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When Little Man was starting school, I was already aware how different he was from his peers. We had no diagnosis at that point in time, but the writing was on the proverbial wall. Stuck in the back of my  mind was the thought that at some point, the other kids would become socially aware, and would recognize how different he is, and that bullying would quite possibly follow. Years before it might happen, my heart was already breaking. When he was diagnosed PDD-NOS, ADHD, and ODD two years ago, that fear and heartbreak  intensified. Now not only is he different, he has labels attached. And while the IEP he now has, and all the services he receives with it, is awesome, more fuel is added to that fire. The behaviors he’s been exhibiting this school year, well, they’re seriously not any help. I know I have enough to worry about without stressing over what *might* happen, I can’t seem to stop myself from preemptive protectiveness.

The first time I heard the song “Brave” by Sara Bareilles, I nearly had to pull the car over to the side of the road the tears flowed so quickly. I know she didn’t write the song for an autistic child, but the words could speak to so many people, so many situations. I’ve sort of taken it on as our own personal anthem. I know I need to be brave for him, as much as he will likely need to learn to be brave for himself. He will need to self-advocate. He will need to defend himself in all likelihood. He will need to speak up for his wants and needs.

He hasn’t yet realized that when I sing along with that song, I’m singing it to him (as well as to myself). I guess I kind of hope he will take it in by osmosis, that his subconscious will keep those words in him for when he needs them. I pray wholeheartedly he will never suffer bullying. But should he happen across some moron intent on giving him grief just because he’s not like everyone else, I hope he’s brave, and is able to speak out, speak up, and say what he needs to say.

2 thoughts on “Brave

  1. My son suffered bullying on the school bus. That was the best place, because of course the driver had to watch the road. My son’s speech therapist became his guardian angel. When she found out about the bullying, she put a stop to it. If at all possible, cultivate such an angel among the school staff. That person can be there and will hear things you as a parent won’t. That person can do things within the school authority culture that you as a parent can’t do. My son has trouble articulating matters that distress him, so I did my best to create this backup security system for him.

    • Thankfully he has lots of guardian angels at school amongst the teachers and staff. Buses can be the worst as fat as bullying. Glad you have an ally.

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