View Full Version : Has Anyone Been Bullied Re Wearing Their Brace???
France & Amelia
10th June 2009, 05:03 PM
Hi, my daughter is still waiting for her first brace and I am not sure if I am more concerned or her about the potential bullying at school which she could face.
I really dont want to upset her or become an over paranoid parent and for my fears to rub off on her. I guess its just natural to have parental concerns and feel protective.
So I just wondered if anyone has experienced it, how they coped, and whether the parents went into school to discuss the wearing of the brace from the start???
Your advice and help will be greatly appreciated.
10th June 2009, 07:29 PM
I've never personally wore a brace but i wouldn't say it will be a big issue with others because it would be under her school uniform and clothes .If you go on www.youtube.com (http://www.youtube.com) and look up scoliosis brace there are many stories of girls her age going threw the same thing as her .
10th June 2009, 07:36 PM
I have no actual experience with bullying and braces but I would guess it will happen. Children teased my daughter into crying and vomiting when she was 10 years old when some older girls said she had freckles! It just upset her on a vulnerable day I guess. A year or so earlier one of the kids at school said something to her about having a lumpy mother. On that occaision said kid got slammed into the wall by my 40 lb tiny little girl!
Your daughter having to look different? Who knows if she'll be teased or bullied? I say prepare her for it and tell how brave she is for attacking her problem with the brace. Remind her that bullies have their own problems and they get their "fun" bothering others. Mom, I'd say a hot bath and cold wine are in order for you. Hang in there you are doing exactly what you should be doing. Worrying about your child! Hugs!
10th June 2009, 07:39 PM
I wore a brace and my mum went to talk to the teachers before I came in so that everyone knew the score. But this was all in the mid 70's in Latin America. I really do think that Latino children are less cruel (or at least they were in those days). When I got back to the UK I no longer had a brace but got horribly bullied for having a Spanish accent, being small, bad at sports etc. Maybe they would have been even worse if I had worn a brace still. I don't know. But, at the end of the day, children can be horrible about anything and it isn't always a physical thing that sets them off. One of my main bullies was born without a left hand but she was so confident that she was a real leader. I, on the other hand, had all my body parts but was very shy so was a target from day one. Its all in the attitude.
16th June 2009, 10:01 PM
I wore a Milwaulkee brace in the 70's, and was never bullied at school. As with a previous post, the head teacher spoke to everyone so they knew the score. Kids are very adaptable, and I still see people from school who ask how my back is.
I teach in a secondary school, and have returned to walk with a profound limp and general wonkiness after some annoying problems with my sciatic nerve (I'm a lot older now). The students at school have been brilliant. They don't mention it, but open doors, hold doors open, ask if they can carry things and are generally far more thoughtful than the adults.
Personally, I wouldn't worry unless there is a reason to. My mother wanted to send me to a private girls school, but the headteacher of my mixed comprehensive asked her to let the school take me back first. I never looked back.
Good luck to you and your daughter.
17th June 2009, 01:04 PM
I was horribly bullied at school despite having nothing wrong with me apart from being shy and not having the same accent as the others - cigarette burns on the legs, being pushing downstairs, spat at, name calling to the point where I was physically sick - but then this was the 1970's in a horrible rural comprehensive and I had rubbish parents who told me to 'grow up'.
Eve wears a cheneau brace all day which clearly makes her look different (even though it's under clothes) and doesn't have any bother at all but that's because she's strong, has a great set of mates, and a mother who's a terrier. On the one occasion early on when she was confronted by the village thug (aged 14) I marched round to his house with Eve and asked him infront of his squirming parents why he clearly got such a kick out of humiliating 10 year old girls and was that really how he considered men behaved? He hasn't done it since and I doubt ever will again.
Go into the school and talk to the kids about it. I'm aware that you seem to have a huge amount on your plate and this ratchets up anxiety levels to a feverish pitch, but really wearing a brace isn't the horror story that it appears to be.
17th June 2009, 04:37 PM
I did get bullied back in the 90's at school wearing both my after surgery plaster, and my boston brace. The main issue was that I could not get a school skirt to fit (we weren't allowed trousers back then), and having to wear a big raised shoe. As I had to wear trousers with an elasticated waist (not even the same as the boys) I did stand out like a sore thumb. The boys would hit the brace to see if it would hurt them when they hit it, and the girls would call names. My parents never discussed it before hand with the school so there was never an explanation to my peers. One day, I did retaliate and push 1 boy over a bench in the playground and he got taken away in an ambulance with 2 fractured ribs. I didn't get picked on after then and was soon given the power of prefect which helped. I wish I could say that everything would be fine, but I really think communication is key. Please make sure you speak to your daughters school, and ask them to make it clear that any bullying behavior will not be tolerated. Check how they deal with bullying incidents and make sure you are happy with this. Also if she has a group of friends, make sure they understand what is happening and why, there is always more safety in numbers.
17th June 2009, 09:35 PM
hi all,i got bullied aswell for wearing a brace,i was called scare crow,ET,hunchback,it was awful.primary school was the worst,my mum died when i was 4.she didnt know i had scolosis,i remember begging my dad not to put the brace on me going to school,i think if those bullies werent so cruel my curve wouldnt be as bad,it would have been pulled into place wearing the brace 24 /7.>:| it makes me mad when people call you these names and they dont know what theyre talking about>:|>:|>:|>:|:idiot::idiot::idiot:
17th June 2009, 09:40 PM
I'm so sorry to read your post Jollop, sh&t, i'm crying, you had to deal with so much so young and ontop of that those fecking idiots in the school yard, big hugs and love coming from Newcastle over to you, you had to deal so much so young no one should have to deal with half the stuff youve been put through in a life time let alone the first 10 years of your life
17th June 2009, 09:41 PM
I never wore a brace but I was teased when the kids found out I had scoliosis - they'd be really nasty about it because they didn't understand it! I would end up wearing the biggest school jumper that was available and the other kids would look at me weirdly and call me names because all the other girls liked theirs skin tight, lol.
I'd say really prepare your daughter for wearing the brace, when other kids comment or ask questions, she should tell them what it's for and why she's wearing it! Some kids might back down, but others unfortunately may not :-( Bullying's horrible (and dispicable to say the least), no matter what form it's in! I hope everything's alright when she gets the brace, keep us updated??
France & Amelia
18th June 2009, 02:55 PM
Hi thanks for all your replies. Today is her first day of wearing it at school so Im anxiously awaiting her return to find out how it went. She only got it yesterday and has to wear it 23.5 hrs a day (ooh not nice). The German ortho specialist said she should initial wear it for 5-6 hours! I thought that seemed a bit harsh to begin with, what say you??? I thought people wore it for an hour or so, and slowly built up the duration over a few weeks??? It has always been uncomfortable every time she had it fitted at the brace place. There is a particular bit sort of just below her right collar bone which digs in. Despite us telling both the (orthosis maker) and the specialist again and again, they just insist she tolerates it. Another thing, they x-rayed her wearing it to see if it is achieving the desired correction and it was not, so the specialist told the maker how to adjust it. When we collected it yesterday, it turns out he hasnt done exactly what the ortho said (meant to push the right-hand rear rib section in to apply for pressure). Instead he has added padding under the right arm-pit??? So the plan was that the adjustment should have been made, then she return to the specialist in two weeks. Im now concerned that its still not doing what its meant to - do we just wait the two weeks??? Is it becasue they cannot x-ray too often in the same week, or do you think its because the specialist is assuming the maker will make the correct adjustments? ooh so many questions? The maker incidentally speaks no english, and me minimal German (more suited to ordering meals in restuarants!) and the translater who has recently attended with me was not there. The joys!
Anyway................... I phoned the school Head of Year (quite friendly chap) to explain the situation and he said we should contact him again if she encounters any issues at all. I dont think he intends to formally announce anything though. Amelia is now confident in its appearance (long drawn out saga re them making original out of totally wrong colour/design) so will hopefully have the courage to stand up for herself should she encounter any nastiness.
Its just SOooo uncomfortable for her. Does anyone sort of stuff extra padding under bits which hurt and if so what? Or do they go back to the makers and complain??? Its really hot here at the minute too and only going to get hotter it makes her so sweaty. How to people cope in the heat?
Apologies for so many ???????? I just got carried away.
Will you keep you posted re her first day. I did say, it she found it too much to take it off for a while and just to take it one step at a time.
18th June 2009, 05:34 PM
Hope her first day of wearing her brace to school went well :)
France & Amelia
19th June 2009, 03:34 PM
Good news, she managed to wear it all day at school apart from taking it off for PE. Her friends have shown an inquisitive interest regarding the reasons for wearing it and have so far empathised and been very helpful regarding her inability to bend to pick things up etc and whilst getting it on and off for PE. They also think the colours are 'funky'. Let's hope it continues this way :D
19th June 2009, 04:02 PM
Glad her first day in it went well, and hope it continues in the same way :fingersx:
19th June 2009, 04:35 PM
Glad to hear her first day went well!!!! Hope it continues! :D
19th June 2009, 04:50 PM
Really pleased to hear it went well - my heart was in my mouth when Eve had to wear hers all day but she was pretty untroubled by it.
Is she wearing a seamless vest beneath it? This will help with the discomfort. Also you need to absolutely ENSURE that the correction that is needed is delivered by the brace otherwise it could make things worse. Eve's went down a whopping 15 degrees in her brace but that might be both the type of brace (a Cheneau) and the fact that her spine is very flexible due to her young age.
Also, don't let the teacher fob you off with "I'll deal with a problem when it arises' malarky. Get stroppy and demand to see a copy of their anti-bullying policy and make sure that HE knows you won't tolerate a 'wait and see' approach. The first time some toe-rag makes her cry because of the brace she won't want to wear it again and then where do you go from there? If her first few months are positive she'll be much better equipped mentally to cope when someone does comment upon it (and they will).
19th June 2009, 04:56 PM
:D Excellent news, you must be so relieved :D
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