difficult child 3 attacked again

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Marguerite, Aug 23, 2007.

  1. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We just got back from the hospital, after difficult child 3 had a small head wound tended to, plus a tetanus shot.

    Every afternoon when he finishes his schoolwork, he likes to go for a walk in the neighbourhood. He does have occasional troubles with a group of local kids. They range in age from about 6 to about 10. We often see these kids around - they ride bikes & skateboards at the intersection, often getting in the way of traffic and hassling kids and some adults going past. They're also often still out when it's getting dark and harder to see these kids (around 5.30 - 6 pm). Remember, some of these kids are 6 years old. They wander around, no adult in sight, getting up to mischief. Their hangout is an intersection which almost everybody has to pass, to get to anywhere else in town.

    A few months ago they were hassling difficult child 3 while he was riding his bike. The next day he was again riding near these kids and was going fast because he didn't want these kids to be able to stop him - and he rode right into a lady's car. Amazingly, he wasn't badly hurt. $800 worth of damage, though. And that's not counting the damage to his brand new bike.

    Because it was only the FEAR that he would meet these kids, I didn't go to see their parents over this - they hadn't been involved directly in this incident. But I have also not fixed his bike yet.

    Today difficult child 3 left for his walk. I stayed home because I'd just got in from having ultrasound done and was feeling exhausted and ill. He had his mobile phone with him and I was expecting him to drop in on his friend, whose birthday is in a few days' time.
    At about 5 pm the phone rang. It was difficult child 3 but he couldn't hear me. He didn't seem to be talking on the phone, but in the background it sounded like a party - lots of kids yelling, shrieking, difficult child 3 occasionally saying a word here or there. Finally the phone went dead.

    At 5.30 I was beginning to worry - he's generally very punctual. He came in and came straight to me, very upset. "They did it again!" he said. "Those kids were hassling me again, throwing things at me, wouldn't let me past them to come home."
    I could see blood trickling down his neck. He knew his head was bleeding a little - he didn't know how much. He told me that his head had been damaged by "a log" that one of the boys threw at him. I asked him if he had done anything to the kids - he admitted to throwing a piece of the log back at them, after it broke against his head. I'm going out in the morning to find that "log".

    I took photos immediately, then rang the police. I cleaned up the blood, called the police back and accepted their offer to call the ambulance as well. No doctor in town - a visit from the ambo was the best immediate first aid option. The ambo advised us to take him to hospital and get the wound stitched. difficult child 3 didn't want to go in the ambulance alone, but because it was late we would need a car to get back home - I had to drive. mother in law came too and I called husband to get him to meet us 'outside' instead of catching the boat home.
    The police were late, so we could have let husband come home so we could drive back out with him. They took a statement (the ambo had taken details too, as well as his own photos) and asked us what we wanted them to do. "We just want this to stop," we told them. Turns out, because the likely offender is under 8 years old, no charges can be laid.

    Add to this the classic autistic problem of recognising the bullies and putting names to the faces - it was difficult. difficult child 3 names a couple of possible kids as witnesses, but he said non of them threw the log. It was one of the smaller kids, he said.
    Later as we were driving out, we saw the police car at one of the houses.
    Then difficult child 3 was complaining about his hand and leg being sore - turned out he copped more than the log - they were throwing other sticks at him as well as banksia cones - a bit like unopened pine cones in the damage they can do. Only heavier.

    easy child 2/difficult child 2 & boyfriend got home at about 10 pm. I just checked the phone - no voicemail messages from anybody.

    We could get ostracised for this, among various social groups in the village. But as I said to husband, I really don't care - it's preferable to having to make more trips to the hospital for difficult child 3. I'm going to print out the photos I took and leave the printout by the front door, so if any of those parents comes round to say, "What a lot of fuss over boys just being boys," I'll have something to show them.

    For kids to gang up this way on ANY kid is reprehensible. To do it to an autistic kid is like kicking a blind man's white cane away.

    difficult child 3 is older and bigger. I strongly suspect they pick on him because in the past, kids have seen that they can get away with it - difficult child 3 is really bad at identifying his bullies, and kids in a gang can talk their way out of punishment if they all corroborate each other's stories. In the past local teachers have let this happen and followed the lie of least resistance, even to the point of telling difficult child 3 that his recollection of Jimmy and his friend deliberately tripping him up is faulty, because they all told the teacher that difficult child 3 just slipped over. And the other witness backing up difficult child 3 - clearly must be lying, because two kids telling one story, and six kids telling another - who do you believe? Personally, I believe the ones who are NOT noted for bullying other kids. But the teachers always convinced me to let the matters drop. It got to the point where difficult child 3 would tell me about other kids hassling him and I would say, "What did you do?" because ANY self-defence, or any hint that difficult child 3 could have begun this, and we had no leg to stand on regarding taking action.

    husband is now saying that difficult child 3 may not go for his afternoon walks on his own any more. He must be shadowed. We had to do this two years ago when a bully bloodied difficult child 3's nose in an unprovoked attack. THAT kid is now turned around, he has actually helped rescue difficult child 3 from this new gang of tiny tot bullies. I think part of what turned it around was because I went round to his house and talked to him and his mother, basically saying I was not going to stand for this ever again. He was caught out and word got around his age group that difficult child 3 is off limits.

    I'm still trying to decide just how much of a fuss to make of this - local paper? District newspaper? State TV? Or just local word of mouth, "Do not touch my kid ever again, I am watching and will get you if you do."

    Currently in Sydney the hot topic is irresponsible kids throwing rocks at passing traffic on the freeway. It's the 10th anniversary of the death of a man killed this way while driving his truck. And a young woman is in hospital with severe head injuries because of a similar incident a few weeks ago. The perpetrator was 25. I've been almost killed by a rock thrown at the car - and we didn't tell the police because we didn't want to bother them.

    From now on, we're bothering them. They were surprised tonight when I said we had not made any previous complaints.

    Marg
     
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    :grrr:
    Marg- You can't drop this, and husband is right. difficult child 3 will need to be supervised for his own protection from these punks. Can the equivalent of child protection services be called since charges can't be laid and these kids were unsupervised?
    :nonono:
     
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Oh Marg, I'm soooo sorry that he had to deal with this kind of crap! I don't know, there's a special place in my heart for kids like yours! We were brought up to protect the "special kids" in the neighborhood and now that we have a couple of our own, it really hits close to home.

    These kids need to be straightened out right away. Those parents are breeding tomorrows punks and criminals by leaving kids that age unsupervised for any period of time. God forbid they throw a rock or something at a car, it spins out of control and it kills the kids or the driver. When they said it takes a village to raise a child, I didn't think it meant that parents could abdicate all responsibility!

    I'd let those parents know that you intend to call the police if their kids even look at your son cross-eyed - you don't give a fig how "minor" the insult, it will be reported. They need to know you mean business. I'll bet that they little brats have been terrorizing anyone that walks along this path and you'll probably garner support rather than be ostracized. And if people ostracize you because you are doing the right thing, then they're not the type of people you want to surround yourself with anyway. That type of person emits a lot of negative energy, which you don't need at all.

    Sorry for being so lengthy!

    Sending out prayers for you and difficult child 3!

    God bless!
    Beth
     
  4. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    This used to happen with my difficult child when he was in a mainstream primary school. Other children would lie in wait for him because he was an easy target. Then, because of his short-term memory and verbal processing difficulties, he wouldn't be able to explain coherently what happened to him. Or, he would be tormented to the point where he would be in a full-on tantrum by the time the teachers or recess monitors noticed that anything was happening. Then the teachers would pin blame on difficult child because that was the easy path.

    My SO solved this by going to the school at recess time with a video camera and filming the children in the school yard picking on our difficult child and inciting him into a rage. With direct evidence in front of them, the school had no choice but to start disciplining the other children.

    Your husband is right...shadowing your difficult child on his walks is a good idea, especially if you're in a position to film or take pictures of any incidents that might happen. You'll be right there to protect your son, and you will have something concrete if you need to confront parents, or talk to the authorities about what's going on.

    Bigger and older doesn't necessarily help, either. At 17 and 6 ft 4, our difficult child still gets tormented by smaller, younger children, one of the many reasons we don't let him go anywhere unattended. He is with one of us 24 hours a day.

    Best of luck,
    Trinity
     
  5. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I would speak to their parents. difficult child would hate me for it. Seems when I try to intervene they take it out on him. Same with school last year. I will not stand for it this year.

    They started "e-school" this year. If it comes down to it I will take him out and he can do the "e-school" for a quarter or so.

    Schools are just so over crowded. over 1000 in his middle school. The high school which is no more than two blocks away has over 3000. Probably more now. When easy child went there years ago they were required to share lockers due to to man kids. They were considering two shifts. 6 - noon and noon - 6. But that would limit extra curricular activities and specific teachers.

    sorry..off the subject. I would be afraid of retaliation. But i would still do something. Involve the police every time.
     
  6. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    freeway rock throwing happens all over including in my area.

    I wonder if you can get your son a nice big dog to accompany him on his walks.

    too bad if the parents dont like your course of action. they would do the same to protect their own.
     
  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am so sorry for difficult child 3. You did the right things!
    :warrior:
     
  8. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I would be absolutely seething! Maybe these kids are too young for legal consequences, but aren't the parents responsible for keeping them safe and out of trouble at that age? Sounds as though they should be getting a visit from the family services people asking "Do you know where your children are and what they are doing?"

    Big hugs to difficult child 3. That's just miserable for him.
     
  9. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    ((((((Marg))))))) Like you need this on top of your health issues.


    Rotton little brats.
     
  10. Janna

    Janna New Member

    You know, aside from the anger of the incident, and I absolutely think this is horrible, I feel so bad for difficult child 3. I see him as being like my Dilly, and you know, this would totally break my heart :sad: I'm sorry, Marg.
     
  11. TrishaBC

    TrishaBC New Member

    I am so sorry for you and for difficult child 3. I think the parents need to know exactly what happened and see the pictures. Even the parents of the children not directly involved should know what goes on when their little angels are not supervised. These kids are punks and could very well turn into full blown criminals if it's not dealt with. Once again I'm so sorry, I would be so angry if I were you.
     
  12. Mrs Smith

    Mrs Smith New Member

    Life stinks for kids with special needs! I feel so bad for him. Hope he recovers quickly and it doesn't stop him from wanting to go places by himself. It's such a struggle to get them interacting with the world and then, when they try, they get beat up. Not fair!

    Let 'em have it! Walk softly and carry a big stick.
     
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, Marg! I am so sorry, for all of you. And that your difficult child called you while it was going on ... so sad.
    The whole thing is so aggravating.
    Yes, you will have to shadow difficult child for awhile. I hate that he would have to give up his walks, so maybe you can have someone walk with-him or behind him. What a shame.
     
  14. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Marg, I'm so sorry this happened to difficult child 3. I wouldn't give a second thought to calling the police. Who cares what other people think? You have to protect your son, just like those other parents would if it were their child that was attacked. I think it's good for difficult child 3, too...let's him know that he doesn't have to live in fear of his safety when out for a stroll.
     
  15. waytootired

    waytootired New Member

    Did you get copies of the police report and ambulance report? I think I would put those two reports and the photos you took in one safe place. If you are not choosing to approach any parents this time, I would have all that information ready for the next time. Your poor difficult child..he can't be the only one out there getting bullied. Why haven't these bullies been stopped? Do they do this at school too.?
     
  16. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Marg

    Oh my! :grrr:

    I'd be livid.

    Do you have stalking laws there?? That's how I got the neighborhood kids here to leave Travis alone. The police (once I made them realize Travis is handicapped) told the kids and their parents that another report from me and they would all be brought up on stalking charges and see jail time.

    From here on I'd let nothing slide. :warrior: Good grief, it's a wonder difficult child wasn't seriously injured!!

    ((((hugs))))
     
  17. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm so sorry. Poor difficult child-this is so not right :grrr:
     
  18. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    husband is home today - pure coincidence but I'm grateful. He's not getting the day off he was supposed to be having. easy child 2/difficult child 2 is also home, she's supposed to be at work but is sick. BF2 also had today off, like husband, so we have a full house, almost!

    I woke with a vicious headache which meant I had to call the doctor for a painkiller/antiemetic shot. The receptionist answered, profusely apologetic. Their 6 year old was apparently involved yesterday. The older kids were telling him to throw things and to say things - have been for some time. And because he's little and wants to belong, he does it. His older brother was in difficult child 3's class (use to bully him a bit, too - no more). The receptionist has become a good friend, I've been helping her with a few things. She was appalled and has banned her little bloke from having anything to do with the kid she blames for dragging him into trouble. He's grounded.

    It seems a neighbour was driving past and saw what was happening - she went to the receptionist and told her; older son heard and headed out to drag little brother home. difficult child 3 did say he saw older brother there, right at the end.
    We'd given one name to the police last night. Sounds like that kid sang like a canary, for receptionist's son to have been visited. She said the police was the last straw for the kid - he'd already had mum, big brother and dad yammering at him so when the police arrived the little kid knew why!

    When I turned up at the surgery this morning, I know I looked dreadful - these headaches do horrible things to me. Although I know a lot of things are responsible for this, I didn't go into detail with my friend, I'll happily let her use my lousy condition today to make her son's friends and their parents feel even more guilty.

    husband & I just went for a walk (well, HE was walking anyway) to see if we could find "the log". We found a lot of freshly broken off banksia cones - this was happening in a grove of the trees. And because difficult child 3 said the log that had been thrown was spiky and knobbly, we thought it was highly likely it was also banskia - and we found it. It WAS a log, for sure. A good 6" in diameter with a lot of sharp spikes. I'm amazed it didn't do a lot more damage.

    We just sent an email to the school, with photos of the log, and difficult child 3 bleeding. We kept the email fairly gentle - "We know you can't be responsible for what kids do late in the afternoon, but this is a combined school and community problem - these kids bring the same attitude to school and this gang mentality is anarchy and is damaging to both school and community."
    I suggested a program of educating kids about tolerance and compassion, offering to help by talking to them about what it's like to be disabled. I'm hoping to shame them into doing something about this - they've been getting told for years that these problems were getting out of hand, and all we've had from them is either, "kids will be kids - they've got to rough and tumble to learn how to get on with each other," to handouts on the topic of "resiliency".
    Other schools in NSW, as well as our Dept of Education, ALL have a strict policy when it comes to bullying. They also enforce it. So this is not typical. But because this is a small, isolated community, I think teachers in the past have held back from disciplining bullies where the teachers were afraid of the parents of those kids. It's easier to find a scapegoat whose parents won't threaten them. But as I learned long ago, you must stand up to bullies, not let them win, ESPECIALLY when you live in a small community, because if you let it continue, the problem escalates.

    The log is in our garden. A trophy, as I suggested to difficult child 3. And in our garden, it can't be used to hurt anybody.

    husband was lurking on the site this morning and told me that a lot of you had replied - thank you to all of you, it really helps me to keep perspective, knowing you guys can see what is happening too.

    Marg
     
  19. mattsmum

    mattsmum New Member

    Oh my gosh...that is awful! I wonder if they are doing it to other kids as well. Too bad you can't videotape them...although I am not sure if that is legal.

    I am so sorry this happened. They have to be stopped and held accountable. :nonono:
     
  20. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    Marge-this is terrible and totally unacceptable. I'm am so sorry difficult child 3 was a victim to this malicious act. It sounds like you and the police have been really on top of it. Let's just hope some serious lessons get learned from this incident and these children begin to treat each other with respect and kindness. Shame on all of them for acting this way--especially to a child with special needs !! I hope they have more supervision and serious grounding/consequences !!
     
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