Coworker teasing my ASD child

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2010
Coworker teasing my ASD child
13
Thu, 09-16-2010 - 10:32am

I have a coworker who gets a little carried away with teasing. Mostly he teases children who come visit. He does do in good fun but often its over the line. My 15 ASD daughter came to visit me at work during a special event when the families were there visiting. My coworker knows of her condition and the symptoms. But to make sure she felt welcome I warned him ahead of time not to tease her. Then as she and her sister were arriving he hands her this kids (very small) Dora the Explorer chair and says, 'here Ali have a seat'. She is 15 and a big girl. Way too big for a childs chair. She looked at him confused and embarrassed and he persisted. She spent the rest of the day silent and confused and asked to leave prior to the main event.

I am beyond upset! I spoke to him about it in private and expressed my anger. He offered no apology and only excuses for what he did. I am not happy with that and have written a formal complaint to the manager asking for a written apology from the coworker and some assurance that it would not happen again.

I have been with this company for 8 years and this is the first time I have complained about anything. I have maintained the image of the type who does not rock the boat. But I feel that at this time the boat should be rocked. There were many people present when he embarrassed her.

I am wondering how others would respond to this sort of situation. I am at wits end with this coworker. His teasing is relentless and has gone over the line. I dread coming to work with him and am angry and stressed all the time. I tried to protect her from this sort of thing by warning him but now I feel like I failed at doing that.

Laurie

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2010
Mon, 09-20-2010 - 9:12pm

He has something. I am not sure what he has. But he always (And I do mean always) has to draw attention to himself. Whether its with teasing or acting up and acting weird or something. Making fun of people. Talking in a strange voice trying to be funny. Drawing weird things on stuff at work. Its like he will go to great lengths to draw attention to himself. And we all just kind of look away and shake our heads. I think he is a well meaning guy. Helps out. But has some issues.

Laurie

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2003
Mon, 09-20-2010 - 11:12am

I'm so sorry your daughter was teased.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2008
Mon, 09-20-2010 - 8:17am

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying your co-worker is not out of line, or that you shouldn't complain. I am just saying that your daughter is going to encounter jerks like this a lot, as well as more good-natured teasing. From the sound of it, I don't think she necessarily has the skills to differentiate the good-natured stuff from the genuine bullying, and she is probably very like my DS (and a lot of ASD children and adults) in that respect. I do therefore think that it is important to teach our kids the skills to deal with teasing and bullying - we won't always be there to stand up for them, and they can't always complain officially (and that isn't always the best response). I know it's too late, but it might have been better to show your daugher how to stand up to this idiot in person at the time, and you might want to think about ways of doing that if something like that happens again. The official complaint might teach the office jerk something, but it isn't much use to your daughter.



Kirsty, mum to Euan (11, Aspergers Syndrome) Rohan (7, NT) and Maeve (4, NT)

"My definition of housework is to sweep the room with a glance"



Follow my blog on http://mumsnet.com/blogs/kirsteinr/



"My definition of housework is to sweep the room with a glance"


Follow my blog on http://mumsnet.com/blogs/kirsteinr/


 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2010
Mon, 09-20-2010 - 7:53am

Thats my point. He teases kids and me. He would never treat the boss or a customer that way so why the difference in treatment? There shouldnt be a difference. Like you said it shows he has some issues that need to be addressed. I think he thinks he is being fun but its gotten way out of hand. He was teasing some younger kid that day too and I finally firmly told him to stop. The little kid was scared as my coworker was raising the chair the kid was sitting on higher and higher and as the kid was saying stop he kept doing it. Finally I said to stop it. But it goes in one ear and out the other. He really has turned into an embarrassment.

Laurie

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2006
Sun, 09-19-2010 - 6:17pm

thought about this post for a few days. your coworker is a bully. my ex father in law did similar stuff. he made everyone uncomfortable. he said he was being friendly and making the person feel welcome to the group. the coworker needs to be reprimanded for being mean and unprofessional. does coworker treat customers and bosses this way? probably not because he knows it is the wrong way to treat people. if he treats all

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2010
Sun, 09-19-2010 - 5:56pm

Thanks for all the advice. I think I need to push ahead with the written complaint. My boss is on vacation so it will be days before anyone can act on it. I think this has to happen because he has made a habit of teasing people and it has gone too far.

Laurie

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-03-2010
Sun, 09-19-2010 - 4:25am
Thats not teasing that is being mean if he KNEW the situation.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-13-2008
Sat, 09-18-2010 - 5:59pm

You know what? That really makes me angry. This guy sounds like a real jerk. I hope your complaint is noticed and he has to apologize. He sounds like a bully. I would have had it out with this guy the moment he did that to my kid and it would have been ugly.

I'm sorry he embarrassed your daughter. :(

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 09-17-2010 - 6:53pm

I agree that teasing is a part of our culture. I often tease people but I don't cross that line.

Susan, mom to Sam 11 and Connor 9
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2010
Fri, 09-17-2010 - 6:19am

Wow I guess cultures are a lot different. Here in the US there is a lot of teasing. It happens in my kayak club a lot. But its always between adults. If it happens at work then it might be considered harassment. So people tend to be really careful about what they say and do at work.

Making fun of a special needs kid, especially in front of others, is a big social no no! A huge one.

I could be overly sensitive about it. Or it could be because it was MY kid or it was a special needs kid or because I told him not to just minutes prior to her arriving.

Thanks for the reply. I always like reading about different cultures.

Laurie

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