Autism and bullying. I was bullied throughout secondary school. The bullying was persistent, emotional, and physical. It was incredibly hurtful, and it caused low self esteem.
I blamed myself. I thought it was because I was too much. My personality was difficult for people to tolerate. This was compounded by teachers who told me that it was me, that if I could be more easy going they would leave me alone. I was told that I should feel compassion for the bullies, that bullies were in pain too and that’s why they bully.
I bought this line for so many years. Then last year I saw Siena Castellon. Siena is an advocate for neurodiverse children. She is amazing. We ended up speaking at the same event. Her talk included some information about bullying, and her experiences of being bullied.
She spoke so bravely about autism and bullying, and how it was not OK, and not her fault. In that moment I realised. It was not my fault. It was very much not OK, and I have been scarred by it. This has begun the process for me of analysing what happened during that time, and unpicking the self criticism I still carry as a result of my experiences.
I made this video to add my voice to the conversation about how bullying is not OK. It is still happening in our schools, and it needs to be handled more effectively.
I made this video about the SEND crisis in our schools
This is so relatable I was bullied in every school and had to move schools so much it effected my education. I was also bullied and abused at home and the people who treat people like this always get excuses made for them. Teachers always blame the child and never deal with the issue so much neglect is a big problem. I am currently trying to raise awareness via my blog and twitter because I want this to change it has to autistic people don’t deserve this. I witnessed teachers ignore bullying when things were thrown at me or people threatened me. I saw one say his school was too perfect for me to be bullied in and when I left he made my sister leave too. His ego was massive but his heart was not. I am disgusted how the focus is on making us blend in when we have an actual disability that we cannot get rid off. It is disgusting to treat anybody in such a manner they only do it because they can get away with it and much of autism isnt visible. They made a thing of the fact that I looked normal and was intelligent and used it to deny me support. They let people suffer on the inside so they can be lazy and do nothing to help and because they see autistic people as less than them. It is so obvious and so wrong.
Unfortunately bullying doesn’t stop in school. It continues in the workplace. Many autistic people also find themselves underemployed.