May 11, 2009
The Boy has been having a problem with bullies in our neighborhood. He's been teased, taunted, punched, kicked, hit with a stick, and had rocks thrown at him. He's been called retarded and a faggot, and one boy even intimated that The Boy raped another neighborhood boy.
These kids range in age from about seven to 17. If The Boy goes outside, the odds are that one or more of these kids will bother him. When he closes the front door, I wait to hear his screams (he screams like a girl).
In The Boy's defense, he has not struck out at these kids, he has not resorted to violence. He tries to keep from crying until he gets inside, but has not always managed to keep his tears in check on his way back home. He also says that "he has not been a good friend in the past, so he deserves this treatment".
A little background: The Boy has been diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, an autism disorder, as well as Bipolar Disorder. His problems with social skills are pretty evident - the kids don't get his jokes, and he speaks in a nasal tone. He is interested in the Muppets and Jim Henson, and other subjects that most 13 year olds aren't into. He is physically awkward, doesn't ride a bike or skateboard. He wants desperately to find a friend, so he ventures out into the neighborhood, hoping that today, the kids will befriend him.
We live in a mobile home community (AKA trailer park); I silently refer to these ruffians as "trailer trash". I am sure that they learned their intolerance at home, and that most of the problems are due to ignorance about autism and kids who are different.
It's been ten months of bullying thus far. I am not sure how to stop it, unless The Boy just stays inside. It's going to be a long summer if we can't negotiate a truce. On Saturday, there was a neighborhood yard sale. I made it a point to speak to the most aggregious offenders myself, urging them to try to get along. I also spoke to some parents - they assured me that their children will not pick on The Boy.
The local school district does have curriculum for bullying. Perhaps they need to add something about kids with disabilities?
The Boy came home early today, he was feeling ill...so today, I don't have to worry about what goes on outside.