Nigel has begun his social skills class at the local middle school where he had been mainstreamed until last December. The class meets once a week and has a total of three students and a teacher. He was not looking forward to it.
“It burns! It burns!” he wailed as he writhed on the floor shielding himself, like Gollum. I had just walked him into the classroom and didn’t feel comfortable leaving him in such an agitated state, but I also thought that my presence was encouraging him to act out. I suggested he remember his “cool-down techniques” we had talked about, but he wasn’t responding. He had built things up in his mind to be more than he could handle. While waiting out in the hall a few minutes earlier, he had gasped and turned his head to the wall every time another student walked by, not wanting them to notice him, not wanting to be there at all.
Nigel: What if it’s one of my bullies and they see me?
Me: You’re with me, honey. They can’t say anything mean to you now.
Nigel: What do the bullies live off of if they can’t get me?
Me: They find someone else.
Nigel: There should be a school just for bullies to go to so they can bully each other.
Yeah. They can call it Bully U.