My Boy is an Anti-Bullying Champion.

I really admire my eight year old son’s sense of social justice. He has a very strong understanding of when things are fair or not fair, and he is passionate about sticking up for the downtrodden. When he was four years old he told me that for Christmas he didn’t want Santa to bring him any toys – instead he wanted Santa to give them to children who were poor and had nothing.

Sometimes though, I have to remind him that his execution of justice requires a little forethought and consideration.

I recall an incident that occurred last year when he was in grade one. Some bigger boys in grade six were harassing a little boy in grade prep and my beautiful boy was a witness to this bullying. So he stood up against these bigger boys to stop them. However his method of stopping them was to spit at them. *chuckles*

He knew that what these bigger boys were doing was wrong and unfair, and he stuck up for the little guy. And for his troubles he earned a reflection time.  A reflection time is basically a primary school (i.e. soft) version of a detention where they spend 10-15 minutes writing (or drawing pictures) of what they did wrong, how they felt, how the other person felt, and what they could have done that was different.

When I received the reflection time notice to sign and return to the school, I couldn’t help but feel proud that my dear little boy wasn’t afraid to stop bullies even though those bullies were 4 or 5 years older than him. At the same time I was a smidge grossed out that he actually spat at them (it’s the germaphobe in me – I detest spitting, it’s such a vile practice).

He was devastated that he got into trouble for what he saw as sticking up for a friend against bullies. Clearly I couldn’t punish him because his intentions were in the right place. Instead I had to sit him down and do my best to explain to him that it was his reaction of spitting that he was in trouble for, not the fact that he was trying to stop bullying in the school yard. We talked about healthy and unhealthy ways of dealing with bullies. Hopefully he understands that: yes bullying is unacceptable and has to be stopped, but there are better ways to stop the bullying.

All in all though, I am exceptionally proud that my dear little boy has a heart of gold, and looks out for others. He’s my little Anti-Bullying Champion!

A Diagnosis for My Boy

So I’m not the only one in my family with mind problems now. Not that I’m exactly happy about this diagnosis, but it at least gives me someone else other than myself to focus on. Someone to watch out for and spend time and effort in helping to overcome difficulties that arise.

I had confirmation from the paediatrician today that my eight year old son has a combination of Aspergers and ADHD. In some ways I’m not surprised, little things about him troubled me from an early age. But he is very high functioning, so I wasn’t too concerned until he started school, and his teacher’s have worried because he’s struggled in a few areas (social, emotional, concentration, and other little things). We’ll be exploring medication options at the next visit with the paediatrician to help with the ADHD, she thinks that focussing on treating the ADHD will also relieve some of the symptoms of Aspergers that he presents with.

I don’t know a whole lot about either of these conditions, but I do know that I want to help my son in the best way that I can. I know that I’ll be doing a whole lot of research now. And researching things is something I love doing – I really should have been a scientist. Having a focus in my external life, learning about something new, will help me to stay out of my internal world for a while. And although I constantly yearn to escape into my mind, I know it’s not really a healthy way to be. But with a new focus I’ll have to stay in the land of the living, not in my dreams.