For months, I’ve wanted to speak out about people on the Autism Spectrum and the extremely high rates of victimization and bullying they endure daily. It’s bad enough that they struggle with a disability that they neither asked for nor have any control over; It’s even worse that they also struggle with constant cruelty from people in the general population because of that disability.
According to TIME Magazine, “A new study finds that children with autism spectrum disorders are bullied far more often than their typically developing peers.” They go on to say that 46% of children on the spectrum reported being bullied, compared to only 10% of neurotypical kids. Worse still, statistics are estimated to actually be even higher—because of their inability to read social cues, most people on the spectrum don’t recognize the subtler types of bullying.
No one reports anything they don’t know is occurring.
People with special needs can appear to bullies as easy prey ripe for harassment. Bullies zero in on people with these disorders because of their perceived weaknesses: With difficulty reading social cues, repetitive behaviors, and an inability to assert themselves, bullies tend to target them.
They know that chances are good that no one will stop the abuse, nor speak out for the victim. The sad reality is that many simply do not see those with special needs as “human.”
And bullies take full advantage of this.
Every day, people who are mentally handicapped or who have Autism/Asperger’s are accosted, taunted, physically attacked, or even murdered because they’re considered easy targets. Laws must be firmly put in place to protect these people, who are unable to protect themselves.
Even further, in my opinion, any crime against people in the above categories should be considered a hate crime because of their high vulnerability and severe disadvantage in such harassing interactions. Any way you look at it, it’s discrimination, and just as horrible as bullying someone due to age, sex, race, or orientation. I’d argue it’s possibly worse, because it targets those without the full capability to speak for and defend themselves!
These people are already fighting a very tough and likely, lifelong battle. Why, then, do we allow some to make their lives much more difficult than they already are?
Cherie White, both a writer and author, joined the team after being discovered by Brian through her own personal blog and through social media. She has been writing ever since she was ten years old and has a love for writing articles, short stories and novels. She became intrigued with the new Pyngby app because it helps victims pinpoint victims and their harassers for easy protection and litigation if need be. Because she experienced severe bullying from sixth grade until changing schools during her last year of high school, she has a passion for spreading bullying awareness and helping those who are bullied and abused today. Her goal is to bring down the suicide rate among bullied children, teens and young adults. Her debut novel, “From Victim to Victor” is available now at LuLu. Cherie looks forward to helping victims through Watchdog Creative.
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