told me a few months back he looked up Aspe rg ers on We b MD and said it sounds like him. He doesn’t remember where he heard of it from. And, I agreed, he probably is. He’s blind to certain social things, doesn’t know why drawing cute Hi tl er saying “dirty J e ws” in Ge r man and showing it to the J e w is h kid for a laugh is considered b ully ing / har rassm ent. Totally blind to it.
I try to help and he’s generally a good kid overall but he’s equally blind to when *he’s* been bullied. It makes for a good defense mechanism in that school can be rough if you’ve got any kind of heart, but he adds to the overall problem.
Being in a wh it e po w er friendly area doesn’t help much, as teachers being ALSO raised in this environment too often turn a blind eye.
Still, in his mind it’s all for the irony. He doesn’t mean it… which is also part of the problem (being blind to it). But, not much can be done as internet humor is generally caustic as it is. I just try to remind him of the line between joking, trolling, griefing and evil. He mostly ‘gets it’, mostly.
Two of his friends have been 4chan addicts since 4th grade. He stays of of it and generally stays away from some of the worst of it but I’m just waiting to see how things develop. As long as it’s “just jokes”, then it’s sort of normalish middle school tasteless humor. But if I start thinking he’s getting obsessed or cultish, then I think it’s a problem. It’s teetering on an edge but right now it seems to be ironic edginess. Hoping that’s where it stays.
I don’t think his generation is as cult-ish as late millennial was with this stuff, so I’m hopeful it’s mostly just all part of the irony.