article from suite101.com
Children with Asperger’s syndrome are ideal targets for bullying. Asperger’s children tend to be socially isolated and awkward in conversations and physical coordination. An Aspie child often has interests that other children consider odd, or may have unusual verbal or physical habits. Most rewarding, from a bully’s perspective, is how easily many Asperger’s children “meltdown” and lose control when under pressure.
Approximately 90 percent of Asperger’s children are bullied – some sources suggest the number is closer to 100 percent. Adults with Asperger’s syndrome often relate how helpless, angry and alone schoolyard bullying made them feel, and how the effects of bullying followed them into their adult lives.
Talking about Bullying with Asperger’s Children
Children with Asperger’s have enough difficulty interacting at school without the added pressure of bullying. Unfortunately their problems understanding social conventions make it difficult for Aspie kids to explain that they are being bullied.
Parents should talk to their children about bullying, explaining that bullying can include teasing, intimidation, and threats as well as assault. Social stories (educational tales of common social experiences) can help explain what constitutes intimidation and unpleasant teasing. Teasing is especially problematic for Asperger’s children, as they may not differentiate between friendly banter and hurtful teasing.
Asperger’s children need to understand that all forms of bullying are wrong, not just assault and physical intimidation. A “friend” threatening not to be friends in order to manipulate an Aspie child into doing something wrong or illegal is bullying just as much as the playground thug who hits and kicks.
Helping Asperger’s Children understand Bullying
Role-playing can also help Aspie kids identify bullying. If the Asperger’s child has a neurotypical sibling he or she may be able to help shed some light on bullying – after all, kids have a closer connection to today’s playground politics than adults.
Scenes from television, movies and video games provide plenty of opportunities to talk about bullying. Parents and children can discuss how the bullied character handled the situation, and whether he or she handled it appropriately or not. Both parent and child can share what they would do in a similar situation
Children with Asperger’s syndrome may stay silent about bullying for a number of reasons, including:
•Not wanting to be seen as tattletales
•Not wanting to worry parents
•Thinking no one will believe them
•Thinking that they somehow deserve bullying
•Threats and intimidation from the bully
Parents and teachers should make it quite clear that there is never a good reason to bully, and that the correct and safest thing to do is to tell an adult the child trusts – whether a parent, teacher or counselor. The traditional belief that ignoring bullying makes bullies stop is simply not true. Many schools now have no tolerance policies for bullying, but those policies can only be enforced if teachers and school staff know bullying is occurring
Cyberbullying and “Stealth Bullying”
Parents should be aware of two other types of bullying that might affect their children. Cyberbullying is the use of the Internet, instant messaging and other online venues by school bullies to taunt, threaten or shame children.
“Stealth bullying” is a common tactic used against Asperger’s children. Classmates quickly learn what buttons they need to press to trigger an outburst from a child with Asperger’s syndrome. The bullies can manipulate the Asperger’s child into disrupting class, and have the added payoff of watching their victim get into trouble for behavior they triggered.
Teachers may need to keep an eye out for stealth bullying in the classroom and on the playground, although it can be difficult to detect. It may help to explain to teachers that if an Asperger’s child has a “meltdown” there is almost always a reason, even if the reason doesn’t make sense to neurotypical minds.
btw, the article is called
"Aspergers Syndrome and Bullying:
Teaching Aspie Children to Identify Teasing and Intimidation"
I hope this has informed you enough. Yes I know Spirit Day is meant for the LGBTQ crowd but what about us in the Autistic community? Some kids with Asperger's syndrome will take their own lives b/c of all the bullying and hate that happened to them over the course of their life that and b/c we live in a world that sadly, does not understand us. Severely autistic kids, teens and adults are abused constantly in centers like the Judge Rotenberg Center where they use electric shock treatment to "help" residents. They try to express their fear, but no one listens claiming that these people cannot speak.
The purpose of my Puzzle Peace campaign is to bring awareness to the public about the many human rights abuses that are being carried out against so many Autistic/Aspie individuals. We need to end the hate and violence and addressing the problem is the first step.