We got to the bottom of what was eating Riley yesterday. There’s this boy in her class, and he “goes too easy on her.”
You see, he’s sweet. And kind. Apparently too kind. He goes back and forth with the other girls, teasing them and they tease him back, but he “goes easy” on Riley. She fears he treats her like a baby. I’m guessing they deliberately sat him next to her because he is helpful. She is one of the youngest in her class. She does not turn ten until June, so she already fears being a baby. Plus it’s fourth grade and she’s the only one who still cries, and this makes her self-conscious.
“Riley, would you prefer he be mean to you?”
“Well what would you like?” I asked.
“I’d like him to be somewhere in the middle.”
No one likes to be condescended to. I understand that. I also get how many other kids on the spectrum are not experiencing peers “going easy on them.” Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a middle place, for all of them.