My partners mildy autistic son bullies my son - how can I cope?

Antoinette - posted on 04/09/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My partner has a 5 year old boy who has been diagnosed with mild autism (Austistic Spectrum Disorder). I spend weekends at my partners place but we live seperately during the week. We have been together 7 months. His son spends every second weekend with us and while he is with us he often bullies my 2 1/2 year old son. He gets physically agressive with him and does not understand why my son doe snot always understand his demands (the 5 year old is very bossy). The 5 year old seems to feel threatened by my son and jealous that he has to share his dad's time which is understandable. He doesnt deal with it very well and does not understand why kicking and punching my son, calling him names, intimidating him etc is unacceptable and mean. I know that it is common for kids in this situation (not just austistic kids) to behave this way however I find it very frustrating and challenging as I do not know how to deal with it. My first reaction is to protect my son and stick up for him but I understand that the 5 year old does not fully understand that his actions are wrong.

My partner and I want to move in together and build a life but are very concerned about how his son will cope. Any advice on how to deal with this situation?

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[deleted account]

No, it is not common for kids in this situation to behave this way. He needs behavioral intervention maybe. Redirection may work, and perhaps teaching him the proper way to behave when he is upset.

Dove - posted on 04/10/2012

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There is no reason (not even mild autism) that you and your partner can not teach this boy that he needs to keep his hands to himself. Whether he understands it is wrong or not.... he needs to be stopped and taught not to do it. You don't just 'cope' and let him get away w/ it. You stop him instantly... every time. Put him in time out or whatever consequence you can find that will click w/ him. Be firm and be consistent.

User - posted on 04/10/2012

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I no it can be hard having one of your children bullied, but the main thing is to talk to your partner, the child is his main responsibility and it should be up to him to sit and discus that bullying is wrong. Even if the child does suffer with mild autism, he should still be taught right from wrong. I feel very sorry for your other child, as its not his fault, and he shouldn't be exposed to bullying at all let alone from his step brother. I think maybe seeking a behavioral therapist's advise is a good idea, maybe come up with some sort of plan for the 5 year old some way that he can understand right from wrong. Also going to his specialist doctor and seeing if there is anything they can recommend to you, its going to be difficult for all of you but i'd keep the kids apart for a bit until the 5yr old can stop hitting it could have very bad effects on your son in regards to him thinking hitting, kicking, shouting is ok if his brother does it. hope this helps a bit, be strong luvvy xx

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