My child is getting bullied because of their TS. How can I help?

Bullying is a serious problem that we hear about all too frequently from parents and children. We believe that bullying has long-term and lasting effects on everyone involved, including parents. Nothing is more painful than to know that your child is being bullied and to feel helpless to know how best to respond.

As a young boy, Jim was bullied. I think he may have felt much the same as your child – hoping that it would get better and not wanting to draw any more attention. Unfortunately, the messages Jim and all of the other children who are bullied often say to themselves is negative. “I must not be ok. Other kids don’t like me. I must be bad.”

Please know that bullying is not ok. It is not acceptable behavior at any stage of a child’s development. While it is important that schools get involved to support children that are being bullied, it is often depended on the parents to provide their child with the specific tools necessary to combat bullying.

We have found several resources that are effective, authentic and helpful. SuEllen Fried of Prairie Village, Kansas has studied the topic of bullying for many years. We find her advice very sound. She has co-author a book on bullying with Blanche Sosland “Banishing Bullying Behavior” (Rowman & Littlefield Education), and she gives anti-bullying seminars in schools around the country. www.bullysafeusa.com

You can also visit www.stopbullying.gov and download our resource guides for educators and administrators to learn about tools for coping with Tourette Syndrome.

I hope you find these resources helpful.

Dana McMillan
Board Member, Jim Eisenriech Foundation for Children with Tourette Syndrome