Middle schooler with sensory processing disorder experiencing bullying
December 7, 2017 3:06 PM   Subscribe

I have a an incredibly sweet, bright, 13-year-old girl with sensory processing disorder. Loud noises tend to bother her. Middle school is tough for her because it is a very bright, noisy place with 700 kids.

The school has made accommodations for her, offering her a quiet room for test-taking, letting her leave the classroom to step out in the hallway when it gets loud, setting up a table for her just outside the cafeteria so she can eat her lunch in a quieter atmosphere. All of that is good.

The problem is that there are antagonistic kids that are aware of her sensory issues, and they enjoy tormenting her.

My daughter will ask them politely to stop, but since they know it bothers her they will keep doing it. Of course, the bullies are smart enough to torment her when they know no teachers are around.

I have contacted the school and they do talk to the bullies when they can catch them. Otherwise they say they are doing all that they can.

Today, however, a group of girls surrounded her by her locker at the end of the day (a time when she's particularly vulnerable as she's spent all day holding it together) and they started making a high-pitched "heeee heeee" sound, ignoring her pleas for them to stop. My daughter eventually had a crying meltdown, which elicited a great deal of laughter from her tormentors. After some gentle questioning, I found out that this situation happens often.

I'm heartbroken. Two questions:

1. I've told her to say "Please don't make that sound. It bothers me." This worked in elementary school, but not so much in 7th grade. My inner mama bear wants her to tell them to fuck off. What's a good middle ground?

2. I have noise-cancelling headphone that we wear on airplanes, but my daughter can hear the noise-cancelling technology and she doesn't want to wear them. She also is afraid of missing out on hearing the teacher. What are some other ways she could potentially block out or diminish the sounds that bother her so much?

Any other advice about navigating middle school with a child who has sensory issues (and is probably on the high-functioning end of the spectrum) is appreciated, of course. I'm just so sad.
posted by Ostara to Human Relations (34 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
oh, god. I'm so sorry. I'm furious for you.

Can you call the girls' parents, maybe?

Do remind your sweet girl that junior high is the very worst it gets for many people, and she won't always have to deal with any of this.
posted by fingersandtoes at 3:19 PM on December 7, 2017 [4 favorites]

Pretty much all school districts have explicit policies regarding bullying that require training, intervention, and disciplinary action for students who are doing the bullying.

Step 1 - find your school district's policies regarding bullying. Those should be easily accessible on their website.
Step 2 - Print out the policy and set up an appointment with the principal to review the policy and ask them what actions they are going to take to stop the bullying immediately. Those students are wandering very close to the edge of actual law breaking depending on the state, especially considering your child has a documented neurological disorder.

If the principal in unresponsive then the next step is to go up the chain to the district office. Usually there is a person who is part of the superintendent's team who is responsible for supervising principals; that is the principal's boss. Talk to them next. Still not getting a proper response, time to go to your elected school board.

If your school has a PTA or PTO, then I would also suggest reaching out to them as well. You might be able to enlist other parents in starting a school wide anti-bullying campaign.

Since this is happening after school, I would also ask that your child's locker be moved to somewhere close to an office, that way it's more likely that there will be adult supervision, adults who are required to report bullying that they see.
posted by brookeb at 3:26 PM on December 7, 2017 [32 favorites]

I have a younger kid with a sensory processing disorder, and we've unfortunately had to deal with behavior like this from other kids.

Unpopular opinion: Your kid is in middle school and other kids are abusing her through her medical condition. She should be allowed to tell them to go fuck themselves (at minimum).

Have you approached the school administration with this? What has their reaction been? Are they willing to work with you?

This is going to sound extreme, but depending on the school district you're in, and how sympathetic the school is about such things, you might want to lawyer-up earlier than later. If they're not willing to have a blanket zero-tolerance policy on this kind of behavior, you need to get a lawyer involved. At any point in the process of dealing with this, a sternly written letter to the school and to the parents of the offending child can drastically help. In situations like this, with higher functioning kids that might/might not be on the spectrum, sometimes folks just expect you and your family to deal with it (by switching schools, or by going to a private school, or blah blah blah). Some schools are better at policing bullying, and some are not. If yours falls anywhere near neutral-to-bad at addressing it, you should ask a lawyer to get up on that and get some no-bullshit lawyer-speak letters out to not only the administration, but the parents of those kids. Seriously, don't hesitate to threaten a lawsuit.

This kind of bullying activity is often overlooked and pushed aside. School districts are getting sued to oblivion in certain parts of the country over this kind of thing, and if the administration is remotely aware of what is going on and doing nothing, they're often being considered culpable.

Lawyers are awesome and for things like this, and a few letters being sent to the offending parties (the administration included) are both pretty damn cheap, and really effective.
posted by furnace.heart at 3:28 PM on December 7, 2017 [36 favorites]

Increased. Adult. Supervision.

From now on, you expect that a member of school staff will accompany your daughter during "unstructured time."

Don't accept anything else.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 3:28 PM on December 7, 2017 [17 favorites]

Doesn't have to be an aide that everyone in school knows is "Midi Ostara's helper," either. They could move her locker closer to the location of a teacher or staff who happens to be in the doorway at last bell. Clubs that meet during lunch in a teacher or staff room. Etc. It can be creative, but I am 1000% serious when I say that it is the only solution you should accept, bc it is the only solution that will keep your daughter from being tormented at school.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 3:39 PM on December 7, 2017 [11 favorites]

This won't fix everything, but I think your daughter is no longer required to politely ask them to stop because it just feeds the beast. I think she should point to the ceiling and ask them if they know how security cameras work. She may not want to lead right away with "They already know about you, and they're going to come for you at night after you're in bed and your parents will have to let them take you away" though you may eventually want to put that or something like it, maybe just the first part, in her back pocket.

You should also absolutely get a lawyer to strongarm the school for protection, accommodation, and bully intervention before those little shits kill someone and the school district gets sued for millions (the only thing they really care about), but your daughter should give the impression that Things Are Happening Behind The Scenes and things should be happening behind the scenes.

And between now and your meeting with a lawyer, document every day. Email a report of the day's bullying to someone who has volunteered to be your electronic witness, whether that's a family member or friend or sympathetic school personnel, and you can decide after you talk to the lawyer whether to start CCing someone in the school administration whose ass will be on the line if there is any sort of legal action. Your lawyer can advise whether to start recording her reports on audio or video.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:45 PM on December 7, 2017 [7 favorites]

I teach 2nd grade and I would be horrified to find out that a known group of students were tormenting another student in my class. The school does not need an excuse or to witness bullying to pull all those students in for a super serious discussion on bullying and being welcoming and kind to everyone. I strongly suggest that you do whatever is in your power to force the school to act. Whether that means lawyer or going to the media, or whatever you think will work the best, I think you should do that.
posted by ruhroh at 4:02 PM on December 7, 2017 [5 favorites]

Does your daughter have an IEP? Maybe it is time for an update?
posted by k8t at 4:16 PM on December 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

This sounds like you need to put your foot down. Have the other students' parents been contacted and are they aware of the consequences for bullying? Tell the principal you want to schedule an appointment with him/her and your attorney.
posted by shoesietart at 4:21 PM on December 7, 2017

In the short term instead of trying to tell them to stop she should walk away, towards the nearest teacher/the main office. They'll stop once a teacher is in sight/earshot.
posted by bleep at 4:21 PM on December 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

I work in a middle school. The students don't necessarily stop their antics when a teacher is close. In many cases that is true but that strategy isn't enough. Your child needs you to involve administration, but she also needs your help learning how to be a crappy victim. Coach her, role play, repeat it all as much as it takes. Middle School is the worst, but there are ways she can neutralize this crap better. Asking nicely isn't one of them.
posted by crunchy potato at 4:25 PM on December 7, 2017 [4 favorites]

Some options in addition to what others have said:

If this is often happening by her locker and you can't get the school to monitor it better, you can get them to let her stash her stuff somewhere supervised, whether that be another locker, a classroom, or the guidance office.

If she doesn't want to do that (my kid didn't like interventions that made him "different," such as being allowed to carry a backpack in school when that wasn't normally allowed), she might be able to find workarounds, such as gathering her stuff for the end of the day BEFORE last period so she can exit the building then.

Give her an old cell phone ready to video people who are hassling her?
posted by metasarah at 4:27 PM on December 7, 2017

Strategies I have seen to be effective at neutralizing bullies include ignoring, laughing it off (appearing on the surface that whatever they are doing isn't hurting you), dishing it back out, and changing the subject/having a reason to leave that won't get the recipient of bullying in trouble with the teacher.
posted by crunchy potato at 4:27 PM on December 7, 2017

I teach middle school and I have dealt with my share of bad behavior, and I while I don't claim to have all the answers, here is my perspective. The school is saying they will only intervene when they catch the students in the act. This is like saying they don't believe that it's happening unless an adult witnesses it - a form
of gaslighting, and the bullies are taking advantage because they know they won't get in trouble if adults arent around. You need to push the school to commit to responding to every incident - not necessarily through punishment, but by speaking to the children involved, and increasing supervision where and when it is necessary.

I think you should also coach your daughter to be more assertive. I think kids should try to be polite, but if polite isn't working, they have a right to be more assertive. Your daughter can practice walking away, saying "leave me alone" in a firm voice, or seeking help from a trusted teacher or peer.

I think you should also ask the school to teach the kids more about sensory processing disorders. Middle schoolers can be mean, but they have a sense of fairness and they are teachable - these kids may be acting out because they sense your daughter is different but don't understand why. Ignorance should be adressed by the school through education, without singling your daughter out but in the context of learning about disabilities and respect.
posted by mai at 4:32 PM on December 7, 2017 [6 favorites]

they do talk to the bullies when they can catch them. Otherwise they say they are doing all that they can

That’s shitty of them to say, and it’s not at all true that they’re doing all they can. If someone said that a student had drugs / a weapon or was punching someone regularly would they say “oh, we’ll talk to them if we see it but otherwise there’s nothing we can do”? Of course not. The kids may not be physically assaulting your daughter, but the school should be taking this kind of bullying as seriously it would take physical bullying.
posted by insectosaurus at 4:38 PM on December 7, 2017 [10 favorites]

Get a little buttonhole camera for your daughter's jacket or sweater and get the tormentors on video! Then you have identifying evidence that it will be very hard for the school system to ignore.

And if they're still ignoring you at that point, you'll have lawyers lining up to take the case. I just saw an article today about a 10-year-old who killed herself after being bullied. I'm certainly not suggesting that your daughter would ever do that, but you know that strikes fear in the mind of every school official. Who wants to be the principal that allows that to happen?!

Get this middle school savagery on video and go from there!
posted by mccxxiii at 4:49 PM on December 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Do not record on school property. It's tempting but your daughter needs you not in jail.
posted by Lyn Never at 4:58 PM on December 7, 2017 [11 favorites]

I was bullied as a kid (weren't we all?) and what would have helped me the most would have been learning the skills and strategies to get bullies to lose interest in me.

Escalating would probably not have helped much. For instance, I once reported someone who was bullying my brother, and the next day all the other children knew all about it.
posted by aniola at 4:59 PM on December 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

Lawyer and IEP. You need legal intervention, STAT.
posted by jbenben at 5:18 PM on December 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

Get marshmallow earplugs. Not the super high-rated dense ones, just cheap, quite squishy ones are fine. Cut them in half (or into two-thirds length, or whatever- experiment). Colour the outward-facing circular end black with a sharpie if desired, to make them invisible. Stuff 'em in and leave 'em in. This is how actors protect their hearing on-camera when movies have explosions.

With smaller-size earplugs like that, you can still hear everything, but they really take the edge off of annoying sounds. Have her practice wearing them at home, mall, etc first, as they can change proprioception slightly and may make her a little more clumsy at first (that wears off with practice).

Your polite strategy of "please don't make that sound, it bothers me" definitely won't work for middle schoolers. That request is achingly low-status and mean kids will jump on it. More likely to work are strategies that raise her status, like cracking jokes, alliances with other kids, insults, swearing, or even hitting. Not knowing your kid it's hard to suggest something, and middle school kids are monsters so it's tricky no matter what. Luckily middle school is fairly short, but the self-esteem issues can linger so she's lucky to have a parent who's on her side.

If the school is being so unhelpful, give your kid a cel phone and let her audio-record the little shits as proof.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 5:20 PM on December 7, 2017 [4 favorites]

I can hear those noise canceling headphones too. I recommend in ear earbuds that physically block the noises. My god send.Also she absolutely should tell them to fuck off and maybe get her into an activity outside school that will let her toughen up a bit and let her meet some other, nicer kids. Martial arts is popular but 4H is actually a great group if you have one nearby. Anything with a totally different vibe and set of social norms and new kids.
posted by fshgrl at 6:09 PM on December 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

I was bullied similarly in middle school and the school also did nothing. I’m still dealing with it in therapy and I’m 32. Please don’t let this go. Take the advice of others above to find the bullying policy and push the administration to fix the problem once and for all. Lawyer up if necessary.

And please don’t advise your daughter to “just ignore them” or whatever, my god.
posted by woodvine at 6:27 PM on December 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

IEP and lawyer. But honestly, given your daughter’s age and the school’s response, I would try to move her to a different school. The kids bullying your daughter aren’t doing so opportunisticly; they’re seeking her out to torment her. Being more assertive or getting them punished isn’t going to make them stop, and may very well lead to retaliation. I’m sorry you’re going through this.
posted by snickerdoodle at 6:31 PM on December 7, 2017 [5 favorites]

I had a 3rd grader who was bullied. She was dyslexic, though at the time we didn't know it. If I could go back in time I would have stood up for her more firmly and much, much sooner. I went to private school and had real difficulty negotiating all the barriers public school erects. No email to teachers, no access to their home numbers, no opportunity to meet with them outside of school hours . . . I get it. I was a union nurse. You had to work within a structure. But it really didn't help my kid to drag everything out and make communication more difficult. The last straw was one morning when, in the third grade, she instructed me not to kiss her good-bye when dropping her off because the kids would call her a "lezzie". What the hell was going on?

That was in December of her third grade. This is a serious problem, and not something a third grader can handle on her own, especially against a clique of bullying girls. My daughter started the spring semester in a private school, though I had to really kick ass to find a school for her. I couldn't let it go. I had to support her. I was not ever able to have a satisfactory meeting with her homeroom teacher. The bullying mostly took place on the schoolyard, where "aides" kept kids from attacking each other but not much more, and were part of the problem of lack of continuity with the classroom teacher . . . Sorry, get a lawyer. I should have had a really, really short fuse. I should have hired a lawyer, should have followed my instincts and misgivings. You only have one chance to educate your daughter. It's really the only thing public school districts pay attention to. This is not something your daughter can stop by being nice and appealing to their humanity. The adults in the room need to take charge, and the school district's adults need a reason to do so.

Although it was really rough at the time, and the expense was also a barrier, I have never regretted standing by her at the time she needed me most. She hasn't forgotten, either, and divides her childhood into "before" and "after". Please, please trust your daughter and trust your instincts.
posted by citygirl at 6:51 PM on December 7, 2017 [8 favorites]

NO CAMERA. Missouri is a one-party consent state, but you don't want your child's committing or not committing a felony to depend on whether she remembers to only have the camera on when she's actually in a conversation.
posted by praemunire at 7:41 PM on December 7, 2017

My parents did everything that's been suggested above, and unfortunately it got them nowhere. Both the lawyer and the doctor who treated me in the hospital eventually advised my mother that since the school was digging their heels in so hard, there was a good chance of losing a lawsuit. In those days, people thought that it was wrong to put a child through the stress of a court appearance if they might not win the case.

So, that's when they transferred my sister and me to parochial school. Is getting your daughter out of that school an option? Is homeschooling a possibility, even if it’s only for the rest of this year?
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:03 PM on December 7, 2017

I'm not saying this is the right answer for your child, but I found I had far less issues with bullying in middle school after I "won" a fight with a notorious bully when I tore her shirt open and everyone saw her bra. (Gasp!)

Key to this (inadvertent) technique was wearing a shirt that doesn't tear open easily when the bully is wearing a shirt with buttons.

Or, change schools.

But as a middle school student I didn't know anything about lawyers... Probably a better route.
posted by yohko at 8:11 PM on December 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

Middle school bullies are basically psychopaths; plan accordingly.

Agreed with commenters above that the school should be pushed to do more, but in the meantime perhaps your daughter can parry some of the bullying with another language kids that age understand: bored apathy.

Basically, channel her inner snotty teenager talking to extremely uncool parents.

"You guys do know how stupid you look right now."

[eye roll] "K are we done yet?"

"... Right. I'm gonna go now."

And push past them and leave.

There's no point in getting them to engage. They won't. But IME bullies have a really hard time figuring out apathy, and that combined with being made to feel like *they're* the low status ones might be enough to for them to conclude they should find something else to do.
posted by AV at 4:14 AM on December 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

Some notes on using earplugs etc. to reduce noise levels, whether in this situation or in general:

Most earplugs don't block out sound completely. This is actually good, since it means your would, for example, be able to hear your teacher talking to you. You would also be able to hear kids taunting you - but it would all sound a little farther away and much less powerful. It might enable your daughter to stay calm enough to try some of the strategies people suggested for how to react in these situations.

If you use the cheap foam earplugs pseudostrabismus mentioned (which are excellent), the trick is to roll them up before inserting and gently pull your ear up and back while inserting. If they don't sit comfortably, take them out and try again. If you can't get them comfortable at all, try different brands (there are some for small ears and so forth). If it's cold out and the plugs are stiff at first, it can help to warm them up a bit (even just by holding them in your hand).

If you're worried earplugs would be too conspicuous or you'd like less noise damping, another option is earbuds like these marshmallow ones . With music they might make it easier to tune out other noises, but even without music they provide some damping.

Regardless of whether these would be a good fit for the school situation, having these options can be really helpful when you're sensitive to noise. I pretty much always have earplugs or earbuds available when I go out, especially to unusually noisy places.

As to recording and so forth: would it be possible to equip your daughter with a phone and ask the school for an office number that she can call (with their permission) when this crap starts happening? That way she can alert them when she needs immediate help (and if they happen to hear what's going on then so much the better).
posted by trig at 5:17 AM on December 8, 2017

I was a shy, polite, smart kid. My parents gave me CARTE BLANCHE to defend myself. Like if someone was bullying me and I told them to take that shit elsewhere, fuck off, forcefully walked past or through, etc, i didn't get in trouble at home even if the school got me in trouble. My mom told me that people make fun of other people because they lack confidence in themselves, so she said not to make fun of or insult other kids, but i was for sure allowed to tell them to shut up or that they were a bunch of scum bag losers with no life while making fun of me. I was also allowed, expected even, to hit back if someone ever hit me (but never hit first, and honestly I was pretty conflict avoidant so I only ended up hitting someone once because they hit me and it stopped there). I didn't have many problems with being bullied as a result because I wasn't feeding into their idea of a weak target.
IF you are pretty confident that your daughter is not an instigator than I think you should allow her to drop the polite requests and be assertive in these situations. Being situationally assertive is a great skill to have as an adult and should be cultivated, especially in girls. IT's a matter of words, intonation and body language. Sometimes you need to be direct and assertive to be heard and taken seriously. Sometimes (unfortunately) you need to be assertive to be safe (think of things like how you should walk like you have some place to be if walking alone in an unfamiliar part of the city)
posted by WeekendJen at 7:08 AM on December 8, 2017 [13 favorites]

I agree that a lawyer and IEP are things you need immediately.

Because they are tormenting her with noise, which is the equivalent of punching and kicking her, it's going to be very difficult for her to play it cool with bored eyerolling or witty remarks. Imagine trying to fend off multiple assailants who are punching and kicking you by telling them how stupid they look, and how bored you are. Even if you can successfully do that, they're unlikely to be convinced.

Also, most methods of fighting back physically will only work if she's physically strong enough to take on multiple assailants. As a kid, I was puny and couldn't even cause minimal pain to one person on the rare occasions I tried to. Smashed the heel of my shoe with every bit of strength I could muster into my bully's foot. She laughed, and not because she was playing it cool either. I was just too weak to make any impact. [1]

Here is something that I think might work, in the short term: first, follow the advice about marshmallow earplugs, make sure she's wearing them at the moment she's likely to get attacked, but don't let anyone know in advance that she has earplugs in.

Then, at the moment they start attacking her with sound, pull a personal alarm out of her pocket and pull out the pin. Practice this move in advance, many times, so she can be quick on the draw. If she doesn't practice until she can't get it wrong, she *will* fumble.

No-one can accuse her of anything, because a personal alarm isn't an offensive weapon. But she MUST have her earplugs in or not only will she suffer the effects of the noise herself, she may damage her hearing permanently.

This of course will also be very annoying to everyone else in the school, possibly enough that they intervene.

But what you REALLY need is to follow the advice to get an IEP and a lawyer, without delay.

[1] And besides, I'm sick of that being the solution. What comes after fighting back physically if you can't be successful? That particular bully fractured her skull at one point, falling out of a Routemaster bus. And while she was still recovering from that fractured skull, I had the opportunity to push her out of another Routemaster bus, knowing that if I succeeded it might kill her, or at least cause her lifelong brain damage. So maybe I should have done that? Would that have increased my self-respect, made everyone else respect me? That would have showed people they eventually, after a couple of years, couldn't mess with me!

See, I hated even having that thought. Even now, remembering having had that thought brings back all the memories of how much I hated myself for thinking it, how I hated the bully, how angry I was at the world and how little I could do about it. I guess it's the kind of thing that works for normal kids, but when violence is successful a neuroatypical kid is not likely to get away with it in the same way a NT kid would.
posted by tel3path at 10:38 AM on December 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

Both of my kids were bullied in middle school; in both cases, I got "well, if we don't see it happening, we can't really do anything;" in one case, I pulled my daughter out of school for several days until the district looked into it. (She was in a special needs school with an IEP already; we'd made several complaints; the bullying was happening on the bus and the district said it was the bus company's problem and the bus company said they didn't manage student behavior.)

There are a lot of good suggestions above; there's a non-zero chance that none of them will be effective. A lot depends on whether your school officials think bullying is actually a problem, or some kind of right-of-passage that kids are supposed to go through, but of course they'll provide some kind of help for the weak and helpless who can't cope. :-/

I suggest going on the offensive. Tell the school officials that you will not teach your daughter to tolerate harassment and assault (do not use the word "bullying"); that you will be seeking legal solutions; that you will teach her to defend herself.

Contact your local police and ask them what they do about non-lethal assaults among children. Again, avoid the word "bully;" that gets them to label it "kidstuff." Don't expect much in the way of help, but it's worth looking into. Contact a lawyer and find out about the school's liability for failing to prevent assaults and harassment. If you don't have much money, this, too, is not likely to be productive, but it's also worth investigating. Find out if you can contact their parents; introduce yourself as "mother of X; did you know your child is deliberately cruel to other children?" (There is no point in trying to be friendly. Friendly parents will be shocked and dismayed; parents who think cruelty is a sign of strength will gloat at you. Find out which you're dealing with.)

Ask daughter if she's interested in: Learning martial arts, getting pepper spray, carrying a "scream in a can" device; using other offensive means to get them to go away. (Not saying you should allow any or all of those, but definitely find out if she'd prefer that.)

And tell her, over and over: "You don't deserve this. You have done nothing to earn this. They are being assholes because they think it makes them powerful. They want to hurt you because they feel weak and scared about the world, and you are SOMETHING they can make react the way they want to. YOU DID NOT CAUSE THIS. It is not your fault; you are not to blame for their cruelty. It sucks that none of the adults who are supposed to be caring for you are helping. It is their job to prevent this, and they're failing. You haven't done anything wrong."

She will need that as much as she needs any specific defense mechanism.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 5:28 PM on December 8, 2017 [7 favorites]

13 is old enough to pull out a cell phone with live streaming app to video her asking the bullies to stop, and their reaction.
Then give her a raise in her allowance, enough to pay for a lawyer to sue the bullies directly.
posted by Sophont at 7:58 PM on December 8, 2017

A lot depends on whether your school officials think bullying is actually a problem, or some kind of right-of-passage that kids are supposed to go through...

Tell the school officials that you will not teach your daughter to tolerate harassment and assault (do not use the word "bullying")...

Contact your local police and ask them what they do about non-lethal assaults among children. Again, avoid the word "bully;" that gets them to label it "kidstuff”...

Quoted for truth. So many adults will have a mental image of good-natured teasing and dipping pigtails in the inkwell, or subscribe to the idea that it “builds character” or “teaches kids to get along in 'the real world.’” But to a kid with SPD, it feels like being thrown to the floor and kicked black and blue.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:06 PM on December 8, 2017 [5 favorites]

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