How should I help my son with Aspergers who I suspect is victim to bullying at school, but school officials are not saying too much about it?

As a child with Aspergers Syndrome, your child is very susceptible to bullying by others.  Being just a little different can be devastating in the school setting.  Your son is an intelligent person, but those struggles with sensory issues and social skills make him stand out.  The other kids do not understand what this means, so they take advantage.

Fortunately, most school systems have strong anti-bullying policies.  Unfortunately, these policies are difficult to enforce.  In your case, you suspect the bullying and the school is taking the common neutral stance. In some instances, teachers and coaches tolerate bullying, even with these policies in place. Therefore, sometimes the people, who could lend validity to your claim-teachers, students, and your son-are unwilling to admit what’s happening or that they have allowed the bullying.

Even so, you should step in and voice your concerns.  The way you handle things can with your son’s school officials will determine the results.  Here are five tips to get you started.

1. Request a meeting with your son’s teachers to discuss the matter at hand.  You have placed your son’s education in the hands of these people.  You must trust that they will bring professionalism and care to the table, as you will.

2. Make your concerns known in writing.  Follow up your meeting with a letter so you have tangible proof of the meeting and the results.  Better yet, make the meeting an official IEP meeting.

3. Keep a calm demeanor and a team mindset.  State your cause of distress without anger or accusation.  You all have one thing in common-the education and best interests of your child.

4. State your reasons for believing there is a problem.  Your son’s physical and/or emotional symptoms will give you insight on what is happening at school.  His teachers should be made aware of the effects.

5. Never give up; never surrender!  If you feel these steps have been unsuccessful, move up to the next tier of control.  Do not stop until you feel the matter has been handled properly.  You can do this without malice or ill will and you can involve local law enforcement if necessary.

A big part of parenting a child with Asperger’s Syndrome is advocacy.  Bullying negatively affects your son and your family.  You must be the advocate your son needs to guarantee his personal safety.

Thanks for reading,

Dave Angel

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