Jeesh...... kids are all mean to each other, doesnt matter if one kid is autistic or not. Some kids are just labled "nerds" Kids are just mean, nothin you can do except make sure you tell your kid how great he is all the time.
I tend to stick up for my son if I happen to be with him and notice kids doing something that they shouldn't. Truthfully I think it hurts me more than my son because at this point I don't think he entirely understands what's going on yet...perhaps in a year or so when he can start to grasp this, I may have to have him involved in some sort of therapy to help overcome any depression that he may get from feeling distanced from his peers. In the meantime, I'm trying to derail this from ever happening in the first place.
Currently I just tell him how great he is and I make a point of trying to get him playdates with my friends kid so that he knows he has a "friend". My son is 5 - going to be 6 in October but seems to get on well with kids in the 3 to 4 year old range.
Also, I just keep encouraging him and always tell him what a great kid he is and how proud we are of him. I'm hoping when he enters Kindergarten this fall that I can meet with his classmates early on to help establish a sort of connection between them and my son...sort of talk up how cool he is to them and maybe get a friend or two in the neighborhood that can come over to the house to play. I've "talked up" my son to kids on the playground a few times that he's just met, and it seems to help. I'm kind of the go between sometimes at first to get communication established ("This is Alex, what's your name?" or usually my son will ask me "what's that kids name?" and I'll say, I dunno, lets go ask him! Or he'll say hello and tells them what age he is by himself and asks if they want to play....If I help out in trying to get the introduction going, then I include something personal like - "Alex can swim really good and he can swim all by himself in the deep end of the pool, isn't he cool? What can you do by yourself?") And so on.
Thanks for replying both of you! You are right, all kids can be mean & I need some thick skin. Hey Pandabaire...are you by chance in southeast Wisconsin? You gave some great advice. I am getting really nervous about school starting up again. Alex will be in 1st grade this year with no early childhood support or special services.
Yes I'm in Waukesha - my Alex will be attending his Kindergarten class at his home school which is right by my house. He still has IEP's and we're focusing on social issues as part of it. I really hope things go well for both our Alex's.
It is important to have a thick skin early on because it doesn't get any better as they get older. My son is 16 and a Junior. We were having dinner one night a couple of years ago and asked how school was going. He said everyone hates me. They think I'm weird. He also gets called *** . I just wanted to cry because my son is the neatest kid. Since then he has made some good friends and it seems that the ones he makes stay with him for a long time. He still gets made fun of, but so do a lot of other kids who are not autistic. I just watch him for signs of problems and talk to him about it often. I only intervene when I feel that he is not able to handle a situation on his own.
It isn't time that heals all wounds, it's what you do with that time. Dr. Phil
Cutup- I'm sorry your son has has a hard time too. You sound as though you're really grounded & love your son very much. I guess the best thing we can do is love them & tell them how great we think they are. Keep up the good work! Pandabaire- Whoa! I live in Waukesha too! My husband & I work for Waukesha Public schools! What a coincidence! Did you say your Alex attends school here or stays at home?
From the age of 3 to last spring he attended Blair -(MaryPat was his teacher) and now on September 2nd he'll be attending Bethesda for full day kindergarten. (so happy about this because 1) he'll be in a "normal" class and 2)it's ALL DAY which will keep him extremely busy!!)
Krissi, what school will your boy be attending? How come your son won't be on any IEP during his first grade year - does he not have an official diagnosis??
[This message has been edited by Pandabaire3 (edited 08-28-2003).]
Ooops, just wanted to add that when I say "normal" class, I mean that the majority of children in his Kindergarten class will not have disabilities. This is good for my son because he tends to copy and mimic other kids as his way of learning how to socialize. When he was in EC, he was in a group of kids that were disabled, AND there were a few "model" kids that were just there for preschooling and not for therapies.
Alex tended to mimic the other disabled kids at times, which means he would make the same speech patterns, etc. SO I'm happy he is going to be "mainstreamed" into a class with pretty much all non-disabled kids that he can learn and follow from. He's still going to have speech and occupational therapies and from my understanding, there will be an aid present - but I'm not entirely sure that the aid will be there 100% of the time. As part of his IEP, I put the focus on social issues and requested that he be watched during things like lunch and recess so that he doesn't get picked on or beat up.
Because of the fact that he mimics, or starts saying things from one of his favorite television shows in an echolacia (sp?) way, kids can think that he's weird and/or making fun of THEM. I witnessed something like this at the public pool this summer - a small group of boys though that Alex had purposefully splashed and kicked water at them, so they were mad and doing back to him. Also he went near a group of girls and must've been repeating lines from his favorite show or something that obviously didn't make sense to them and they kept calling him weird, and bringing other kids into it. I witnessed this but didn't do anything as they seemed to be going to a different area of the pool to get away from him. If they had been talking directly to them and ganging up on him or something, I would've given them a good proper discussion on how it's not nice to talk about people and make fun of others who are different.