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Posted by mabel_piratesmol (U3147115) on Tuesday, 16th November 2010
My son is 14 & has an ASD. He's in mainstream school, though is on the SN register & has classroom support.
I can't allow him out to 'play' unsupervised as he is easily led into trouble & also has anger-management issues & gets himself into fights.
But he has XBox Live & plays computer games on line with school friends & other kids on the internet.
Yesterday I overheard him using terms whilst playing that I find to be unacceptable.
I'm talking racist & ablist terms that I couldn't repeat here
The racist terms were directed at the characters in the game that they were playing & the ablist ones at each other in a mocking way when someone made a mistake. I think it was this casual use of such terms that shocked me the most!
When I tackled him about it & explained in no-uncertain terms that such words are unacceptable & why, he said that if he didn't use such words that the other kids would think badly of him & he'd lose them as friends.
He also got very upset saying that he realised that such language perpertrates racist & ablist views, (he comes from a very politically aware family ) but..
a/ he just wants to be one of the crowd
b/ he's fed up fighting battles in order to be accepted.
c/ he's fed up with people making allowances for him (eg: classroom helpers) that just mark him out as different
d/ if I stop him playing his XBox on line I will cut him off from the little bit of social life that he has & he will become more isolated & unhappy
e/ if I talk to the other mums about it , his friends won't want to have anything to do with him and ruin his social life.
I've delayed really dealing with the issue by saying that I would not tolerate such language in this house & he is NOT to use it.
Then I shut the door & my ears
So what do I do about it?
Posted by emma friedmann (U14690136) on Tuesday, 16th November 2010
firstly, I think you have just highlighted some of the problems I may have with my 12 year old autistic son in the future, so thank you for that - yet another concern.
I am aware that special needs kids in mainstream school setting are very rude and offensive to each other as they don't have the same awareness of what is socially right and wrong. the offence your son gives to his mates is normal (i think) for adolescents with behavioural and autistic spectrum disorders.
The racist comments are something I think you should raise with the Autism support team attached to the Special needs department of his school. They may be able to explain as part of another lesson what racism and all the other 'isms' are, and the affects this has on society. They may also add this as a Target on his Individual Education Plan (IEP) which should be reviewed every term.
Work with school and maintain a consistant approach, .
Check out local Autism support groups and information available from Autism charities. Twitter is quite good for finding information sources as it is world wide and other countries have different ways of tackling common issues.
Posted by mabel_piratesmol (U3147115) on Wednesday, 17th November 2010
Thank you Emma for your supportive & informative response!
I remember when I was at school the boys constantly calling each other names, it seems to be part of being a lad - like play-fighting.
My son had real problems with the friendly wrestling that boys indulge in - he'd go too far & hurt someone. Rugby helped enormously with that - he discovered that contact games have to have rules - one being that you don't deliberately hurt or injure people
I think that my point has gone home though...yesterday I heard him shout at a mate 'Josh, you egg!'
I can't complain about that one can I?
Even if he did sound like he'd escaped from a 1950's boy's comic
Posted by devine63 (U14166755) on Friday, 19th November 2010
It's just worth remembering that these behaviours are pretty normal for all teenagers - they call each other all kinds of things! My son does not have ASD (he was severely dyslexic) was really horrible at this age - he's 30 next month and quite civilised these days. He even makes polite conversation with my friends!
You have raised it with him, so it has not gone unchallenged, he has shown he understands the issues. It is reasonable for you to set boundaries (e.g. not while I am in earshot!!! or "not in my house") but beyond that, I would suggest you develop a tactful form of deafness unless the language is directed at someone who is likely to be offended.
Posted by Mrs_Rebbecca (U14707779) on Wednesday, 1st December 2010
Sorry to hear that as a parent you are going through this. You must be annoyed by learning that your child know some unacceptable words which you would never use.
Usually in a group there are 1 or 2 member brought some bad words, slang words, habits and practices etc.
You need to be wary of that. Perhaps those 1 or 2 kids' parents are not as sensible as you. Perhaps they overheard some use of words when the adults were using on the house.
Firstly you need to identify those "friends" of your child and warn him about that. If required you can meet their parents and discuss about this.
Posted by Kimberly (U13864624) on Sunday, 12th December 2010
I always found it frustrating at school listening to the way that kids talk to each other, the language that comes out of their mouths is appalling! However I learnt that fighting it is pretty pointless. However that doesn't mean that you have to join them. I never joined in with the language, and all of my friends eventually were happy to let me speak my way, so long as I let them say what they wanted.
Something you might want to suggest to him. I know it doesn't completely solve the problem, but it sounds like he already understands that it is not the right thing to do, and it means that he doesn't have to say it and you don't have to listen to it
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