My Son makes Fun of the Autistic Kid in Class

I know bullying happens. I am not naïve to that. But what I didn’t know is that sometimes parents think it is funny too.

They promote it. They laugh about it. They condone it.

And they even brag about it over a cup of coffee.

I was sitting with a few co-workers the other day having a cup of coffee and we were sharing stories about our kids.

We were laughing about the drama around little girls and the laid back personalities of little boys. I was hearing about dance and soccer and laughing at the ‘darndest’ things kids say.

The conversation kept evolving and I was having the best time. I love hearing about other people’s kids and what I have to look forward too.

And then one of the ladies said the following: “My son makes fun of the autistic boy in his class and it’s hilarious.”

First, I swear you could hear a pin drop. We stopped our giggling and side conversations and turned to her.

Second, I immediately thought I must not have heard her correctly. I must have heard her wrong. No one would think this let alone say it out loud.

And she continued without fear. “My son has the whole act down. He covers his ears and repeats words and even does a hand twitch. He has the flap down perfectly.”

My stomach dropped. I started repeating to myself, “Do not cry. Do not cry. Do not cry.”

I willed myself to hold it together.

My son covers his ears. My son’s hands twitch. My son flaps his hands.

And one of my greatest fears is that he will be bullied for it.

I guest I also didn’t know that we refer to kids as the ‘autistic ones.’ I guess I again naïvely thought he was just a kid.

We all continued to stare at her.

I had assumed that everyone in this group knew about Cooper. Not that it should matter if we are all kind humans. But I guess I just thought she knew about my son.

Thankfully, the other ladies didn’t think it was funny either. We all stared at her with stunned looks on our faces. No one said a word.

She started back peddling and said “Oh, he doesn’t do it in front of him. Just at home for us. He’ll put on quite the show in our living room.”

And quickly added…”The boy doesn’t even know he teases him.”

I guess that was supposed to make it better.

I could tell she wanted us to understand how funny it was. So, she actually mimicked the hand motion that this little boy does.

Sure as hell she flapped her arms quickly. Like Cooper does when he is excited and joyful.

It then dawned on me. Not only does her son make fun of the autistic boy, she does too.

A grown woman. A woman with kids. A woman raising children that will go out into the world.

I know I have an extra stake in the whole autism thing so it probably hurt me more than others. I get that. But really?

A fellow mom with a son the same age as my little boy. A son who I am sure wasn’t perfect either.

A million thoughts were running through my head. Before I could even speak she was gone. She quickly excused herself and run off.

I sat there for a more minutes. A woman sitting next to me asked if I was okay. I said yes.

In that moment I realized how ugly the world can be. And while I am one of the loudest advocates you will ever meet, this caught me off guard. Bullying is usually blatant. It is aggressive. It comes at me in swiftly and quickly.

This was subtle. Over a cup of coffee. I knew bullying happened. I just didn’t know it could blindside me.

Interested in writing for Finding Cooper’s Voice? LEARN MORE

Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter.

 

22 likes
Prev post: Weekend UpdateNext post: The Evaluation is Done.

Related posts

Comments

  • behindblueeyes914

    February 4, 2014 at 6:46 pm
    Reply

    I find this disgusting. I would be furious. You should have asked her if she talks about you behind your back because it's obviously okay […] Read MoreI find this disgusting. I would be furious. You should have asked her if she talks about you behind your back because it's obviously okay to make fun of and degrade others as long as they aren't around to defend themselves. Read Less

  • I was mostly just sad. Sad for the mom of the little boy. And the little boy. I pray to God that no one teases […] Read MoreI was mostly just sad. Sad for the mom of the little boy. And the little boy. I pray to God that no one teases him. Read Less

  • born4apurpose

    February 4, 2014 at 11:26 pm
    Reply

    I'm sorry to hear another story on bullying! I'm sorry you have to go through this. It's sad that our culture has become […] Read MoreI'm sorry to hear another story on bullying! I'm sorry you have to go through this. It's sad that our culture has become numb to compassion for others. I was bullied most of my grade school life and understand the pain but what was hard for me was parents who didn't understand how bad it hurt. I would try to explain but they didn't think it was as bad as I was making it to be when all the while it was very painful. I just wanted someone to help me through the valleys. Most of the time I traveled them alone. Read Less

  • mewhoami

    February 4, 2014 at 11:30 pm
    Reply

    Reading that statement, stopped me in my tracks. What on earth would make anyone, especially a mother think that teasing a child is okay? There […] Read MoreReading that statement, stopped me in my tracks. What on earth would make anyone, especially a mother think that teasing a child is okay? There is nothing funny about that whatsoever. I usually hold my tongue quite well, but I don't think I would have been able to had I been there. That's just down right ignorance and what makes it worse, is that she's teaching her child that that behavior is acceptable. Wow, this got my blood boiling. I must go breathe now. Read Less

  • findingcoopersvoice
    to mewhoami

    February 5, 2014 at 2:27 am
    Reply

    Awful, right? I can't stop thinking about it actually. I'm dreading seeing her again because I am so uncomfortable by it:-(

  • findingcoopersvoice
    to born4apurpose

    February 5, 2014 at 2:29 am
    Reply

    I am so sorry. It;s all awful. I wish it could be different. Kids are only little for such a short time and it breaks […] Read MoreI am so sorry. It;s all awful. I wish it could be different. Kids are only little for such a short time and it breaks my heart that they could be picked on. Read Less

  • VeganDee

    February 5, 2014 at 12:19 pm
    Reply

    So sorry you had to ensure this "class- less" woman. My cousin has autism and Down syndrome. I would have been furious, […] Read MoreSo sorry you had to ensure this "class- less" woman. My cousin has autism and Down syndrome. I would have been furious, too. Sad truth is this: individuals like this don't change with society pointing out how ignorant they are. Read Less

  • findingcoopersvoice
    to VeganDee

    February 5, 2014 at 7:01 pm
    Reply

    And even more sad...they teach their kids that it's ok. Good to hear from you! I hope you are doing well!

  • Emma Fahy Davis

    February 5, 2014 at 10:19 pm
    Reply

    I still remember the first time Mercedes got teased because she's different. Her ear was discharging and some kids at school told her she smelled. […] Read MoreI still remember the first time Mercedes got teased because she's different. Her ear was discharging and some kids at school told her she smelled. She was 5. I cried for days, made worse by the fact that she ended up back in hospital for 10 days, and then I raged at the teacher for not protecting her. But it was such an awful, powerless feeling to realize that I can't protect her from all the mean people in the world. I can only hope that her journey thru life leads her to many more good people than nasty ones. Good on you for not slapping your co-worker. I probably would have. Read Less

  • VeganDee
    to findingcoopersvoice

    February 6, 2014 at 1:00 am
    Reply

    (I am doing okay... got a bit of a surprise diagnosis of my own in November and still trying to find my peace with it. […] Read More(I am doing okay... got a bit of a surprise diagnosis of my own in November and still trying to find my peace with it. Never a dull moment, eh?) Read Less

  • findingcoopersvoice
    to VeganDee

    February 6, 2014 at 9:02 pm
    Reply

    Email me if you ever want to chat! Sending hugs.

  • VeganDee
    to findingcoopersvoice

    February 6, 2014 at 11:19 pm
    Reply

    Uh, silly question.... How to I email you directly? I've looked high and low? LOL.

  • Gina

    January 29, 2016 at 5:10 pm
    Reply

    Every so often I re-read this post. It's like I can't believe an adult did that and I have to make sure I read […] Read MoreEvery so often I re-read this post. It's like I can't believe an adult did that and I have to make sure I read it correctly. Breaks my heart everytime. Read Less

  • April Ignacio

    March 30, 2017 at 9:47 pm
    Reply

    I cannot imagine what I could do now if ever this happens to me (or under my watch). I could swing both ways though depending […] Read MoreI cannot imagine what I could do now if ever this happens to me (or under my watch). I could swing both ways though depending on my care level for the day. One, primal rage could set in and just tackle the sucker head on. Two, I might bow my head and leave- then regret that because deep down I feel like I should've said something. Ugh god! I hope I do something (anything) to put that parent in place. Parents will always raise their kids differently and I accept that in fact I love it because that's diversity but to mock someone or put someone down and condone it as a parent? Geez I feel sorry for the kid mainly. Much love A Read Less

Leave a Reply

Join Coop’s Troop
Join Coop’s Troop

Become a Supporter of Finding Cooper's Voice and join our online community, Coop's Troop. Membership includes Facebook Lives with our family, giveaways and more.
JOIN NOW

About Me
About Me

Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

READ MORE

SHOP OUR SHIRTS
SHOP OUR SHIRTS
FindingCoopersVoice
SHOP OUR SHIRTS
SHOP OUR SHIRTS
Sign up for Finding Cooper's Voice
* = required field

powered by MailChimp!
SHOP OUR SHIRTS
SHOP OUR SHIRTS
Most Popular
SHOP OUR SHIRTS
SHOP OUR SHIRTS