Sunday, January 17, 2010


Children with AS are often bullied at school. There are several reasons for this. Many individuals are often lacking in assertiveness, and others are too assertive without a proper means of building respect or authority. Physical awkwardness and a lack of control over their feelings can lead to tantrum attacks where the child launches an uncoordinated lunge at another. These only escalate conflicts. What is more, children with AS are often pegged as troublemakers by school officials which will give bullies the idea that the child is an easy target. As an example, I was recently hired by parents who became fed up when their son was suspended after he was attacked by three other children. He managed to push two of the children off of him and proceeded to give the third a bloody nose. Naturally, the only student punished was the victim. The school district thus opened itself to a discrimination suit (probably in court by next year) and the other children continued to bully the student until he was moved to another placement. Interestingly enough, they never choose to hit him again. I think the student should be given a medal for defending himself but he made one mistake: by giving the other student a bloody nose he applied too much force in his own defense. In a martial arts class he might have learned how to force someone to the ground so he could get away without hurting that person too much.

As for the school officials, who wants to be known as a bigot. When I conduct a training at a school district, as I often do, I begin by defining discrimination against a special needs child and how they need to be aware. If you treat a student as a trouble child, so will the other students.

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