Skip to main content

Just to be this bullying?

I have a situation, or at least RT Teen does. It's a real-life, right here and now situation, so I must be careful what I say, but...

He has a new tutor at college, someone with less experience than the others and who seems to have taken an instant misunderstanding towards RT. Notice I don't say dislike: I can't say dislike, as I'm not in the classroom and can only judge on what I've heard.

As far as I know, this tutor is a very, um, easily swayed type who finds it difficult to keep order with students sometimes. This seems to have driven him to try to assert himself by being more domineering. The other students in RT's class appear to be ignoring this but RT is being driven mad by it.

RT is quite placid normally. It's me who gets aeriated by things, people, irritations, everything really. He tends to sail through and has stress from typical aspie triggers but is generally accepting of other people and able to get along with them.

Then came the new tutor.

Apparently, he takes offence at what RT says. A lot. A lot a lot. It sounds like RT is giving the impression that he is permanently angry with his tutor and the tutor then lectures him, in front of the class, about how he is only trying to help.

He explains things in very great detail to RT (he spelled the word STOP one day) and also, maddeningly, repeats back most everything RT says to him. (If this was happening to me this one behaviour would have sent me over the edge on the first day).

To make matters far worse, RT's course has gone from having a variety of tutors through the week to almost all the lessons being given by this one man.

And this week he looooooomed over RT's shoulder as he tried to read something, ostensibly to help RT understand it but in the end making it impossible for him to work - who can work when someone is looming?

RT explained he couldn't deal with his tutor being right behind him like that and he got another lecture, in public.

At this point, RT almost walked out of college. It was the final straw for him. So, is this strange behaviour bullying, misunderstanding, inexperience? Or a combination?

I wonder if the tutor has read RT's file and is trying to treat him as an aspie? Is this overbearing approach meant to be helping RT to cope with work which must be beyond him, because he is on the spectrum? Does his tutor spell words and repeat back to him to make sure he understands, due to his being special? Is it what the tutor thinks you have to do, to explain in detail to an aspie in public, when they have got something wrong?

Or is RT experiencing that strangely debilitating facet of adult life, the personality clash?

Does the tutor in fact treat everyone as if they are five and RT simply hasn't noticed it's not just him? Is everyone else in class also seething or is it personal? And how can I find out without installing hidden cameras or hiring a spy?

I'm going to see the head of department next week to talk about it, armed only with one side of the story. It really is awkward. What I feel like doing is roasting some chestnuts over an open fire (that's my baby you're getting at, mister!) but I need to bear in mind the many times RT has got the wrong end of the stick and misconstrued a situation that should not have made him feel bad but did.

If I go in ready to roast, then I could find out the hard way it's another misunderstanding. But if I behave moderately and it turns out this tutor is a tick on the college's behind, then I will have let RT down.

From my own point of view, there is a simple way to look at this though. Regardless of whether the tutor knows RT is an aspie, no one likes to be told off in public or treated as if they are daft. And no one I have ever met likes people standing right behind them, looking over their shoulder as they work.

At the very least, this is a misunderstanding which has become so bad for my son he is wanting to leave college if it continues. At the most, those chestnuts had better watch it. I already have the fire good and hot and open.


My books and writing blog, with free stuff.
Find me on Facebook.and Twitter!

Popular posts from this blog

A Guide to your Aspie

So, you have your new aspie and are wondering what to do with him/her. Depending on size and gender, some of these instructions may need to be followed with caution but we are confident that you will be able to get the best out of your aspie for many trouble-free years to come!

(Disclaimer: we are not responsible for any physical, emotional or financial harm that may come to you when following these instructions. Once unboxed, your aspie is not eligible for our guaranteed swappage and refurbishment policy. Please have a good look at the aspie through the window provided before unboxing).

1. Unbox carefully and without making physical contact with the aspie. Pull down the box using the flaps provided and allow them to step free by themselves.

2. Allow your aspie free rein, to explore their surroundings. For ease of capture, we recommend not unboxing in an area that is too large or too small. Open fields would not be suitable, unless you are a long distance runner. Small rooms are to b…

Aspies don't like surprises!

Interwoven in so many of my posts and comments about aspergers has been the notion of aspie reactions to life, the universe and everything. It always seems to be reactions, have you noticed that? The aspie, in defence as usual. This is because we don't often expect the outcomes we're presented with, so we do end up defending ourselves against yet another surprise.

This is why aspies don't like surprises - every blooming day has them and they're very rarely nice. I don't mean that every day I open the post and I've won the Reader's Digest draw or there is a bunch of flowers from a secret admirer on the front step. Neither do I mean that people shower me with unexpected compliments or the cake turns out better than expected.

No, I mean the kind of surprises that are small enough to act like bullets, slipping through the mithril vest of aspergers and into the defenseless heart.

The sort of surprise that happens in conversations with people who should know bett…

Spotting an aspie adult

Have you ever wondered how to spot an aspie adult, at a distance, without having to get too close? It would be so convenient, wouldn't it? To be able to detect the aspieness before you are drawn in, before there is any danger of becoming part of their mad world and waking up one morning, trying to work out where it all went wrong and what happened to all your socks.

Bearing in mind there are always exceptions that prove the rule, here is what you should look for.

In the supermarket I often wonder if I have spotted a fellow aspie. Walking along the aisles, it's easier to people watch than shop, usually because I've forgotten what I need. The supermarket is a good open space where you can spot aspies as they grapple with the complex practicalities of staying alive by food shopping.

The walk: Yes, from a distance or as they pass by, the walk is a dead giveaway. It seems to veer towards extremes, either a fast paced booster effect from A to B, or a meandering wander with no vi…