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Bullying of children with "different"; parents.

(8 Posts)
SunnyCarrie Sat 07-Jul-12 14:40:44

Hi all,

You all know who I am, quick recap ,so dull and sorry for this ,but here I go again. 35 yr old mum to one 17 mth old toddler, I have had arthritis since 15 months old, left me with rubbish joints, short in height thanks to steroids all my life and replaced joints, I use a scooter for distance but can park up outside a shop and waddled around. Petite all over,doctors say fragile, mobility restricted.

At moment my son laughs so much, his daddy also with youth arthritis and I manage to slide off a bed to get on the floor to him ,then to get back up I use my assistant dogs help who shoves her big head under each arm and braces herself etc. So we do play on the floor, on the bed, read, he knows some French and English words he is the happiest child I have ever known,interested in everything and he even will share his biscuits or whatever he is eating, but I am so anxious and need other parents thoughts.

Bullying, does it worry any one else on here what your child's future will be at school? Will they be bullied because of us? How will any one face this or how does any one tackle this? What if someone says, your mummy's arms are short and she walks funnily how do I prepare my son for those children who have not been brought up to be kind and considerate, which lets face it when you go out to the supermarket you get a great shot of how the world is and how many would shoot their own gran to get the last bag of doughnuts.

I have only started thinking about this because my six foot, athletic sister has an eight year old son who is being picked on by bigger boys in his school for being " a Virgin", my god what kind of children are being created out there and the field day these ferrel beings could have on children whose parents are different.

My thought is if it kicks off to offer to go in with Yasmin, my Canine Partner dog, and show her working, do the usual "get this envelope up from the floor with your arms bent right up and not able to bend"trick to show the children how it is for me then get doggy, the people puller,crowd pleaser to pick it up. Hopefully making the children understand difference but is this over flogging a point that doesn't need to be made to children ?

Thoughts appreciated or at least sharing experiences so one doesn't feel alone for feeling this.

Many thanks guys x

JuliaScurr Sat 07-Jul-12 19:07:37

Hey Sunny, hope you're ok
I've got MS, used wheelchair since dd was4 (now 12). She became v anxious, school refuser at 2 school - finally school 3 was supportive and she's now at secondary and 'cured' I've letkids ride on leccy scooter etc, it makes disability a bit more positive. Dd hasn't had much negativity from kids at school 3 & 4, but did at 1&2 inc laughing that I was going to die -that indicates the higher quality of school 3. Are you in touch with

Dodgypins Sun 05-Aug-12 18:24:21

I would also talk to Parents for Inclusion and the Alliance for Inclusive Education. They were incredibly helpful with problems my son and I had at some points in school and also are pie hot on all issues around getting schools to understand children/families's needs and ways to ensure the children understand what is happening.

With their help we reached the point when my son left Secondary School at age 16 that his head teacher made a speech at Prize day and said in so many words the school was a better place for having had my son in it.

Believe in yourself and it will rub off on your child,
Huge hugs.

SunnyCarrie Wed 08-Aug-12 11:36:18

Really massively appreciate your support it is a huge worry for physical disabled parents I expect. I didn't know there was a school inclusion programme so will write that in my little book of future for reference.

Many thanks. x

bionicmummy Tue 14-Aug-12 14:15:21

I am on the waiting list for an assistance dog myself and my daughter starts school this month.

My suggestions:

Canine Partners, if they are like my charity, won't allow you to speak to schools/groups unless you are a registered speaker, so contact them at the time, or even know so the school you have chosen know in advance.

Join toddler groups and start making connections NOW so that your child knows people, they know him, and they become familiar with you before they are old enough to properly question and tease.

I went onto another site (netmums) and asked for toddler group recommendations. Another mum replied and through PMs she told me about her toddler group that she was secretary for and invited me along. So I knew someone and through her got to know other mummies and my DD made friends with them through toddler group, nursery and now is going to school with most of them.

I was very nervous going to these places myself with my disabilities. I felt very lost, but as it was closest to home, I knew a few faces, I took my mum with me a few times to help start the conversations and my friend helped me settle in too.

So be brave and take some steps and get things in place now for a smooth transition into school.

Highly recommend for meeting other parents (I know I probably shouldn't mention it on here but I'm only trying to help)

weegiemum Wed 15-Aug-12 21:52:51

Carrie it's so hard!
I got I'll on 9th dec last year with an ear infection that totally ran amok and I'm left with poor balance, numbness in my hands, legs, face, inability to walk far (I have a wheelchair) and scary pain and tiredness. It's called CIDP, basically a nerve-destroying immune response.

I contacted my children's school when I finally got diagnosed. They are (in Scotland) p5, p6, s1. (think equiv would be y4, y4, y7).

School have been amazing! Help on parents night, key to the lift etc. I do worry what my kids friends think but hey, they come round anyway and I've got plenty crisps and sweeties on a sleepover!!

I think if you come over as normal, then kids take it as normal. Luckily I was well into school and had good relationships with parents when I got ill, so there's never been ant bullying. But I can see why you're worried!!

Rollersara Fri 17-Aug-12 14:22:45

I have only started thinking about this because my six foot, athletic sister has an eight year old son who is being picked on by bigger boys in his school for being " a Virgin"

I think this is worth highlighting - the sad fact is kids can be bullies and bullied, and bullies don't need a reason like disabled parents. That's not to say our kids will or won't be bullied, but kids who are happy and confident in themselves are likely to make friends easily and be less likely to be picked on. I was briefly bullied at school, not because of my disabilities but because I was clever. But I had friends so it didn't bother me much and stopped once we were streamed.

Also don't mistake curiosity for bullying. My nephew knows his aunt has "wobbly legs" and uses a wheelchair or crutches. I know he's been asked about it and when he tells kids I am a bit poorly they just move on to talk about something else (usually trains!). They are curious, not judgemental.

Do you and your partner work? I work at a huge science lab and part of my job is going into schools to inspire them into studying science. I find that they initially stare at the wheelchair but by the time I finish my talk I'm always asked about the science, never about the wheelchair (except by some teachers confused). I think that's the best message to give, and kids are pretty receptive to it, disability is just part of the human spectrum and no more notable than skin colour or religion. Your kids don't care you're disabled, why should anyone elses?

SunnyCarrie Sun 19-Aug-12 16:05:58

Great advice and thoughts, I wondered ,bionicmummy, if I should start looking for a school, now. I have read up on Ofstead reports but wasn't sure if it was the done thing nowadays to view schools and put your name on a list, many parents say school entry is no longer done via a waiting list scheme any more but on LEA say so so left it but now have the motivation to go look anyway!
I am a Psychologist so in all theory I know I should have some answers but reality is degree doesn't teach life and through all child development theories there is almost zilch about parenthood practicalities and realities! I felt a bit out on a limb, I do feel school talks is a great idea and will definitely take my canine partner in.
I never knew about net mums bionicmummy! Thanks for this, really appreciate you letting me know especially as clearly you felt very similar to me when first entering groups. I have a friend just down the road who is expecting so she will come to groups with me but as soon as am able to move my leg again without busting the new joint, I have renewed motivation now to actually persue such things.
I kind of feel that actually knowledge of how to deal with particular aspects of disability and parenthood is so hard to find that any one needs to jump in with whatever knowledge they have whether it is easy Velcro baby vests, the gold dust of the UK, or places of help and advice !

Very much appreciate your words, Rollersara and weegiemum, you are so right, my nephew was asked "who do you know who is disabled?" by my sister as he was using the word Handicapped which my sister cringed at. He had no idea because I am normal to him! Splints and replaced joints and sticks are just normal Aunty things, made me realise actually it is more likely that children will just accept me and see Christopher as any other friend and I as any other mummy smile


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