As most of you are aware my son, his name, has Asperger’s Syndrome. He is now 16 years old and can still tell you word for word the cruel things that some of the kids in his kindergarten class and our neighborhood said to him. He is also now doing very well in school and is popular with both teachers and the few friends who spend any time getting to know him.
This link will take you to the CBS newscast of the story that has broken my heart for 5 year old Alex Barton and his Mom, Melissa Barton, too: http://www.breitbart.tv/html/103693.html
This link will take you to an Asperger’s Syndrome support site with some additional details about the story, as well as links regarding the card and letter writing campaign I am asking each of you to consider taking part in:
Additionally, I would like to ask you to forward this information to your own School system’s School Board and ask that they initiate some kind of educational requirement or in service training for the teachers so that more situations like this can be avoided for these beautiful young people as they try to take their place in the
Thanks in advance for your
Of course this can be edited to suit individual needs; linking to this blog is certainly not a requirement for using it!
I have been planning to update my sidebar for some time, and am in the process of doing so now. I have added a link list of anti-bullying resources. I also recommend visiting lastcrazyhorn's blog, Odd One Out. She has written some very insightful posts on bullying and its consequences, and also has a link list focusing on specific articles on bullying.
The topic of teachers who bully their students has not been widely researched, but there are a couple of interesting papers available online. One is a very recently submitted master's thesis by Susan Marie Reschny of the University of Saskatchewan. Lengthy, but well worth the read, this is a qualitative study focusing on parents' perceptions and concluding with suggestions for administrators, school boards and other stakeholders to address the problem.
Alan McEvoy's Teachers Who Bully Students: Patterns and Implications has a lot to say about the abuse of power and tactics used by these teachers, tactics that will come as no surprise to anyone who has experienced bullying of any variety (shifting attention to the victim's behavior, attempts to convince victims they are "paranoid or crazy"). This is a pilot study which used convenience sampling, but it surely supports the need for more extensive research in the area of teachers who bully.
There are a few books which offer advice on bullying for students on the spectrum and their parents. Nick Dubin's Asperger Syndrome and Bullying: Strategies and Solutions discusses the topic from the viewpoint of a former victim. Discussing the importance of educating peers, addressing the issue of bystanders, and highlighting the importance of helping kids on the spectrum recognize bullying for what it is, this book covers a lot of ground.
These are just a few resources; there are many more available which I will add when I have the time. Please feel free to add others in the comments.