Seeing her son Evan, 12, get bullied while off at summer camp has been Jenny McCarthy‘s nightmare.
But watching his reaction – because of his autism, he doesn’t pick up on social cues well enough to realize he’s being bullied – has left her wondering what to do.
In a conversation on The View Monday, McCarthy, 41, described her conundrum.
“My son’s main goal is to make as many friends as possible,” McCarthy said, before adding that she got a heartbreaking email from the camp revealing that the kids he believes are his “friends” are actually bullying him.
“They’re laughing at him but he laughs too,” she said. “I said, ‘You have to find the kids that like you and are nice to you. Who do you sit next to in the cafeteria?’ And he said, ‘No one. I ask, and they say no.’ ”
In some ways, McCarthy is relieved Evan is unaware he’s being ostracized. “It’s so wonderful that he’s not aware that kids are making fun of him. But at what point do I need to teach him that?” she asked. “Evan told me, ‘They ask me to put bugs down my pants and I do it and they laugh.’ He thinks it’s funny. Do I just let him be? At what point does it stop? In high school they’ll be like, ‘Here drink this?’ ‘Okay!’ ”
McCarthy, who will leave the show after this season, also solicited co-host Whoopi Goldberg’s advice.
“My suggestion: Have Evan introduce you to his friends and when they’re off having fun, have a conversation with the parents,” Goldberg advised. “The parents might not be aware.”