Bullies with Asperger's: What do I do?

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autismgal
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Bullies with Asperger's: What do I do?

Postby autismgal » Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:31 pm

My middle school daughter with autism is in an ESY program with other kids with autism and Asperger's. Several of the Asperger's kids are bullying her. They make fun of her mistakes, get insulted and browbeat her if she gets their names' wrong, and generally enjoy tormenting her for not be as verbal and "bright" as they are.

Their parents don't seem to care -- they think their kids are the victims of bullies so that any bullying they do is "OK" or "beyond their control."

I've seen some of this bullying behavior on various boards by people who claimed to be Asperger's and who would shout down anyone who disagreed with them. Is this common behavior?

So my question is: what do I do about it? Do I tell my daughter it's OK to lash out at these AS bullies because she's being bullied? The teachers seem to chalk up all bullying by these AS kids to their AS, as though they're powerless to change it.

I went to the Autism Speaks message board to see if there was anything to be learned by reading the "my life with autism" board, but all I gathered is that there are some people with AS who think it's perfectly OK to provoke others because the world has bullied them. That leaves my daughter the victim of NT kids and AS kids. Actually, she's bullied more by the Asperger's kids than the NT kids right now. Help!

OneRockAtATime
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Re: Bullies with Asperger's: What do I do?

Postby OneRockAtATime » Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:13 pm

I have a few thoughts on this. First bullies should not be tolorated period. Your child does have the right to stand up for themselves. I would take this up with the school for starters. I would teach my child to stand up for themselves. I would request a different teacher. I would threaten to get a lawyer. I would most definatly stand up for my child. Any parent who teaches their child that it is ok to act like this is to blame. You seem to have every right to be concerned. I would do something. I have only had to deal with this once. His older brother told me what was going on and also told the child to get away from mine. I informed the adults in charge. I am lucky to his brother will stand up for him. I do not think it is ok behavior and it will not be tolorated in the real world.

OneRockAtATime
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Re: Bullies with Asperger's: What do I do?

Postby OneRockAtATime » Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:34 pm

I appricate you honesty with this WOW I would say you are doing a good job. I totally disagree with all the things someone tells us our kids can't do. Everytime someone tells me my child can't do something it just makes me work harder to prove they can. There has to be help with social skills out there for older children. I am hoping someone will chime in and give you some advice who has worked on this. My son is the loving type but he is also not an Aspi! He is barely talking so being mean is not a possibility yet!!! He is not really aggressive unless you are trying to do something like draw blood I got bit for the first time last week. Don't either of you give up. There are answers out there. I don't have them all maybe someone will have a better answer.

Liz77
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Re: Bullies with Asperger's: What do I do?

Postby Liz77 » Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:29 pm

I think empathy can be taught, sort of. My son is fairly empathetic, to the point where he refused to reliate when another kid called him names because "Then I'd be a bully too", so he tattles/tells instead. However, he doesn't always notice other people's pain or feelings unless it is pointed out to him. Then he will quickly ask if the other kid is okay or if they need help. He isn't always able to see another person's point of view, but he is seven, male, and has ASD so I might be expecting too much there.

What has helped is pointing out (constantly) when his behavior is not okay and constantly asking how he would feel if that person did the same thing to him. So he gets it, it just takes a long time. I think excusing bullying behavior because the child has Asperger's is a cop out on the part of the school, the kids, and the parents. Do they think the behavior is going to be ignored in the real world? How is it going to go over if an adult tells his boss or his coworkers "You're wrong and you are an (mild expletive deleted)"?

My niece has Asperger's and she is off the chart smart, articulate, beautiful singing voice, and beautiful. She is 20 years old, has no friends in real life (just on line), is cleaning movie theaters for living (her dad got her the job) because she can't get along with other people. She called her last boss an "A$$h@le" and threw a cup of soda at him when he asked her re clean a table. Luckily he didn't bring charges for assault. She can't finish a class at the community college because she keeps telling her teachers how she already knows all about the subject and she doesn't need to study. When she flunks the class, it's because they are "all against her". It's awful and painful to watch, but her parents never held her responsible for her behavior, it was always the teachers (the school, the classmates, or the coaches fault). I'm terrified my son will end up like her and any time I want to falter or give up, I think of her and try harder.

Sorry, no advice, except to say, autismgal, keep raising a stink until something is done to stop the bullying. I know it finally stopped my son from be bullied when the excuse was the bully's parents were divorced, I raised a stink and wrote a letter to the principal, the teacher, and religious advisor (private school) each and every single time it happened. Eventually, I wrote to the Bishop or school board for public school and outlined every incident in each letter.

As in "this is the third incident of name calling in gym class this week and the eighth incident in gym since the matter was first brough to your attention three weeks ago. The bullying continues to happen on an almost daily basis in gym, lunch, and while waiting in line. S. was shoved by the bully while waiting to go to computer class today. When it was brought to the teacher's attention, S. was told "Don't be a tattle tale". What actions are you taking to adress this issue?" I also popped into the school unannounced to "visit" and eventually the bully was expelled.

williams_dad
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Re: Bullies with Asperger's: What do I do?

Postby williams_dad » Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:16 pm

The teachers seem to chalk up all bullying by these AS kids to their AS, as though they're powerless to change it.


In fact they probably are powerless to change it for one reason or another
( if you get involved with the school as a volunteer you'll soon see why )
my only advice is find another school or home-school.

the rest of your post just made me mad.

I've seen some of this bullying behavior on various boards by people who claimed to be Asperger's and who would shout down anyone who disagreed with them. Is this common behavior?


Not sure if common is the right word but fast becoming commonplace as more and more aspies think they are superior to the so-called NT world.

WD
http://spectrumsleuth.fr.yuku.com/forums/11/General/General

autismgal
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Re: Bullies with Asperger's: What do I do?

Postby autismgal » Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:24 pm

Thanks for the advice. This is just a summer program so it's the first time my daughter has been in an all-autism/Asperger's class and I wasn't prepared for this.

We haven't considered homeschooling because we've never experienced this level of bullying in regular classes in our local school. In a regular (not autism) classroom, my daughter is expected to follow the class rules but in this "special" setting, it seems the rules are flexible.

It's weird to me, but I think my daughter was held to a higher standard than the "higher-functioning" kids she's in class with now. It's like their inappropriate behavior is excused because they're "above average," while my autistic gal had to "earn" her way into a regular classroom in part by having good behavior.

I'm going to "drop by" and observe tomorrow to see what happens!

Not sure if common is the right word but fast becoming commonplace as more and more aspies think they are superior to the so-called NT world.


Well, the AS boys clearly think she's "beneath" them because she has learning disabilities, though I think in some ways she's higher-functioning because she is willing to follow the class rules, be reasonably polite, and understand when she has to "put a lid on it." However, we taught her that in ABA, so I think anyone can learn it.

livsparents
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Re: Bullies with Asperger's: What do I do?

Postby livsparents » Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:48 pm

OneRockAtATime wrote:I have a few thoughts on this. First bullies should not be tolorated period. Your child does have the right to stand up for themselves. I would take this up with the school for starters. I would teach my child to stand up for themselves. I would request a different teacher. I would threaten to get a lawyer. I would most definatly stand up for my child. Any parent who teaches their child that it is ok to act like this is to blame. You seem to have every right to be concerned. I would do something. I have only had to deal with this once. His older brother told me what was going on and also told the child to get away from mine. I informed the adults in charge. I am lucky to his brother will stand up for him. I do not think it is ok behavior and it will not be tolorated in the real world.


darn IT! SAY IT LOUD...SAY IT PROUD "bullies should not be tolorated period" The only way we are going to stop bullying is to accept nothing less than "Yes, I'm sorry your daughter is going through this...these are the steps we are taking to address it." Anything less, should be met with another meeting, another letter and eventually, another teacher and if need be...an advocate and/or lawyer. Right to unrestricted learning environment...bullying restricts her physical or mental well being...case closed... wait...I said 'darn' up top! DAYMN IT...I'm being sensored... wait...if I say golly gee whiz..will something vulgar come out instead :lol:
Bill
Aly 19;Dillan 16;Jason 14
Liv 11 ASD
Grace 9 PDD

and Linda

OneRockAtATime
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Re: Bullies with Asperger's: What do I do?

Postby OneRockAtATime » Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:19 am

Showing up unannounced would be good also. I am allowed to show up at anytime to see my child and the teachers are not warned. I sign in and off I go. The school staff is very used to seeing me so my comings and goings are ignored. I have been known to not sign in and just go straight to their classes to see them. I know most would think this is not safe but they are all so use to seeing me that I think some may think I work there. Others know I am not to be trifled with. I have fought the school and won. I personally have the advantage of being a stay at home mom. If for some reason my child needed me at school I would show up everyday with them. I am very sure the school is aware of this. I would sit in class all day long and protect my child if need be. I am not the kind of parent you want sitting in your class all day everyday. I like the advice of reporting it and you should definatly keep track of everytime it happens. I do not care weather their child is an Aspie, NT, or something else. Their is no good excuse to allow harm to your childs self worth cause the teacher is not bright enough to see BULLIES for what they are.

huytongirl
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Re: Bullies with Asperger's: What do I do?

Postby huytongirl » Sun Dec 26, 2010 3:13 pm

I am a 49 year old Aspie, and this is pretty disturbing for me. I know someone I think is Aspie who I saw the other day being vilely unpleasant to someone who was just being friendly. You might say it was a one-off or he was having a bad day. But he was also rude and unkind to me (though I made excuses for him) and other people have told me about other incidents. In the place where I encounter him, he has had a formal warning about his behaviour.

It is very hard for me to admit that Aspies can be bullies. We have such a hard time from bullies ourselves, it horrifies me to think we would come to resemble our torturers. Also I feel like we're a tribe, and I want us all to be good people. But that's naive.

The bare idea that a bully should get away with it simply because they have Asperger's horrifies me. Teaching a child you can victimize others and get away with it because of being Aspie - ludicrous and very wrong. It's both lazy and poisonous. You may as well just lock those Aspie kids in a room on thier own, because they'll have to get used to being lonely. They'll grow up like this person I speak of - friendless, tolerated, only spoken to by people who pity them.

We are not allowed to become bullies because we've suffered. No one is.

I know I've been no help about the original question, but I am very glad to find this being debated here.

camom
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Re: Bullies with Asperger's: What do I do?

Postby camom » Fri May 06, 2011 6:38 pm

my 6-year-old asperger son has been accused of bullying a little boy at school. If I were there to see and stop it in action, I would. I really wish I knew how I could get him to stop and we have tried many things. So has the school. Its not for the lack of trying. It bothers me to hear folks on this thread threaten with lawyers, under the false assumption that the parents and even the school are somehow in support of their children's bullying... Like a lawsuit is really the answer... I was actually looking for some constructive advice on how to stop the behavior. No, Aspergers is definitely not an excuse. So does anybody have any examples of what has worked for them here?

kelly14
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Re: Bullies with Asperger's: What do I do?

Postby kelly14 » Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:45 am

This program is designed to support children who have Asperger's Syndrome or high functioning autism. Learners start the program with individual sessions and then graduate into the group setting . Skills that are targeted include:

*pragmatics
*social play skills
*pretend play skills
*friendship rules
*reading body language
*referencing the environment
*self-calming techniques
*requesting in stressful scenarios
*transitioning

aspergers program

saavedra
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Re: Bullies with Asperger's: What do I do?

Postby saavedra » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:13 pm

My aspie son was bullied in his school, that's why I sent him to a special program. But knowing a case of a child being bullied by other kids with Asperger's... well, I never expected.

Braden01
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Re: Bullies with Asperger's: What do I do?

Postby Braden01 » Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:30 pm

I have a 8 year old son with Asperger's who is being accused of bullying in school. This is the first time he has ever been accused. I think in some cases, not all, that the term bullying is used when it is really something else. It is my opinion that bullying is an intentional behavior to harm another person, whether it be verbally, emotionally or physically. For many Asperger's children, control is a common thread in their behavior. They want to control all situations and conversations. It is up to involved parents with help from Behavioral Therapists to try and teach these children what is considered appropriate behavior. We can not expect the schools to do this for us. Unless you are living with an Asperger's child, you will never fully understand why they do what they do. In the case of the original post, I feel sorry that this school did not take it serious enough to get the children bullying this other child the proper help in order to try and stop the behavior. I am trying to use "Social Stories" to help my son choose the right response to his emotions. I have to keep reminding him that what he is feeling (anger, depression, excitement, or even anxiety) is a normal feeling. It is how we choose to act upon these emotions that set us apart. I know that Asperger's is not an excuse for bad behavior, but we need to look at why and what the triggers are to the behavior, before we can ever intend to help them change their way of thinking. Not punishing them is not the answer, nor is severe punishment the answer. Rather, holding them accountable for their behavior and helping them learn to change it, needs to be the policy for all schools. In my son's case, he is anger about not fitting in and does not know how to express this anger appropriately. All he can do at this time is apologize for yelling at this child. I do think that in some situations where accusations have been made and the problem does not get better, separation of the children is best. I would do this as well for my son if the behavior continued.

autismgal
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Re: Bullies with Asperger's: What do I do?

Postby autismgal » Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:24 am

I saw that people are still replying to my original post from 2009. Thanks for the interest in this subject.

Here's the update. There were some teens with Asperger's who bullied my daughter that year; one of them actually hit her! After that, two bullies were transferred to another summer program for kids with behavioral problems and/or emotional disturbance, where they could get more one-on-one behavioral help than they were getting in the ASD program.

My daughter underwent years of Applied Behavioral Analysis when she was a preschooler, and it made a huge difference. ABA or another type of behavior modification program could help young kids with Asperger's Syndrome, but those children rarely get behavioral help from the school system when they're young. It would be so much better for those kids if they got help earlier on, before the behavior got out of control.

My daughter no longer qualifies for summer programs due to the gains she made in middle school.

Braden01
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Re: Bullies with Asperger's: What do I do?

Postby Braden01 » Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:35 am

I am so happy that your situation was resolved. You are so right about early intervention. I think it is important to have an IEP for children with Asperger's, but more important is to have an outside behavioral therapist working with the child.

jennifr1966
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Re: Bullies with Asperger's: What do I do?

Postby jennifr1966 » Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:45 pm

My daughter ... I'm trying to think even how to put this ... she doesn't process things the way she should. She's 14, and can't understand that a five-year-old doesn't think the exact, same way. Last night she wanted to play with two young kids, one is 5 - maybe 6. That girl had a l-o-n-g jump rope, but the two girls were using it to pull each other around, for fun. My daughter starts pulling the rope, foot by foot, til she finally had it in her hands. I stopped her and told her to come inside. She cried and said, "But she never wants to do what I want to."
Well, we moms know that time, when the kids get frustrated. In fact, does it really ever end? There's always a king-of-the-hill, whether we're talking jobs, groups of friends, etc. It's an important thing to learn to figure out, but usually it takes place during elementary school years and even younger. Yet, here I stood, trying to get my 14 year old girl to give back that jump rope that belonged to a little kid. Was it bullying? Yes. Was it intentional bullying? No.
I think that's the point. These AS kids you were talking about. Did they INTENTIONALLY WANT to hurt your kid? If they did, then you have absolutely, 100% reason for being blown out of the water ANGRY. Either way, it *still* must be addressed, but maybe in a more understanding way, one that teaches them at their own level. But in no way should your child expect to feel threatened.
Unfortunately, at school, because my daughter is "off", no one liked her and they were always purposely trying to do things to get her to react. Once they could do that, they could enjoy her getting into trouble, while they got off scott-free. I totally believe in consequences, regardless of their level, but I completely believe in being fair.
When my daughter took away the rope, I made her give it back, and she had to come inside and talk to me. Once she was able to calm down, she came out and invited the same girl to color, and that worked. I have to constantly teach her that there are consequences and WHY. And yes, she is the same way about being wronged, but doesn't necessarily know that she's being wrong. That doesn't get her off the hook; it just lets me know HOW to deal with her.
I hope that helps.

Dominique22
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Re: Bullies with Asperger's: What do I do?

Postby Dominique22 » Fri May 08, 2015 2:14 am

Hello,
My 10 year old son with Aspergers is starting to bully kids at school. I keep talking to him about it and con sequencing him but it doesn't seem to be helping. I know he is angry about not being accepted by the kids. They stay away from him because he annoys them. He can't seem to stop that either. Any advice?


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