* The Cure for Bullying? Look Beyond the Schoolyard

In her article for the AAPC newsletter, Meg Utz, a young woman with autism, describes the bullying she endured in school.  She had no idea that she was on the AU spectrum at the time, but speculates that her giftedness was a major trigger for bullies.  Her siblings moved into programs for the gifted and despite being bullied themselves, fared much better in a stimulating environment.  I would have to agree with her assessment, based on my experience with kids who share similar profiles.  Now, at age 24, she is evaluating her past experiences and assessing the world around her.  This author’s take-home message is that we live in a culture of bullying, from politics to the treatment of “various groups of people.”  I could add that many school environments are also toxic at the hands of administrators and teachers who feel threatened by colleagues and parents.

Each one of us can make a difference by speaking up for victims, creating a safe environment for kids and adults to talk, and reining in our natural inclination to respond in kind when we feel mistreated.  I know I have room to grow in this area.  What about you?bullying 2

Source: The Cure for Bullying? Look Beyond the Schoolyard – Autism Books

* A question on social narratives

angry kidI’ve been asked to provide another example of a social narrative for dealing with bullying.  I write stories about bullying from two perspectives, of course: the one who bullies and the one who is bullied.  They are often the same kid: students who’ve been bullied are at risk for becoming someone who bullies others.  The following clip is from a series on how it feels to be called a bully, especially when you don’t realize how your remarks have affected others.  It’s painful to help a kid who has been targeted by others, feeling their shame and despair.  It’s equally hard to redirect a kid who was once that target and has now focused their anger on others.  In the series below, there’s no “perfect” ending.  Learning to deal with bullying, whether from the hands of others or from your own, is too often a part of special needs kids’ life experiences.  My hope is to take something ugly and work it for good.

Mike chapter 1

Any feedback on this?