Published posts / an ext ArticlesGiftedness, Defiance, and also Misdiagnosis: Musings by a Mother and also Therapist

by Teresa Currivan, LMFT, parent Coach

Samantha* was surprised. Her kid was generally a really caring and empathetic child. So when he told her that he want to blow up his school, she no sure how to react. She inquiry what would happen to everyone in the school if it to be to be blown up. He described that the school would be empty and also that just the building would be destroyed. Still, she was troubled.

In addition, he told her that he “didn’t like” a girl in his first-grade classroom who had actually developmental delays. She did what she felt was logical and explained to him the this tiny girl had actually a learning impairment and, thus, special needs. The much more she explained about the special needs of the girl in his class, the angrier and much more resentful her boy became. She was disturbed through his reaction.

This is once Samantha dubbed me. She defined that while her boy was no incapable of median thoughts and also actions, in the past, those were usually as result of some viewed wrong or hurt that had actually been excellent to him or to others. He had a solid sense of justice and also was usually a fiercely faithful friend. Also when he to be a baby, if another baby cried, he would cry too. Both she and her husband highly valued their son’s feeling of compassion. She admitted that she was beginning to watch other behavior that came to her together well. Was she son becoming mean?

Samantha defined how she son had recently begun begging no to go to school, and when he did go, pleaded for she to aid in the classroom and on the yard. Periodically, the principal or teachers would report his misbehavior at college – striking out at other youngsters and running right into off-limits areas. In ~ first, she and her husband merely asked him to “behave.”

More recently, Samantha had been safety time in ~ school and observed that, in fact, it was her son that to be being bullied. She heard one story native a girl in she son’s class. Every boy in their class was invite to be in the “boys club” except her son. One boy pretended come invite him into the club, as lengthy as the would accomplish at a details area on the yard, intentionally planning the so that no one was there. She son had actually waited in ~ the clues all during recess till he establish he to be being made fun of. At first, Samantha couldn’t think it. She didn’t desire to. Can his “misbehavior” be in retaliation of gift bullied, left out, and also misunderstood? She to be confused and also at wit’s end. She wondered through me if all of this could be related.

You are watching: How to blow up a school

It is sometimes important to tolerate our own daunting feelings in order to model empathy for our children. It was painful because that Samantha to bear the opportunity of what her son had actually been enduring. She eventually concerned understand the her son had actually felt unprotected by the adults at school. Even more challenging for her was realizing exactly how she hadn’t been able to guard him against harm over the years.

As us talked in ~ length and through the process, Samantha revealed the this tiny girl through disabilities in she son’s classroom had actually an adult assigned to she at every times by the institution district. I discussed that maybe it wasn’t the he didn’t favor her disabilities, or who she was., but that he essential the sort of assistance she was getting. Could her son be jealousy or her? that was together though a light bulb went off for Samantha. This girl got special attention and protection native the adult – both things that her boy was no getting. His behavior was beginning to make sense.

Later, Samantha talked through her son and also asked if that was jealousy of this girl. She later reported that he’d nodded yes. “Why walk she acquire an adult to protect her, and also I don’t?” He asked.

Samantha’s love sank. But she continued. “It would be pretty to have actually an adult understand what’s to be happening for you in ~ school, i will not ~ it? i wonder if you wish the you had actually an adult assigned to protect you. Ns wonder if you great you had much more people on her side.” come which her son, whose very first response to strong emotion was more often rage lately, nodded and also became tearful. They hugged. She gave him every the compassion she had actually in that hug.

Samantha worked with the school to attend to the bullying the was now clearly happening. She eventually had to adjust schools to discover a better fit, yet her son is now making friends and also thriving. Samantha proceeds to effort to raise a an excellent human being.

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*name and also some details have actually been changed


Teresa Currivan is a mother, license is granted marriage and also family therapist, author, and also parent coach at help My Child flourish Coaching LLC and also The right Place finding out Center. She is

the writer of  My in different way Tuned-In Child: The Right place for Strength-Based Solutions. She provides assessments and also coaching to kids who room tuned-in differently and support for their parents. She specializes in co-occurring symptoms such as dyslexia, ADHD, autism, high sensitivities, school and social issues, visual-spatial discovering styles, sensory handling issues, anxieties, depression, giftedness, and twice-exceptionality. She has actually connections to mountain Francisco, only Area schools and also speaks come teacher and also parent teams there around differently tuned-in learners. She is published on sites together as, Filter totally free Parents, GHF Forum, and Hoagies Gifted Education. You deserve to follow her on facebook at


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