What to do when someone is being mean or hurtful to your child with #Autism

We’ve had quite a few new experiences lately and not all pleasant ones.  If you read my previous post, you know that Gavin was the target of a very mean spirited child yesterday while on the playground.

I’m not sure if that qualifies as bullying but the kids was, for lack of a better word, a jerk.

He targeted Gavin for being different and made fun of him for being unable to do things on the playground well.

My question to you is this.

How do you handle situations in which your child is being made fun of for being different? What have you done in the past? When this happens, if your child even aware that they are being victimized?

In Gavin’s case, he was completely oblivious to what was happening and so if we had made a big deal about it, we would have been calling attention to something that Gavin was blissfully unaware of.

We did our best to keep them separated and then finally just left.

I’ll be honest, both Lizze and I were extremely angry, especially because the parent of this child was sleeping in a car, one hundred yards away and not supervising his charming son.


This site is managed almost exclusively via WordPress for Android. Please forgive any typos as autocorrect HATES me. 😉

Visit the My Autism Help Forums

To reach me via email, please Contact Me

Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
0 0 votes
Article Rating

Join The Conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

most voted
newest oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

During the weekend I took my girl to Washington Square Park here in NYC, they have a big fountain that is so inviting for the kids to enjoy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Central_Fountain_Wash_Square_Park_by_David_Shankbone.jpg,, my daughter at the beginning didn’t want to go but then she decided to go and she was having a blast. She was mostly playing alone and some times tried to engaged but with not success. 
At certain point she spit some water and I was able to see the faces of the kids around her, they immediately single her out. For me this is the passive-aggressive situation that we usually encounter here in  New York City, a city were you find such a mix of families, organic, educated, all socio-economical levels, diverse, etc. What it was surprising is that the kids mind seeing my daughter spiting but not the homeless couple who were so filthy  and dirty starting to take a bath in the same fountain! and I was thinking, really??? no one seem to care at all about what is wrong with this picture.
Nevertheless, I left intermediately with my girl.. I just feel that one has two options one is to do nothing  move on and let it go or two is to confront the offender(s) and take that opportunity to “educate them” and let them know that what they are doing is plain simply wrong. However, with the second option we should be prepare for a heat confrontation, which is always a possible scenario.


If I was a father of with a kid like gavin and that situation I would have gone over to that father and confronted him and bring up the situation calmly about his kid(s), at that point you would get a feeling if the kid(s) behavior is learned from the parents or if they act like that on there own.
But the situation would go down eaither 2 ways. one way it could go down is  the father understands and get on his kid(s) or another way is the father would act like his kid(s)

Stefanie Sacks

You should say something my parents all ways did when it happens to me I earthier say nothing or tell my friend an they deal with it .but on occ when it happen in a store by an employe I told the manger that what I was taught to do I just say what happen best i can an that I have autism


I certainly believe that my son knows when he’s being teased and/or singled out. I also think he simply doesn’t care. He’s a happy little guy who does what makes him happy and if that means stripping in public or running around making somewhat odd sounds, so be it.
As for how I handle it – it depends on the situation; the severity I guess. If I can simply distract him and/or move him past the moment, that’s my first option. If I have to say something to the kid doing the harassing, I’ll say something casual and nonchalant such as “Hey now, be nice. He’s just trying to have fun too.”
Though I must say, there have been very few incidents thus far. Whether it’s because kids are becoming more aware and tolerant, I don’t know. There’ll be those occasional bully-types I’m sure, but so far so good really.


I would definitely hope that another parent would say something if my child were behaving badly.   If the parent witnesses the event, that’s a bit trickier of course, because they are tacitly approving. Still, they might not see if from your son’s point of view or they think “boys will be boys” or something.  If you say to the child directly, “I know you must have been proud when you learned to ride a bike (empathy); Jack’s really proud now too because he just learned.  Can you think of anything that might help him?  (challenge)”  You could really make a difference.   
Some kids don’t have natural empathy just like some kids don’t have natural anything else; in that case, there is no reason to demean them any more than you want them to demean your kids for their lack of coordination.  All kids are where they are and we (as parents, as a society) should be trying to move them all in a good direction, no matter what the problem they face.


My big boy Jack (he’s 6) gets this all the time lately it seems.  When I volunteer at school I see it, had to ask the teacher to move his seat.  I took him to a birthday party (first invite all year) and this one kid just kept screaming at Jack to stay away from him.  His dad was sitting right there and did nothing.  I wanted to scream at him, I really did, instead I tried the cop out, Jack just wants to play thing to the other little boy. Then tried to avoid him as much as possible.  And two weekends ago I took Jack to his school playground to practice riding his bike (with training wheels).  He has always had gross motor delays, I mean I sobbed (like, embarassing) when he finally pedaled his tricycle successfully, so the fact that we are working on a big boy bike at all is miraculous. This four year old boy started making fun of him that he had training wheels at age 6.  Once again, his father just sat there and said nothing.  So I corrected him and told him that every kid does it at a different time.  Really I wanted to smack him, because this time it actually upset Jack.  Usually he is unaware of the comments, even with the one boy telling him to get away, but this got him, bc he was so proud to be riding a bike.  The issue in this area is the snobby parents who think their child can do no wrong.  If my kid was talking to a very clearly special needs child in that way they would be very firmly scolded the first time, and then made to leave the playground the second time.  Instead Jack eventually had a meltdown and I ended up dragging him off of the playground.  Really reallly sucked.


jjean3940 I totally understand, trust me. What’s wrong with these parents? Why do they allow their kids to be so cruel. One thing I can say about my kids is that they would NEVER do that to another human being, it’s simply not in them. Gavin can do some pretty messed up stuff but he’s never made fun of anyone, especially for something outside of their control.