If you have Asperger’s or a learning difference, the odds are that you have experienced some form of bullying. This is because bullies tend to target kids that are different.
I am not ashamed to admit that I have experienced more than my fair share of bullying. I have experienced lots of emotional and physical abuse. In fact, when I was 11, my parents were forced to withdraw me from a prestigious boarding school five weeks into the school year because the school could not protect me against the escalating daily physical and emotional abuse at the hands of a group of very persistent girls.
I have been hit, punched, pushed, pinched and shoved. I have had my belongings stolen and broken and have even had lewd and offensive comments scrawled all over my belongings. I have had awful rumors spread about me and have had most of my peers ostracize me. I am mentioning my negative experiences not to illicit your sympathy but to assure you that no matter how grim things may seem, they will get better.
Never be afraid to ask for help. Don’t suffer in silence. Sometimes you will find that the teachers or staff (that are supposed to protect you) are part of the problem. As absurd as this seems, I have been in situations where teachers have blamed me for being bullied and have questioned why I always seem to be the target. If you find yourself in this situation, enlist the help of your parents. It is important that they stand up for you because it is never alright for a school to condone bullying.
Since I know what a toll bullying can have on your peace of mind and well being, I am including lots of information, tips and resources on bullying. If you feel sad, alone and in need of a friend, contact me. I will do everything I can to help you. Never forget that you are not alone.
What is bullying?
Bullying is being deliberately mean to someone over and over again. A bully is any kid (or group of kids) that deliberately sets out to hurt, upset or intimidate someone through physical and emotional abuse.
Examples of physical bullying, include:
pushing and shoving
taking or breaking someones belongings
Examples of emotional bullying, include:
making fun of someone
laughing at someone
excluding someone from a group or encouraging others to leave someone out
starting rumors or telling lies about someone
trying to make someone feel bad about who they are
Is it Bullying?
Teasing versus Bullying – Sometimes it can be tricky to distinguish between teasing and bullying. The main distinction is that teasing is not intended to hurt your feelings whereas bullying is deliberately intended to hurt and upset you. Teasing involves a mutual joking around in a playful and friendly way. On the other hand, bullying involves making mean comments, name-calling, spreading rumors about you and making threats, all of which are intended to purposely hurt and upset you.
Another way to distinguish teasing from bullying, is how the comments make you feel. Teasing is a light-hearted, friendly form of social interaction that demonstrates familiarity and affection. It involves playfully poking fun of each other. However, sometimes teasing can be taken too far. If you think the teasing is getting out of hand, explain to the person teasing you that you want them to stop. They are likely to stop because the teasing was supposed to be light-hearted and fun and not intended to upset you.
Bullying is different in that it is not a form of social interaction. It is deliberately intended to belittle and humiliate you which is why it makes you feel bad.
Rude versus Mean versus Bullying – Another way to determine whether someone’s comments constitute bullying is to determine whether the comments are rude comments, mean comments or bullying.
If someone does or says something unintentionally hurtful and they do it once, that is RUDE
If someone does or says something intentionally hurtful and they do it once, that is MEAN
If someone does or says something intentionally hurtful and they continue to do so even after you have asked them to stop, that is BULLYING
Why Do Kids Bully?
There are numerous reasons why kids bully. Sometimes kids bully others because they are jealous, insecure or as a coping mechanism if they are going through a difficult time. Kids who bully may have learnt their behavior from having been abused themselves or may be replicating behavior that they have learnt at home.