Need some advice on approaching this with my child please.
SummerBummers · 04/08/2022 18:13
My DS is 9 years old and has ASD. He goes to a mainstream school and has a small group of friends.
One of these friends, a little girl has always been more into playing with the boys and isn’t a ‘girly girl’. She has recently said that she is unsure if she’s a boy or a girl. Consequently it’s been decided that the teacher can no longer refer to any of the children as boys or girls.
Now to my problem. The little girl is a good friend to my son, one of a limited number he has. Due to the ASD he sees things in very black and white terms. He is also very rigid in his thinking. He’s very confused about what is going on with his friend and I don’t want to mess up the explanation.
Can anyone give me any advice please?
achillestoes · 04/08/2022 18:31
I’d tell him there’s a group of people who believe you can decide whether you are a boy or a girl, and a group of people who believe whether you are a boy or girl depends on your biology (your body). You (that’s you, OP) are in the second group. The little girl and her family might be in the first group. But your son’s teacher opinion isn’t relevant. He doesn’t need to decide what to say or do based on what his teacher says in this case, because there is legal protection for him to believe whatever he wants.
AussieMozzieMagnet · 04/08/2022 18:34
Find a new school.
howdoesatoastermaketoast · 04/08/2022 18:59
Some grown ups up think that being a girl or boy is like a test you have to pass. That there are feelings you have to have or things you have to like. Or feelings you can't have and things you can't like.
Your friend is worried because she isn't sure if she passes the test to be a girl, but she also maybe doesn't think she passes the test to be a boy. It's ok that she's confused its a very confusing idea and none of the grown ups who think like this will tell you what the test is as they don't agree about what the test is so how could any kid be sure they'll pass a test if no one can tell them what's on it?
That's just some grown ups though and I don't think that. Like a lot of other grown ups I don't think she should need to worry because being a girl isn't a test to be passed at all, just a straight forward description of the body she's walking through life in. There are no clothes she has to wear or has to want to wear in order to be a girl, she just is. She doesn't have to want to wear to make-up she doesn't have to want to spend ages fixing her hair. Some girls do, some girls don't both are perfectly reasonable ways to feel. She doesn't have to want to wear uncomfortable shoes, not wanting shoes that hurt doesn't make you less of a girl that's just sexist nonsense in your book. She should just be herself and like what she likes without fear or apology. There is no way to fail the girl test because it's just some nonsense grown ups made up.
WarriorN · 04/08/2022 19:08
The school has an issue there.
Write to the head and then the governors and enclose info from the Cass report.
WarriorN · 04/08/2022 19:11
Suggest the school do some serious gender stereotype smashing.
Let clothes be clothes and let toys be toys are good.
WarriorN · 04/08/2022 19:11
Also contact safe schools alliance U.K.
Babdoc · 04/08/2022 19:18
Show him the Lionesses winning the Euros. Tell him girls can play anything they want, it doesn’t make them boys. If he liked dolls, he’d still be a boy. Humans can’t change sex.
You could also explain gender stereotypes and how damaging they are.
But more importantly, as PPs have flagged up, you need to speak to the school and nip this in the bud, before someone tries to tell this girl she is in the “wrong body” or is a trans boy.
LaughingPriest · 04/08/2022 19:18
I wonder if you could bring up the subject of stereotypes - could he list some things that 'society' (his friends, people on tv, people who make adverts, people who make clothes etc) think are 'for boys' and 'for girls'? Can he think of any reason why only boys or girls should have these things? Did he know that X years ago people who make adverts hadn't made up some of these things, so they were always for all children? (I'm thinking of Lego but there are many examples..) Can he think of other people he knows who don't like the things for their sex, or who really like the things of the opposite sex? (Womens' football might be a good one, also the fact that football is 'for girls' in America).
You could then explain that some people think that having/liking these things is what makes you male or female. But these people have gotten confused by the clever people who make adverts to sell things. Really most people know that being a boy or a girl is only about your body and there is no limit on what things you can like, which is a far better world to live in than the opposite.
SummerBummers · 05/08/2022 08:49
Thank you for all of your responses. Lots of good ideas here.
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