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February 2, 2019

HELP! Kids Tease Me For Going To Special Ed!

Hi Brandon,

Sometimes I leave my usual classroom for Special Education since I have ADHD. There are kids who make fun of me for it and it really stinks. They think I’m weird and not very smart because I need extra help learning stuff. What do I do?

Learning That Words Hurt

Hey Learning That Words Hurt,

That really DOES stink. I’m really sorry this is happening to you. What those kids don’t get is that you’re just as smart as they are. Your brain is just wired differently than their’s. YOU probably know that. But I still pointed it out just in case someone reading this doesn’t.

I’m sure you don’t want to tattle. But if your teachers are not already aware of your situation, they should be. (And if they ARE aware but aren’t doing anything about it, then someone else at the school should be told.) Your school probably has an anti-bullying policy and this counts as big-time bullying.

Like most things teasing-related, the best approach is to act like it doesn’t bother you. I KNOW that’s super hard, but if you get emotional or defensive, you give them power and the teasing continues. Get out of the situation and go to the nearest adult or group of friends who respect and support you. You can make up an excuse like asking to go to the bathroom or something to immediately get away from those teasing you.

If there’s a certain time when kids make these comments, try to have a friend with you in those situations if you can. If it’s happening in the classroom, develop a signal with your teacher that means it’s happening, so he or she can deal with it. (It’s really their job, not yours.)

If you HAVE to respond, you could take pity on their obvious jealousy that you get out of class. If you get cool perks from that, like you play fun games or get candy rewards or something, tell them you’re sorry they have to stay in the boring class instead. 🙂

Most of all, DON’T let them get to you. The fact that they’re ignorant is their problem, not yours. You’re not any less smart. PLUS there are upsides to having ADHD. Research shows that people with ADHD are really good in a crisis (there are scientific explanations for this having to do with brain waves), way more creative than the average person, extremely intuitive, and have the ability to hyper-focus, which can be super productive for lots of things.

So remember YOU are awesome, THEY are insecure or jealous, and you will get through this!

What makes you different from other kids? How do you handle it when people tease you about it? Tell us in the comments!