I think as human beings we like to think we know the difference between right and wrong and will act accordingly.
I believe in reality it is much easier to not get involved and walk away when we see something we know not to be right. Now, I am not tarring everyone with the same brush here, far from it. What I mean is, how many times have we not done quite minor things to help someone else, just because it is easier for us to think about ourselves. I put my hand up and admit I have.
But, there is a huge difference to not standing up to let the old lady have the seat on the bus, because you think someone else should, and seeing somebody deliberately hurting someone else, either physically or emotionally, and doing nothing to help.
Anyone who has read my other stuff, may recall a while back, D did not want to go to school. It was very out of character, as he loves learning, and totally worships his teacher who, “Is the coolest teacher in the whole school!” We had many days in his first year when he didn’t want to go, and that was because he was getting bored going over stuff he had already done, but being a clever boy, he wanted to be pushed and stretched. However, until recently this year, we had never had anything, that is other than on a Thursday when he had gym – his Tuesday gym instructor he loves but the Thursday on just winds him up the wrong way. He became very negative and one morning, walked to school and then refused to go in, instead choosing to hide behind the temporary classroom in the playground. I got him in that day, and spoke with his teacher who said D had been on the receiving end of some nasty name calling but the boys in question had been made to apologise, and she was talking to the class about everyone being different and that it should be embraced. This seemed to settle him a little, knowing his teacher was fighting his corner, but there was obviously something else going on inside his head.
I learned a long time ago that pushing either boy for information while they were still trying to work it through so it was ready to talk about was a waste of time, and instead buried things much deeper in their heads. We therefore just talked to him about what had happened at school, and that if there were problems, then talking about them can help to sort them out.
At the weekend, he was ready to talk.
He told us how he was worried about one of his classmates, a boy who lives near us, that he often walks to school with. He said there was another boy in the class who was rather controlling and he believed his friend did as this boy wanted because he was scared of him. D had had problems with this child in nursery, and for a while had totally withdrawn inside himself because every time he tried to play with another child was told he couldn’t because they were this childs friends. D said he stays away from him as much as possible because he does scare him when he gets angry. D went on to say he didn’t know how to help his friend, but knew that he needed to do something.
At this point tears welled in my eyes and I held him so tight. I know I talk often about D’s negative side, his temper and his violence, but there is such a sensitive side to him that does worry about other people, and can not stand to see injustice – unless of course it is him towards M!!
I reassured him that by telling me what had happened, was the first step to getting it sorted. He then instantly finds a new worry, as he now thinks is friend will be angry with him for telling tales. We then had a talk about the difference between telling on someone because you think its funny to get them in trouble – again I cited examples between him and M, and between knowing that a situation is wrong, and knowing the only way to get it settled is to tell somebody. I was honest with him, and said his friend might not be happy initially, especially if the other child does frighten him, but once the dust has settled he will realise he has spoken out for his own good.
I spoke to the friends Grandma, who I know well, and told her every thing D had said. She then spoke to his mother, and his Dad spoke to me about it. He told D he was cool for doing the right thing by telling. I don’t know what they intend to do with the information, but I am sure they will be seriously monitoring the situation. They will of course deal with it in their sons best interests.
D said he had spoken to his teacher about other things this child had done, such as talking about playing 18 rated games such as Call of Duty, but he hadn’t told her about his friends situation. I said it might be good if he did, but understandably he is worried about the potential fallout from all this – talking to Mum was one thing, but talking about it at school was a different issue.
Today he wanted a home lunch, so as his line was going in, I told his teacher. She asked if he was ok, and I said he had opened up about his worries, and named the boys in question, but didn’t have the chance to go into details.
At lunchtime his teacher said she had talked to the boys, and the aggressor had got very upset! Do you know D’s reaction to this? He apparently sat there with his arm around him to comfort him! Hopefully getting it in the open will help to sort it.
I really feel for D’s friend, not knowing how to escape the clutches of a dominating person. It must be difficult for him. I just hope D’s bravery to speak out helps him.
I am very proud of D knowing that he needed to do something because things weren’t right. He may have initially wanted to just remove himself from seeing the problem by trying to stay off school, but once he had it straight in his head, he knew the right thing to do. Who knows where this go from here, as things like this do tend to grow legs, but I do know that to have D as a friend is a very special thing and something not to be taken lightly. He is friendly with many, if not all people he encounters, but lets few in close enough to call friend, and those that he does are very lucky to have someone so loyal watching their backs.
Sometimes the black and white world of autism can help to see thing more clearly, as a situation is either right or wrong and if it is wrong then it should be dealt with.