Friday, November 4, 2011

Some of The Secret Language explained

That's the sound of a deep, contented sigh.
My darling Feral Aspie geeky teen is getting some help through the school and is happy to discuss his issues.
Well, they are other kids' issues who have seen fit to make them Feral Aspie teen's issues but they are being dealt with.

We've done the usual "ignore them/ walk away/ don't speak back to them" speech for years.
And it is so much easier to say when you're not the person dealing with the angst, anxiety and fury at being the centre of someone else's bullying.
So, after another incident I sat him down and explained about "the secret language".

This is something you and I  (and probably the Man in the Moon) know about instinctively.
But teens (mostly of the male variety) and those with difficulties reading social behaviours don't 'get it'.

I explained that someone teasing/bullying him is handing power over themselves to the victim.
When the victim ignores them, the bully ends up with egg on their face, looking like an idiot in front of friends.
And no feedback from the victim to continue the teasing.

But the moment the victim responds to the bullying they are handing the power back to the bully, feeding the monster with attention and giving them ammunition to continue.

When an older student gave them a mouthful of abuse as he walked past the other day, Feral teen and a friend automatically responded in kind.
In hindsight he understood how this inflamed the situation into shocking volumes.
I explained him to think of the Mountain Gorilla, sitting up banging his chest and grunting out a challenge to other males.
This is how this student (and most male teens) behave.
The moment people respond in kind it is the equivilent of the second male gorilla meeting the challenge and agreeing to a physical fight.

Feral Aspie teen understood immediately when I put "the secret language" into similies that he knew.
And, I think, he is finally understanding the intelligence behind the oft-repeated "ignore them/walk away" instructions as not a means to let the bully off but to keep the power in his own hands (and himself safe).

And now he's off at the GP getting his ingrown toenail - also known as the underlying bane of our existence - seen to.

So, I shall be waving my not-so-magic wand and disappearing myself into the backyard!

1 comment:

River said...

Aha! The secret language! I learned it pretty early. Of course it helped being partly deaf and always having my nose in a book. Didn't hear them, didn't see them. Although I have to stress I was never bullied, just teased a bit. It's not at all the same thing.