Wednesday, January 11, 2012


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.


Emily S. said...

This breaks my heart. I'm so sorry you're having to go through this. I have a 3 year old son with Speech Apraxia and is being tested for Austism as well. I dread those days that we have ahead of us. Just leave those sweet little boys be!!

Tyler said...

I will literally punch someone in the face! just point me in the direction!

Sabrina said...

This makes me sick to my stomach. I am so sorry you are having to deal with this. Poor Jak. He IS a nice boy. I will pray for a good meeting at school and that it gets resolved quickly.

Leanna said...

ditto tyler

J, C, and E said...

Oh that poor little guy. The mama bear instinct to protect your child at all costs just over powers any rational thought. You and Jakson are in my thoughts and prayers. And I'll add in another ditto of Tyler's comment.

Shenna said...

How awful that the bullying starts in kindergarten! It makes me so sad for Jak that he's having to deal with it so early in life. Horrible. Hopefully it gets resolved quickly!

Audra Bollard said...

A good friend told me once that the hardest part of sending a child to school is that suddenly your parenting switches from preventative to reactive. This is so frustrating and heartbreaking to hear about--my heart is breaking for Jak! Luckily he has an awesome advocate in you. I'm praying this gets resolved positively.

It makes me want to sit my boys down (again) and chat about never, ever bullying anyone. They are nice boys too, but it doesn't hurt to repeat this lesson. I wish every parent took their responsibility to teach kindness seriously.

Give Jak a hug for us.

Princess Martha said...

That's terrible. Keep onto the school. The school need to contact the childs parents, and they need to address their child. If that child continues this behaviour towards Jakson, he is the one who needs to be removed from school. Unfortunately, if its not your son, it will be another child this kids harasses so he needs to be dealt with now. Keep calling the school daily until they do more. I know its tough. xx

Missy said...

It's awful. It's hard. And it happens. My beautiful firstborn boy had a bully in kindergarten. It happened on and off throughout the year and the same boy tried to be bully-some in first grade, but they were in separate classes and had limited interaction.

Good for you for being aware and availabe for when you boy needed to vent. I found, teaching my guy to go to the grown up was helpful, but more helpful was to stand up to the bully. Bullies only impose themselves on thsoe who won't push back. I taught my guy to just shout, "STOP." It would get a teacher's attention and brought the bully actions into the light.

We literally role played at home, I would be the "bully" and my guy got to practice with that simple word. He learned to be less timid and we identified a safe friend who would always be his buddy.

I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. It's terribly upsetting!

cj said...

Beth this breaks my heart. I just love Jakson. I'll always have a special place for him in my heart because he was my favorite kid in nursery!! I hope everything gets resolved as soon as possible.

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