My son is having trouble with another boy at school. With pushing him down and making fun of him not being able to get up very well to a standing position. I have talked to the principal and he talked to my son and other boy but what should I do if it continues. Has anybody had to deal with bullies?

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Oh man! I know I'm easily upset when situations come up like this (my husband says I'm a hot head), but this is your son!! No matter if healthy or with DMD, you never want to see or hear about your kid being bullied!! I would definitely take the route and discuss with the school, especially the teacher to keep an eye out. And then, if you know this bully's parents, maybe discuss with them? Not sure if a good idea because parents can be mean too. I have MDA come out to my son's school (he's in first grade), this will be their second time to the school, and explain about DMD to the kids. I've also gone to the classroom with the social worker and explained about DMD without embarrassing Nicolas. The other kids were receptive. Maybe after meeting with teacher and school, find out if you can educate the class on what your son has and why he's a bit slow in getting up, etc.

And then, when you leave the class, push the bully down to see how he likes it... just kidding.
Our son, Alexander, has had his share of bullies throughout school. Eventually he had a very caring teacher who "instructed" the class more than once (when Alexander wasn't present) that this is NOT the way to treat someone with or without a disease, but especially THIS disease. Alexander is in a small class and most of the same students return year after year, same bullies too.

Then, we had a nice occupational therapist do an assembly at the school to answer questions reDMD (yes, the hard ones too) and explain why Alexander has more "strength" than everyone else and that human strength comes in many flavors. Alexander is now in 6th grade and all peers have stopped bothering him and have embraced him instead. There is one kid still who loves to physically out-do my son at every opportunity. Alexander and I have discussions about the weakness of these types and how we hope they will grow up someday, as well as there are simply some bad people in the world to stay away from.

I have heard of putting weights (you know, the kind we use for exercise) on the legs or arms of peers to make them comprehend firsthand what someone with DMD feels like everyday. Sort of a sensitivity training thing for those who can't get the concept verbally. I also wouldn't be afraid to contact the parents of any bully to inform them about whats going on.

Hope this helps
I'm right with you Michelle when it comes to anyone being bullied. I don't understand schools who look the other way or parents. I would do whatever was necessary to put a stop to it right away. I think I would request that the principal arrange a meeting with the other child and his parents and you and your son. Maybe if they get drug into school they might see how serious this is and how he could really hurt your son.
Considering that our boys have fragile bones (even more so if he is on steroids) and that a fracture could speed up the process of muscular deterioration and push up the timeline for a wheelchair and other, more serious medical issues, pushing is an extremely serious offense. I'm sure the school and the parents of the child involved would not want to be financially responsible for contributing to all of those extra medical expenses. I would have a talk, not only with the school, but also with the parents of the child involved in the bullying and let them know how serious you are about preserving your son's mobility. We can not be timid about issues like this.
I told the principal about him being on steriods and what could happen if he hit the ground to hard. And the funny thing is he has an IEP and the principal didn't even know he had DMD. I talked to his teachers and you would of thought that the principal would of know. Thank you for the replies and I will have a more detailed talk with the principal.
Rebecca I am so sorry to hear that your son is being bullied.... it is every parents nightmare - especially when you are reliant on other people doing the "right thing". You have absolutely handled it the correct way, but I also thought I would share some things we have learnt along the way.

Our son has had his share of bullies over the years, and we have learnt that dealing with it has to be a two pronged strategy..... not only do you have to deal with the school about the issue, but you also have to teach your son ways to handle bullies when you are not as strong or fast as they are.

We had an adult with DMD tell us many years ago that Mitch would need to "be taught to deal with bullies, as we were not going to be able to protect him forever - and the world can be cruel when you have a disability". At the time I thought this was very cynical on his part, as I truly wanted to believe that we lived in a world where tolerance and equality were the cornerstones of our society.... I had no idea back then about the ignorance that still prevails - and how careless/thoughtless comments can hurt the older boys just as much as a push or shove did in their younger years.......

We are now finding as Mitch approaches his teens that he is very reluctant to talk to us if he is being bullied, as he is struggling to be independent and feels that he is now old enough to "fight his own battles". It is for this reason I am glad we heeded the advice we were given and taught him how to stand on his own two feet (bit ironic an expression I know) when he was younger. He now has the self confidence to stand up for himself by either walking away or defending himself verbally........

The other thing that we noticed when Mitch was young was that by developing friendships with the parents of kids that weren't bullies paid huge dividends..... by educating them (the parents), they were able to make their children aware of the struggles he faced..... I can still remember the day my heart soared with pride and admiration for the value of true friends - it was just an ordinary day but when I went to pick up Mitch the teacher informed me that the school bully had been thwarted that day - he'd gone to pick on Mitchell, and all his friends stood around him in a circle, with the message being sent loud and clear - "to get to him you must go through all of us first" (still brings a tear to my eye after all these years)... I sent a note of thanks home to all their parents - for educating their children about Mitchell's condition and encouraging them to look out for him in the playground.

The old adage of "it takes a village to raise a child" has never been more true than when DMD enters your life, and when it comes to bullying, a whole village has eyes (and help) everywhere..........

Hugs to you all,


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