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ibisgirl
ibisgirl asks:
Q:

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,
In Topics: Working with my child's teacher(s), Bullying and teasing
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Feb 1, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

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.

Sincerely,

Cynthia, Counselor
Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000
hotline@boystown.org
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Additional Answers (3)

graham
graham writes:
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.
> 60 days ago

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emerald16
emerald16 writes:
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!
> 60 days ago

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EdieRaether
EdieRaether , Teacher writes:
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
Cheers,
Edie

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