1st grade boy with speech delay experiencing psychological bullying at school
My 1st grade boy is tall for his age, however, he has a receptive and expressive speech delay that makes it difficult for him to make friends (kids think he is older, but when he speaks it is obvious something is "not right"). He is above average in his athletic skills. I have countered his challenges by working really hard to get to know the Moms in my community, invite kids for playdates, group playdates, sports teams, etc...as a result he was doing okay as he had a few kids who are friends. However, there is a group/clique of boys that are very verbal, more mature, athletic, etc.. and will tease him at school telling him he is "not cool," telling him he cannot play games that all of the other kids are playing (like tag) or "making him it," all of the time. The kids my son is friends with are less sure about their social standing, so while they do not participate, it is hard for them to "stand up for him." I am also finding that he is getting "shrouded" kids that were friends with him, are now not friends because they see him taking the abuse on the playground. It is quite heartbreaking, my son told me last night he wanted to be "normal," or another kid (who is well liked). I want to contact his teacher to start some discussion as to how we might help him, but want to make sure I am not overreacting, and to understand what my options are with the school to help him. Thanks,
You are a concerned mother and are not overreacting! You should definitely speak with your son's teacher and to the school counselor or school social worker if possible. There are many things the school can do to encourage kids to get along. Many schools have implemented "no put-downs" and anti-bullying programs. Teaching respect and self control needs to start at an early age.
Ideally parents and the school should work together, but you are your child's strongest advocate. In the home encourage him to stand up for himself by role playing and practicing with him how to respond when he feels he is being left out. Encourage him in the areas he shows interest and strengths, as well as allow him to try new things.
If you would like to speak with one of our counselors, we are here 24 hours, 7 days a week to listen and to support parents. We have a toll-free Hotline, we can be reached by e-mail, and we have a website for parents. Take care, and let us know if we can help. Best wishes to you and to your son.
Boys Town National Hotline
Thank you for your detailed question. Unfortunately bullying seems to be very prevalent in schools these days. It is clear that you have worked extensively to try and make social situations easier for your child, and that is commendable. You should absolutely contact his teacher and ask for help in the matter, he or she will be able to keep an eye on the situation at school and may have some good advice.
Talk to the teacher now! You are not over reacting and this can be very damaging to your child. Teachers and administrators should not allow this to happen and should stop it immediately. If the teacher can't get it under control talk with the administrators!
Oh dear. This breaks my heart. You are NOT overreacting to this and you must immediately get the teacher's support.
I often do compassion training that teachers need to implement He needs to feel a safe environment in school.
We can also build his self esteem from the inside out.
You may want to check out my character building program at www.wingsforwishes.com
He deserve support, love and friends. He IS normal but has a delay.
I hate to use the word limitation as I wrote a book, Winning and interviewed so many people who overcame serious limitations so there really are none if you believe in yourself.
He needs you as a support system
I see that this was posted awhile ago, but on the chance that you receive my reply, I wanted to ask you how it's going for him now. My son is about to start 1st grade, and we're in the same boat: he has a speech delay, and in kindergarten he was mostly ignored by the other kids, because he's hard to understand, and understandably shy. He has an acute understanding that he is not like the other kids, and so many times I have held him while he cried that the other kids think he's a baby, or that he can't hear. I am so afraid of what's to come, and trying not to borrow trouble, but I know that peer pressure and pack mentality increase as kids get older, and I'm just anticipating him having a hard time. I don't know who his teacher will be this year, or if she'll be compassionate with him, and perceptive of how he is being treated. I am prepared to pull him out and homeschool him if things get bad, but I also know that I must balance the need to protect him from the world, as well as prepare him for it. I hope that you and your son are well, and that school is looking up.
This is so heartbreaking as it hits close to home, my son is tall for his age also, he also has a speech impediment. He was bullied from kindergarten and now in 3rd it still happens on occasion. I have spoke to the teacher the principle , and the superindenet they stop it for awhile then it starts back. Please keep at it as I do my son hates school because he don't have any friends. Be proactive be his voice, don't think it's normal or just kids being kids, because its not. Please Please do your best to help him in school.
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