I left a comment on a blog back in April about what I would want to tell the teachers of tomorrow. This is what I said:
“Please remind them that they have a responsibility to help our children and judging them does not help anyone. Remind them that they have a choice to be an inspiration or a detriment to our most vulnerable children. Advise them that even when children on the autism spectrum are teenagers they are not typical teenagers and asking them to write from a typical teenager’s perspective is ludicrous especially if a simple change in the assignment can avoid problems. Please beg them to assume the best rather than the worse about our children and to be aware that other things besides the class itself may affect our child’s ability to complete an assignment. Wrong assumptions can and do harm our children.”
Good teachers are the ones who are supportive of those who struggle either academically or socially without calling attention to the child. They promote kindness and tolerance and they avoid making assumptions. They realize each child is unique and they do not assume they know everything about a child on the autism spectrum or with any other diagnosis just because they have known other children with the same diagnosis. They realize past bullying can take years to overcome. My daughter was fortunate to have a few of these teachers.
Then we have teachers that bully our children as indicated in Teachers Bullying Your Child? Dealing With Teacher Problems. Now, I cannot fathom a teacher intentionally harming a child, but I know many hurt my child whether they knowingly did so or not. I believe they actually contributed to the bullying even if they did not knowingly bully her. This has to stop!
One more thing that needs to stop is teachers who fail to recognize how long the effects of bullying last. The teacher who ultimately caused my daughter to leave her school told me she did not see how bullying that happened over four years prior could still be affecting my daughter. I have said it before and I am still saying it, the bullying caused more problems than Asperger’s traits and sensory sensitivity combined for my child. My daughter’s school let us down by their lack of understanding. Teachers, counselors, and school administration all need to read this, New Study Shows Long-Term Effects of Bullying Tied to Empathy « Bullying Stories and this, Long term effects of Bullying in girls and boys – Child Psychology and Parenting Blog: Child-Psych.org.
P.S. I have offered my services for free to my daughter’s former school, yet so far they have not accepted this offer. Maybe they think I have an agenda other than helping them, I do not know. I keep hearing stories about the same counselor making the same mistakes over and over again along with more bullying stories. I have to wonder why they are unwilling to accept help.
Technically, my blogaversary is September fifth, but who wants to celebrate an anniversary on a Monday or to share it with Labor Day? Not me! So I took the time to play with a new program to bake a cake create a picture for my blogaversary. FYI My daughter did not get her artistic traits from me! Still I did have fun and that is the real point isn’t it?
Mahalo for celebrating my special day with me! I hope all of you have a nice weekend, a long one for the USA and hopefully an uneventful one weather-wise. Please visit again on Monday when I will be back to more serious topics like how some teachers contribute to bullying and how the good ones discourage it and help those who are victims.
I am grateful that all of my family and friends up and down the Eastern Coast survived Hurricane Irene and I am grateful for nice weather here. I am posting less as things here have been a little crazy as I mentioned previously. I wish I could tell you that things have improved. I am still working on that. However, two wonderful things happened three weeks ago today. My old friend who happens to work in computer forensics for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation visited and agreed to be my go-to person for questions as I write my second novel about cyber-bullying. It was wonderful to see her and to meet a new friend who was traveling with her too.
My favorite Korean Barbeque.
Everyone’s favorite Malasadas and I love the sign that I cut off about please don’t park at 909 Kapahulu since this was exactly where I was when I took the picture. Don’t worry, I did not leave my car and I wasn’t there long.
The back kept me from taking them out, but I picked up my favorite local food, Gina’s Korean Barbeque for them and stopped by everyone’s favorite place for Malasadas, Leonard’s Bakery for Malasada Puffs for dessert. Not exactly a low cal meal, but definitely ono aka yummy. I was so excited about seeing my friend that I did not notice that I also dropped my wallet at Leonard’s. I realized it was missing the next morning. Relief and gratitude filled my heart and mind when I learned Leonard’s had it. Mahalo to the person who found it although I do not know your name. Aloha is alive and well in Honolulu!
Robert suggested a series on bullying and agreed to be my first guest. I am calling on parents who have children who have been victims of bullying or who have been a bully, as well has those who have been victims of bullying themselves to share stories of how the bullying affected them. Be as general as you like if somethings are too uncomfortable to share.
An aside: I recently updated the look and added pages to my blog. Please let me know what you think?
Final Request: Many of you know my daughter has been sharing her stories about how bullying affected her. Please stop by and comment on her post, It Still Hurts and please comment on others’ stories, starting with Robert’s as I post them as well. I will give you more details when I actually start the series. I will probably try to have a post either every couple of weeks or once a month depending on how many respond. I realize many of you feel that you cannot handle reading these stories and I understand, but I also think it is important to support those who have been on the receiving end of bullying and I hope you agree. They deserve our support! That is why I decided to change my stance and openly support my daughter. I am very proud of her.
My daughter’s blog is now private so I have removed the link to her blog. Please respect her privacy.