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Mom Sends Autistic Daughter To School In White Pants During Her Period To Teach Her A 'Lesson'

Photo: Gladskikh Tatiana / Shutterstock
humiliated young girl

A mom is being accused of abuse after posting to Reddit about giving her autistic daughter a "tough love" lesson. 

The woman wrote that her 14-year-old autistic daughter has "terrible hygiene," especially during her monthly menstrual cycle. 

Despite repeatedly telling her daughter that her hygiene habits are inviting bullying at school, the woman claimed that her daughter has "ignored" all of her warnings. She wrote that getting her daughter to shower, brush her teeth or clean up after herself while menstruating requires constant "fighting" — so she was curious if drastic measures would get through to her.

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The woman decided to teach her daughter a lesson by sending her to school in white pants during her period.

She wrote that she "wanted to see if she would clean up after herself so that the pants would be clean when she came back home."

Before she had even dropped her daughter off at school, she had bled on her pants. But she refrained from telling her daughter, reasoning that she needs to learn how being "a slob" will impact her social life.

Unsurprisingly, her daughter was mercilessly bullied at school for her stained pants.

The woman wrote that her daughter "came home in tears" because her fellow students were "ruthless" in mocking the stains. She wrote that while it hurt her to see her daughter subjected to such cruelty, "I was not seeing the changes that need to be made."

She maintained that the trick was "a life lesson," and in the end, it worked — her daughter "took good care of herself" from then on.

Her husband was infuriated with her for her approach, however, saying their daughter "will be paying for this for the rest of the school year." 

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Reddit users were almost unanimously horrified by the trick she played on her daughter, and many called it abusive.

Most agreed that there were no two ways about this — the woman set her daughter up to be humiliated and traumatized. In fact, inducing shame and humiliation are forms of emotional abuse and can lead to lasting trauma, negatively affecting both the child's self-esteem and potentially the parent-child relationship, PCI Certified Parent Coach Jennifer Wolf told VeryWell Family.



Given how destructive to mental health bullying can be, many users were furious. 

As one person put it, "I dont think she realizes how bad bullying can be and how much it can affect kids?...do you know there are kids that hurt themselves because they cannot take it?"

Others pointed out that understanding social cues like hygiene standards can be profoundly difficult for autistic people, making this move all the more damaging.

"...autism often comes with problems in social understanding. The daughter mostly didn’t understand how much her hygiene affects others," one person wrote, which the May Institute, a leading nonprofit organization serving people with autism and other developmental disabilities, explains sometimes happens in individuals with autism because they're not as sensitive to the stimuli associated with hygiene tasks.

Instead of using humiliation as discipline, in a situation like this, the May Institute suggests creating a visual schedule to help your child carry out a daily hygiene routine and providing positive reinforcement.

While even one instance of neglect can cause lifelong harm to a child, neglect often requires a pattern of behavior over a period of time. If you suspect a child you know is being neglected, contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline for more resources at 1-800-4-A-CHILD.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.