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      Is your son in regular classes or does he participate in Steps classes (or other specially designed classes)? Sometimes a school will have a buddy program that pairs an older student (or a class peer) with special needs children and it can help prevent a lot of this type of behavior. It is important to keep your son's school/ bus driver/teachers informed of any situations so they can do their part in addressing them. Unfortunately we can't prevent all bullying but we can do our best to minimize its impact on our children.

      It might also be helpful to find some social training that will help your son learn some of the more conventional social skills. I don't know what his special needs are so I'm sorry if these are not viable options. I have a friend that is a paid “mentor” for several developmentally challenged young adults in the area and it's for this sort of public or social situations. She takes them to basketball games or to the park, etc and is a combination friend/counselor for these people. She can help them learn what's expected as well as prevent any real unpleasantness from people who don't understand.

      And a last option is to do what you can to help your son develop his own unique skills and strengths. Self-confidence has a surprising impact on reducing bullying – both how often it occurs and the impact is has on our children. Our sons are in Tae Kwan Do (martial arts self-defense) and even just the change it's made in the way they carry themselves has been remarkable.

      There are some good resources for children and for teachers about bullying. A good place to start is You could also talk with your son's librarian or media specialist to be sure these are available for the other students in the school too.

      It's a difficult situation and I hope you find a solution that works.

      On Sun, Jun 22, 2008 at 12:12 PM, maria <> wrote:

      My son is age 10,he is a special needs child as well as a legally

      disabled child. As long as i can remember he has been picked

      on/called names/even beat up by his peers.

      Val Coulman

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