had parents literally threaten to beat him up, even trying to arrange a time and place, because he let certain kids play and was more interested in having the kids have fun than making sure they win.
Best wishes to you and your family. I hope things work out for you so that you can take him on another cruise soon and perhaps send him to private school if you think that would be the best thing for him.
My heart also goes out to you, he is one lucky boy to have you in his life! I do not have a child with a disability, and therefore cannot tell you that I know how you feel, but I can imagine.
I have a child, same age as yours, who marches to his own drummer, and gets teased a good bit. He is such a sensitive child, which does not help. He feels he gets teased because he is a Christian, at times, because when he sees someone else getting treated wrong just because they are different, he speaks up and lets the kids know it is wrong to do that. He always wants people to "do the right thing". He is learning that everyone does not have the same convictions, and that he should not judge them. He is a twin, and his twin brother is quite popular, and he is NOT, which bothers him. BUT, he will be the one who does NOT follow the crowd going in the wrong direction, and although I don't think my other son would follow that crowd either, he would think about it first long and hard before coming to that decision, where my first son would not hesitate to speak out and not follow that crowd.
Anyway, will keep you and your son in my thoughts and prayers.
My heartfelt prayers go out to you and your family. Tears filled my eyes when I read your post. I am new "single" mother to 3 wonderful children and they literally are my world. I think ALL children are the greatest blessing God gives us. Continue to stay strong and never back down to those who persecute you and your son. He has every right to participate in activities and don't let those insensitive people make you feel badly for it. I will pray for you and your son to have strength and peace as you meet each new challenge. God has most certainly blessed your son as well, because I can just feel your love oozing all over the page for him.
My fiance, who's now 22, also has Asperger's syndrome. As a result he is very withdrawn and literally talks to no one. It's hard on him, especially when people inquire as to why he never talks. Like if someone says "Hi" to him he'll kind of say hi back and walk away without making any attempts to start or continue a conversation, which some of my friends who I have introduced him to don't really understand. They think it's something personal, and I have to explain that it's not a personal issue at all. Aside from me he has one close friend (who also as Asperger's) and a couple of aquaintences he talks to now and then, like my friend's boyfriend, but that's it. He has told me of his experiences being bullied when he was younger, and it sounds a lot like what your son is going through. Maybe if you'd like, I can talk to him and see if maybe he'd want to pass on a few words to your son.