I have always been different-and proud. It never really affected me. I wasn’t bullied; I had my group of friends. But I was always different, shy and socially awkward. But it never stopped me from doing anything. I think I have actually become more socially awkward as I get older. I got along better with guys than girls, probably because I was never much into gossip or make up or hair or anything that they were interested in. I was definitely a tomboy and proud of it. Still am! I was extremely lucky to find someone as weird and awkward as me!!!!
My son, however, worries me. He is very socially awkward I always see it at the bus stop. The kids in his grade ignore him all the time when he tries to talk to them. They shy away and just talk to each other. It doesn’t seem to phase him, yet it breaks my heart. He has always gotten along better with adults (not his father and myself of course). We took him to a neurologist since his school work was suffering and he said that he would diagnose him with Asperger’s Syndrome. However, since that was lumped in with Autism although it is different, he decided to diagnose him as ADHD combined so that he could still get the help in school. What is Asperger’s? Asperger’s Syndrome is a type of pervasive developmental disorder (PDD). PDD’s have a spectrum, and are a group of conditions that involve delays in the development of many basic skills, most notably the ability to socialize with others, to communicate, and to use imagination. (source: http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/mental-health-aspergers-syndrome)
So in short, he doesn’t know how to act in social situations, he never makes eye contact during conversation, and he fidgets and gets fixated very intensely on things. He knows when he does something wrong but he has absolutely no impulse control. It’s hard to deal with. He also has my stubbornness which makes it even more difficult. But the worst part is how I see kids react to him. He has friends in his class, but a lot of kids don’t want much to do with him because he doesn’t understand how to hold a conversation. He doesn’t pick up on typical social cues. But he does love to read. Recently, he was among only 50 students in his grade to get a reading award. He was so proud as were we!
With all the bullying going on for kids who are different, it scares me. He’s getting closer to the age where it seems to have exploded. I have tried to build him up in every way and teach him that bullies are usually treated poorly themselves so they treat others badly. I’ve taught him to stand up for himself and for others who are being treated poorly and I know he has been bullied a few times and gone to the teacher about it. I worry so much because he is different and that is what makes him special. Every time I read a story about a child who committed suicide because of the horrendous bullying I get more scared. Should I homeschool him? I have always thought about that. But I can’t protect him forever. I know that I just have to be there for him. Really listen to him. I need to stand up for him if no one else will and always believe him. And most importantly, I need to ensure he knows that our differences are what make us beautiful and I would never change a thing about him.