This last few weeks, we’ve had to deal with some excessive cruelty towards our son, CT. Some of the kids in the neighborhood think its fun to try to torture CT. They try to make him perform “tricks” like a circus animal. CT is the type of kid who will do almost anything to make someone happy, even if it might be detrimental to him.
CT’s social disability makes him act younger than he is. Usually his friends are anywhere from 3-7 years younger than him. He’s a lighthearted kid who just wants to play outside and have fun. The two boys who have been picking on him are in their teens. I believe one is older than him by a year or so. The other, is only a few days older than CT. Initially, the second boy (closest to his age) had a mother who claimed she worked with autistic children, so CT was always welcome to come over.
According to CT, when kid #2 is alone, he’s fun to be around. When kid #1 (the oldest boy) is around, kid #2 doesn’t necessarily do anything to CT, but he also doesn’t stop kid #1 from picking on him and trying to make CT do something he shouldn’t be doing. Part of CT’s disability is his inability to lie. When he was younger, he just couldn’t lie period. He didn’t know anything about fabrication.
As he gets older, he sometimes tries (sadly, it’s a pathetic attempt to conceal truth that even a kid could pick up as a lie) though he always ends up admitting the truth when told it’s clear he’s not telling it. It’s nice to see he’s trying to do something so normal socially (though lying really isn’t good), but he’s just unable to fully grasp the concept of lying. That’s how we’re 100% certain he’s telling the truth about everything he says.
Of course, another boy in our neighborhood who is nice to CT says these kids scream at CT, calling him crazy and retard. The boy doesn’t understand why CT still wants to be their friends. CT’s biggest fault is defending those who are mean to him. The kid who sliced his shoulder/neck because he didn’t want CT playing with something did it, according to CT, as an accident. The kid who sits on his chest on the trampoline and bounces, telling him to “take it like a man” is just “playing”, so no harm, no foul, right?
So, he will defend the second boy. The second boy didn’t mean to let boy #1 pick on CT. He didn’t stop him from doing something we technically could call the police for on boy #2’s property. CT doesn’t get that boy #2 isn’t going to stop boy #1. They’re friends and they sometimes try to come down to our house to try and stir up trouble with CT. Of course, they have the belief that nobody is going to believe CT. He’s retarded right? These boys know nothing about autistic children, their superior intelligence and their inability to lie. These boys underestimate CT, significantly. He’s three times as smart as both of them.
We had planned to have one of us go down and talk to boy #2’s mother (she’s a crazy fundamentalist Christan, who I believe would freak out if she knew what was happening on her property) and boy #1’s dad (he’s pretty much not worth talking to). However, the family (not all of us) has decided that for CT’s benefit we will just not let him go down there and we’ll keep a better eye on him.
I don’t agree with this personally. I think the parents should know what is going on. The rest of the family (excluding CT, who doesn’t know we’ve all spoken about this) fears retribution. We’re planning to move in the next year. The parents won’t do anything because their kids will lie about it. Bringing the police in means CT will be interrogated, something he’s definitely not strong enough to handle. The boys will be more willing to seek out CT and hurt him worse, is the main fear. Still, I feel like they’ll do that anyway, having gotten away with what they have already.
We’ve agreed to a compromise. We’ll be talking to CT’s therapist, to see what he thinks will be best for CT. We’ll find out next week if it is better to confront the parents or not. I think they’ll try and attack CT at another friend’s house. We don’t let him out of our sight much at all, but he does have an occasional moment at the neighbors who are nice to him. We’re obviously more wary now, knowing that CT has problems telling people he considers his friends, no.
We’ve also put CT in more regular therapy. His therapist plans to work specifically with CT on these social aspects…learning to say no, standing up for yourself, when you know something is wrong (he knows it’s wrong – just ignores that fact) you go home or find a safe solution not to do what you don’t want to do, amongst other things. His medication has also been tweaked. He’s less hyper and more docile, which should help calm the racing thoughts in his mind.
So, based on what you’ve read, do you think we should confront the parents or should we just let bygones be bygones and keep CT safe on this side of the street until we move?