Confusion when explaining an incident.

Hello All, 

Not sure if this is a familiar situation or not? 

My 7 year old son has suffered from bullying at school the worst of which was dealt with but he has suffered verbal bullying and things like boys shaking their wet hands at his trousers after washing them and laughing, sort of low level less obvious bullying if you like. The other day he came home and said that while queuing outside the classroom an older boy who has picked on my son before, had pulled his ears and stamped on his foot and he had pushed this boy away from another younger boy when he'd turned on him. However the Head teacher said she spoke to the 3 boys involved including my son,  and all had a different story. So she viewed the CCTV and it showed our son pushing the other younger boy because he had threatened to pull our sons ears, while the older boy was bouncing around and trod on his foot. Our son is extremely honest and very rule abiding, but as with our older son who is also AS, it takes a lot of careful questioning to get to the actual facts. Unfortunately what has added to his anxiety is his class teacher telling him off for lying and that she is disappointed in him. He now thinks it's better not to tell teachers anything 'incase he's lying'. I guess my question is, how do I make sure he can say something if he is being bullied but cope with being able to sort out the sequence of events and get his story straight before saying anything? I feel like just telling him to keep his head down and don't say anything as I feel like the teachers don't understand that he struggles to communicate his concerns. 

I hope this makes sense as its kind of hard to explain.

Thank you.

Abbi

Parents
  • Hello Abbi,

    I‘m really sorry to hear about your son’s experiences; it’s brought back memories for me—either being accused of lying, which, like your son, I was cognitively not capable of, or being accused of “turning on the water works” for sympathy when actually I was incredibly distressed about something.

    Irrespective of their qualifications and training, neurotypicals really struggle to see the world from any perspective other than their own, despite the fact they should have the capacity to at least part-empathise with your autistic 7 year old, and not expect him to perform to their standards.

    I’m not comfortable with the idea of telling him to just keep his head down, and I doubt you are either, but compl

    etely understand where you’re coming from out of exasperation. Are you in contact with the school’s SEN coordinator? I imagine they would be a good place to start. Regardless of disability, your son should have a voice if he is being bullied and be helped by specialist staff to develop this accordingly. While all kids have to learn to stick up for themselves, as you say your son is at a distinct disadvantage because of his impaired executive functioning and communication from his autism, which I imagine is more pronounced when stressed or anxious (such as when called in front of the head teacher).

    Sorry, not sure I’ve been particularly helpful there? Others here may have more recent experience or better knowledge of where to get appropriate help for this.

    All good wishes,

    Nessie

Reply
  • Hello Abbi,

    I‘m really sorry to hear about your son’s experiences; it’s brought back memories for me—either being accused of lying, which, like your son, I was cognitively not capable of, or being accused of “turning on the water works” for sympathy when actually I was incredibly distressed about something.

    Irrespective of their qualifications and training, neurotypicals really struggle to see the world from any perspective other than their own, despite the fact they should have the capacity to at least part-empathise with your autistic 7 year old, and not expect him to perform to their standards.

    I’m not comfortable with the idea of telling him to just keep his head down, and I doubt you are either, but compl

    etely understand where you’re coming from out of exasperation. Are you in contact with the school’s SEN coordinator? I imagine they would be a good place to start. Regardless of disability, your son should have a voice if he is being bullied and be helped by specialist staff to develop this accordingly. While all kids have to learn to stick up for themselves, as you say your son is at a distinct disadvantage because of his impaired executive functioning and communication from his autism, which I imagine is more pronounced when stressed or anxious (such as when called in front of the head teacher).

    Sorry, not sure I’ve been particularly helpful there? Others here may have more recent experience or better knowledge of where to get appropriate help for this.

    All good wishes,

    Nessie

Children