Autism and Bullying

My son was kicked by some children in the neighborhood tonight. He tried to get up but they would kick his legs out from under him. He was more frightened than he was hurt, though tomorrow I am going to check for bruising because he said he could feel it and he often does not feel pain. Nothing showed on first inspection. This is sometimes an issue because when you think he should be hurt, he is laughing instead. You can see how this would escalate, though I do not know if that was the case this time. Another mother told me her son had been kicked by one of the other children before, and he kicks hard. I was holding him while he was crying, just after it happened, and as the perpetrators approached he cried more forcefully, becoming hysterical and saying he didn’t want them to come any closer.

That was PTSD. I could see it. Maybe he remembers his father kicking him, or kicking me. This is something to take to the psychologist tomorrow.

His brother tried to help during the incident by engaging one of the boys close to his size, and an older boy in the neighborhood who has known him for some years at daycare also helped a lot to get him away and find me (I was on the other side of the building with the other mothers). But the worst was that his best friend had joined in, she says she didn’t realize how serious it was. His brother said he was scared to do more than what he did. I need to ask him what more he thought he should do. I did tell him it would be good to run for me, screaming all the way, so I could help.

I just kept thinking this was his life. This is what I expect from other children when they encounter a child with special needs. I have to remind myself that others helped him, that others will help him. Every day I wonder if he will learn to be independent. He is okay engaging with people, he can pay for things and ask questions. It is the self care and the self preservation that I worry about. When I was his age I was getting beat like that at least once a day, by my older brother. I don’t know how anyone can watch a child cry so hard and not feel sympathetic. I don’t know how my mother always walked away. I don’t want him to become accustomed to such treatment, I want him to see it for what it is, and judge others by it as they should be.

I cannot make the world a safer place for my son. I can only teach him how to stay safe in it, the best I can.

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “Autism and Bullying

  1. So sorry he went through that. Really makes me angry that other kids do this!

  2. Wow. That’s a lot to go through. I wish I was there to put a stop to it. Growing up, my family was very abusive and my siblings (who were younger) were encouraged by my mother to abuse me as well. It was a really nasty dynamic.

    I think that he will become independent. He’s young. Luke (12) struggles with self preservation because of his anxiety and depression, but I also think many kids struggle with fighting back or other self preservation. Because this is a frequent experience for the non-autistic, I think your son will learn this in the future. There are good kids out there. I hope he finds more and more good people.

  3. CrazyHairMom

    Having am autistic son of 13 with similar issues I would have found the parents of the “kickers” and demanded immediate action. If that didnt work I would have called the cops. Bullying is serious and escalates quickly. It is scary. I know. I had a situation last week where some boys were trying to get my son to do something he did not want to. I went batty. Luckily it happened at school during lunch period and was handled immediately. My son got to go go home early that day because when he ran away from the situation he tripped, fell in a mud hole (or a muddle puddle as I was told), and got scratches and bruises all over. For just a trip and fall it looks like her was in a car wreck or something. Still healing. But bullying is very scary and action should be taken immediately to stop the “kickers” from treating others this way. I sure do not remember kids being so mean when I was a kid. And it breaks my heart that this happened to your son!

  4. Report to police too. The bully is most likely hurting people in school too. Nothing may happen to the bully now, but as the case builds, others may be protected from his wrath. Accountability….teaching bullies that they are responsible and accountable-and not the center of the universe. I am so sorry your son endured this! Sending prayers and love<3

  5. I was bullied relentlessly as a child at school from kindegarten through sixth grade when we moved. When my son was bullied I was enraged and demanded an end to it. The school developed an anti bullying program and taught conflict resolution to the bullies. I had other eyes in school who told me what was gping on. I became a lunch lady in the school to keep my own eyes on the situation. This situation for your son is apalling. Call an IEP meeting.

  6. Take up their precious time. Get an autism advocate to come to the meeting.

  7. Where are the adults? How old are these kids? Should you discuss with parents or are the perpetrators old enough you should talk to police?

    • I was around the corner of the building with the other moms. The children had been running all over the complex, we did not know anyone had come in from over there, as they had not come into sight yet.
      I am pretty sure I recognized the woman at the gate who came to get them while I was with my son. I will be talking to her. Her kids were first and fourth grade and ours were all second and under.

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