Jakson and Grandpa
Parenting a child with special needs is emotionally exhausting. First you worry about everything that MIGHT happen. And then when those worries become realities, you worry that they are happening.
I fully expected to be dealing with our current reality at some point, though I wish I was writing this post two or three years from now. I never foresaw Jakson dealing with bullying as young as kindergarten, yet it has begun.
Last week Jakson started telling me every morning that he was sick and couldn't go to school. He's not quite old enough to do the old "stick a thermometer on a light bulb to warm it up" trick, so his complaints of being hot were pretty obviously untrue. A couple of meltdowns later, the real reason for his desire to stay home was uncovered.
A 5 year old bully.
For Jakson to notice that someone is mocking or making fun of him is kind of a big deal. He's generally socially oblivious. Or maybe just generally oblivious. But whichever, unless it was repetitive and over the top, I don't think he would bother noticing.
These types of situations are made more difficult by Jakson's lack of verbal skills. He speaks, but is often difficult to understand and tends to use as few words as possible to get his point across. Which usually results in his point falling short of "across". I'm not sure if I have yet to learn the whole story, but the gist is that a boy at school is mocking and "repeating" Jakson. And according to Jak has"been mean" on repeated occasions.
Of course, I took this to the teacher. Mainly for the fact that it was hindering Jakson's desire to attend school. And I don't believe any bullying incident should go unreported. I wanted the issue addressed before it escalated.
Jak's teacher took the bullying seriously, addressed it with the child, spoke with Jakson about coming to her, and put preventative measures in place to ensure the two children weren't placed together in groups, etc. We went for a couple of days with Jakson going to school without meltdowns or fake sicknesses.
But teachers cannot be everywhere. Yesterday Jak told me on the way home that during lineup in PE, the same boy shoved Jak to the ground and then cut in front of him. Unfortunately he didn't tell any adults (and according to him, no teacher saw it), but saved it for me because (his words, not mine), I'm "the best". Well thanks, Jak but I don't have any power over consequences for this child.
This morning we were back to being "ill" and throwing fits about school.
Emotionally exhausting. For all parties involved.
I have written to his teacher, left a message for the principal, and reminded Jakson that he needs to tell an adult when these things happen. Having a child that does not feel safe at school is unacceptable. Especially in kindergarten. I'm not sure what else I can do at this point short of pulling him out completely and homeschooling. I am praying that the bullying can be resolved at the school and I will not have to take such drastic measures. When Jakson told me his story yesterday he asked, "Mom, why is he so mean? I'm a nice boy." My heart is breaking for my sweet little boy who is sadly learning that other kids can be cruel.