Guest post: B is for Bully.

B is for Bully was written and added to our Experiences of Bullying blog hop by @Aspergersnurse. The original post can be found on her blog Tea & Toast.

Today  I wrote a post about A celebrity re-tweeting “bill” [name changed] which resulted in his fan base sending disgusting homophobic and general abuse to bill in response and the post was intended to ask, who was responsible for the bullying, the fan’s? Yes, but the star himself is also part of the bulling and should take responsibility and learn from it. I’m sure an apology to bill and everyone else he’s done the same to in the past would not go amiss. So why hasn’t this post been posted, well because I have a feeling if I do post it, I would be leading myself open to the same torrent of abuse received by bill. To me that is part of bulling, actions which result in the fear of the individual or group of individual, and today it made me ashamed to be associated within the same fan group, for now it’s lost its sparkle.

So what is bullying? The Office of Children and Young People’s Services’ Anti-Bullying Strategy defines bullying as a persistent, deliberate attempt to hurt or humiliate someone. The national autism society estimate that Over 40% of children with autism have been bullied at school in some form and I’m sure autistic adults are also bullied in their work places with similar rates.

But why are we bullied and what can be done to stop it?
Often, people with autism are bullied due to their difference or because the bully is jealous. I was bullied in maths at school because I was so good at it, but also in PE because I was so clumsy.

As previously explored in Letter A, autism affects social and communication aspects of the person which can result in the person becoming isolated due to negative reactions of views of distinctive behavioural patterns that an autistic person may display.   Many autistic people can also have specialist interests [ mine at high school was Ant and Dec, and a computer game in primary, explored in post As and obsessions.] and may not realize that others do not share in this and may be repeated or become upset at the other person for not showing the same enthusiasm. Some autistic people have trouble with social body language such as eye contact or are unable to follow conversational norms or accepted social rules.  All of this mentioned can affect the way in which their peer group views them and their ability to be accepted therefore leaving them at risk of being bullied.

However how do you tell if you’re being bullied. A person with autism may find it hard to tell. For example at what point of someone joking around turn into bulling, or does accidently being knocked into = being attacked. It is important to learn the difference in order to protect yourself and be able to ask for help and support if you are being bullied. If an autistic person tell you they are being bullied, please listen to them and show that you have listened and act upon their concerns, if you feel that what has happened does not account to bulling them explain why to them but encourage them to come and ask for help if they are being bullied.

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