“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” is a familiar phrase every child learns early on to protect their self esteem against the sting of teasing. Every child is teased at some point in their childhood. Asperger’s Disorder children are among the most teased and rejected students on campus. They suffer frequent name-calling and ridicule.
Unfortunately, Asperger’s Disorder children are also the most ill-equipped to cope with being teased. They lack the social skills to be able to respond appropriately. They may yell, cry, hit, and repeatedly tattle. Their immature responses cause more problems, often leading to more teasing, increased rejection, and consequences from parents and teachers.
For many adults with Asperger’s Disorder, the teasing they endured in school is flagged as a major cause of their suffering years later. Being called names, teased, bullied, and rejected hurts in the immediate moment and can hurt for days, months, and years later. It is thus critical that children with Asperger’s Disorder learn how to respond to teasing in the presence of their peers and learn how to cope with it internally so that it does not destroy their self esteem.