Autism and Bullying

images

Bullying seems to be a hot topic nowadays. I’m not sure why all of a sudden EVERYBODY is all up in arms about this. It’s not like bullying is something new that kids just came up with this year, like listening to crap music like Lorde. Bullying has been around for quite a while. The first recorded use of the word “bully” occurred in 1530 (yes, I looked it up; I don’t spend all day making up fake facts for this blog, I’ll have you know), but the concept goes back way before that. There were even bullies in the Bible, for Christ’s sake.

I-SEE-WHAT-YOU-DID-THERE

Jesus likes!

Because of the nature of bullying behaviors, children on the autism spectrum at at a higher risk of being victims of bullying. Bullies often single out those who are weak or socially outcast and make an example of them. It’s not always about physical violence. The main motivation is an attempt by the bully to feel superior to others and to be looked at as being in a position of power. Due to the characteristics of autism (weak sensory perception, social awkwardness,  etc.), children with autism or aspergers are juicy targets for the bully to get what he or she wants.

A parent of a child with special needs is then faced with a difficult situation. Very often, children with autism will have difficulty communitcating to the parents that they are being bullied. The emotions that come with being pushed around are hard to understand; the child may claim to feel sad, tired, or simply hide their feelings in order to avoid them. It is the parents’ job to keep an keen eye on the child’s temperment and watch for any changes that may indicate that something is wrong.

imagesCAOVVRJ0

Or just outsource the job to the Chinese.

Bullies prey on fear; they count on their targets being to afraid to report them or do anything about it. Children with autism are already scared and anxious to begin with. A bully doesn’t even have to work hard to intimidate these kids; half the job is already done for them.

Another reason why it may be hard for parents to detect when their child is being bullied is that the child may not even realize that they are being mistreated. To children with social deficits, a bully may seem like a friend. After all, it’s someone who is talking to them and giving them attention. That’s a friend, right? Doesn’t matter if that the “friend” is taking their stuff, slugging them in the arm, and calling them names behind their back. That must be what friends do!

imagesCADTB4T4

“Mom! Tommy and I are gonna go play ‘Get Beat Up By Tommy!’ “

Now, it’s clear that special needs children are especially vulnerable to bullying. However, all of you special needs parents shouldn’t jump up on your high horse and think your child will always and forever be free of blame when it comes to bullying. Remember all of that anxiety and fear I was talking about before? Well, a funny thing about those negative emotions – they tend to send you child’s self esteem crashing faster than Healthcare.gov.

imagesCAG84QLH

Obama no likes.

These drops in self esteem can lead to children with special needs becomingthe bully. If the child has trouble understanding how to address social situations, the chance of inappropriate behaviors evolving into bullying is higher. We can’t just look at our children as wonderful little angels and allow ourselves to be blind to the other side of the coin. If you don’t want you child to be bullied, you have a responsibility to make sure your child doesn’t turn into one.

It’s clear that bullying is a critical subject that should be discussed with our children. We need to teach our children to be respectful of one another no matter what the situation. Remember, kids grow up to be people; the last thing you want to be responsible for is letting you kids turn into assholes when they are older.

Advertisements

Posted on November 17, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. “Another reason why it may be hard for parents to detect when their child is being bullied is that the child may not even realize that they are being mistreated.”

    very true for me. This _can_ be a blessing as well in some situations where you don’t even realise people calling you names of laughing behind your back. That is, until you grow up and finally find out why you never had any friends and are messed up :/

  2. booksonaspergersyndrome

    aspies must, must, MUST learn self defense! and i dont mean those so called self defense that involve meditation and dancing and guided imagining, or the other nonesense. i mean real self defense, down and dirty, punching and kicking etc.
    no, i’m not saying you should allow your child to become violent. those places teach you to fight in self defense only, and they help control rage attacks. this is how i got over my rage attacks. punching the bags and stopping when told. defending yourself does not make you a violent person.
    kids on the spectrum are easy target for many reasons. they dont have friends to defend them, not too many, anyway. and not making eye contact can be mistaken for fear and submission.
    empower you kid. tell him/her to walk away when bullied. this kind of friends, they dont need.
    bullying cat linger in adulthood as well, and i’ve lost jobs because of bullying, although they were only fast food jobs and no great loss. but i really, really needed the money at the time.
    teach your kids to not buly anyone, but not let anyone else bully them, either.

  3. I would just like to point out that your reference to the origination of the word bully is fascinating! Thank you for adding that bit. I am now going to go look that up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: