10 Perks kids With Autism Get From Bullying,  The Autistic Community’s Response.

Posted by:

 

An article published today by autism daily newscast.com has created a storm of disgust from the autistic community . It states that there are ten perks to being bullied as an autistic child.

The author is an applied behavioural analysis trainer.  

My son was a victim of bullying. It did not ‘ build strength’ or ‘ increase verbal communication with words’.

His speech regressed to the point of having difficulty verbalising at all.

It led to reduced self confidence and without disclosing to much, self injurious behaviour.

I was also a victim of bullying, it did not help me nor make me more neurotypical.

It caused me to self harm and take an overdose at age 13 after believing there was no hope.

It caused me to shut down, retreat further into my fantasy world and it also did not ‘ grow self confidence and self preservation’ either. It ripped me apart. At age 13 I was in hospital having bloods taken and my vomit tested to see how much Dettox had been absorbed.

I was referred to a psych team.

It gave me no survival skills and as a result I was targeted for domestic violence, as I had already been bullied it gave me the mistaken belief that there must be a reason this is happening, they must be right.

I must be wrong, not good enough and at fault.

I asked others for their opinion and was given the quotes at the bottom of the page.

Please read the following text.

This article promoted bullying and actually says it will help your child.

Please do comment I’m interested to hear your views.

Also notice the person first language.

The Article.

10 Perks kids With Autism Get From Bullying

By Karen Kabaki-Sisto

While the negative effects of bullying in school are real and cannot be pushed aside, there are benefits for peers, staff members, parents, and most importantly—your child with autism if everyone seizes the opportunity to act!

10 Good Opportunities from Bad Bullying:

 

  1. Promoting Autism-Friendly Programs: Bullying in schools can sometimes be the result of prejudice against the unexpected ways that children with autism speak and socialise. Not unlike other prejudices, this is an opportunity for parents and the school to promote social justice, tolerance, respect, and acceptance. Along with your help, schools should focus not only on integration within the mainstream for education but also guidance of how to better connect socially to their peers with autism – possibly through workshops or specially-structured activities.

 

  1. Team Work: Working together as a team in partnership with you as the parent, the school’s teaching staff, aides, principal, counsellors, and psychologists will provide the safest environment for your child to learn and enjoy.

 

  1. Autism Awareness Every Month: Not just during October’s National Bullying Prevention Month but always, more awareness of the bullying of kids with autism means more awareness of autism overall.

 

  1. Kids Learn Skills: Teaching your child how to deal with bullies increases her verbal communication with words, nonverbal communication like body language and facial expressions, survival skills, civil liberties, and independence.

 

  1. Builds Strength: As your child learns defensive skills from you, his friends, and his teachers, he is growing stronger connections with everyone.

 

  1. More Friendships: Discussing the communication and social deficits experienced by kids with autism puts greater social responsibility on their peers who don’t have autism. When it comes to a child with autism, being a proactive observer can make all the difference to prevent bullying and protect them. As a result, your child will spend more time with good friends, make new friends, and possibly will want to get involved in different activities with them.

 

  1. Overall Well-Being: Monitoring potential bullying activity requires the te7. aching staff to supervise more and create new interventions to ensure the well-being of your child.

 

  1. Healthy Relationships: Ways to deal with bullying also help your child deal with sibling rivalry, ‘stranger danger’, or any other personal threat.

 

  1. Increased Life Skills: With your child’s increased communication, survival skills, and independence, she will become more aware of the people around her. This makes your child a conscientious citizen and a good Samaritan towards other people who may be in need overall, not just due to bullying.

 

  1. Self-Esteem: Ironically, and in spite of the bully’s goal to do the opposite, your child will grow self-confidence and self-preservation esteem.

 

With your help, your child can take a negative force and turn it into a positive experience!

 

Yes take those shattered dreams and throw them into the air they will turn into star dust!

You can use them to fly kids, honestly!

The following quotes are from autistics and parents of autistics, the reaction is as follows:

“ I’m sure my son appreciates the bully that chased him down the street and stabbed him.

You don’t need bullies to recognise these things, or bring them to the fore. What you need is a heart and some understanding, and when did bullies ever have any of those basic human qualities?” .

Mairèad ÒFinn, mother to autistic son stabbed in the neck on his first I dependant walk to a nearby social group for autistic teens.

“ This is a modern twist on the bullying I got at middle school. “We’re toughening Stephen up for high school because the teachers there don’t care.”

Stephen Grainger, autistic.

“ This is such a dangerous thing to say and will only encourage BULLYING AND STIGMA! Why not ask the child who is being bullied that question? Bullying leads to trauma, depression, anxiety, physical symptoms and much more! This article is outrageous and promotes violence towards the Autistic community. Written by an ABA instructor who thinks Bullying Autistic children is beneficial?? The Autistic community are already suffering from STIGMA, BULLYING, ABUSE, EXPERIMENTATION WITH UNREGULATED PRODUCTS AND MUCH MORE! NOW AN AUTISM MEDIA OUTLET ARE ENCOURAGING BULLYING AND CLAIMING IT HAS BENEFITS! AUTISM DAILY NEWSCAST RECENTLY CENSORED AUTISTIC ADVOCATES AND PLACED AN EMBARGO ON SUBMISSIONS RELATING TO MMS AND GCMAF, BOTH OF WHICH ARE DANGEROUS UNREGULATED PRODUCT BEING GIVEN TO AUTISTIC CHILDREN AND ADULTS! WE ARE THEREFORE BOYCOTTING AUTISM DAILY NEWSCAST AND ASK THAT YOU SUPPORT US. AUTISM DAILY NEWSCAST DO NOT PROMOTE ACCEPTANCE OF AUTISTIC PEOPLE AND NOW INSTEAD PROMOTE BULLYING OF AUTISTIC PEOPLE! PLEASE SUPPORT THE AUTISTIC COMMUNITY AND SIGN OUR PETITION THANK YOU!”

Fiona O’leary, autistic mother to two autistic sons.

“ My son is haunted by the bullying he had at his primary school.  His anxiety made him chew his tops.  This gave him scabs around his mouth.  When the teachers weren’t looking they would all whisper in his ear about how dirty he was.  He was too scared to tell the teachers, but eventually told me, who had to tell the school.  Did they stop it, yes, did it help him, no, it made him even more withdrawn.  Is he still bitter about it, Yes, something he will never forget.  Did it make him stronger no?”

Heather Beattie mother to an autistic son.

“Bullying does not aid in a child’s communication. It hinders their ability to communicate. It causes self loathing, fear, resentment, depression and thoughts of suicide. Bullying has no “Perks”. To even suggest such a foolish idea shows you consider autistic individuals less than human. Bullying is inexcusable. Spinning  it into something positive promotes further mistreatment of those on the spectrum. It gives a license to those who do not wish to change their views on Autism. It perpetuates the belief that you can beat the autism out of them”.

Dominique Burnett, mother to an autistic daughter and two autistic sons.

“As a Mother to a non verbal autistic son, I’m offended that the writer suggests anything positive coming from bullying! Bullying is wrong full stop and should never be glorified. The writer’s suggestion should be done anyway as a preventative  measure and not as a result from bullying. This article made me very angry!”

Therese Johnson, mother to an autistic son.

“This article assumes too much. Not everyone has the courage to confront a bully or the fortitude to counter the bullies’ abuse.”

Jason Thayer, autistic.

“ First, baffled by the title. Then appalled. Then even more appalled as I commented on twitter re. the article and her response was “Karen Kabaki-Sisto @KarenSisto  · 2h2 hours ago  

@chromesthesia @WileyAutLibrary @AutismDNews Spider, We cant stop bullies 100%.  We can choose 2 use hurt as strength. Glad u commented.” I’m frustrated that “autism professionals” keep producing crap like this, keep able-splaining to autistic people who bring the mistakes to their attention, and dismissing concerns. But I’m glad that there’s a significant pissed off reaction. Maybe things are changing, but when crap like this appears, it’s not changing fast enough”.

Patricia Gabe, Autism advocate.

“ …sooooo……we should somehow welcome bullying as a way of introducing anti-bullying programmes. That is an interesting perspective. Let’s welcome rape as a means of promoting sex education or the Holocaust as a way of introducing anti-racist campaigns. As an autistic man and parent (and as a senior nurse and educator) I know what bullying looks like, feels like, I even know what it smells and tastes like. There is no ‘upside’ to bullying. Believe me. Then at the end I see it somehow leads to improved self esteem!! I could hardly believe my eyes until I then saw the article is written by an ABA ‘therapist’, a practice which is a form of institutionalised bullying and then it all makes sense. Shame on you Autism Daily Newscast for publishing this”.

Jules Curtis Akers, autistic and father to autistic son and daughter.

“ Bullying is for losers. Anyone that bullies are showing their true insignificant stupid self and they are lacking in intelligence or they wouldn’t pick on others as they are insecure with them selves so it makes them feel mighty and big to put others down.”

Sanni Rosenburg, autistic.

“First ADN attacks autistic advocates for undermining the qualification claims of dangerous maiming ghouls hiding out in the Dominican Republic advocating commercial bleach cures for autistic kiddies. Now this. Implosion by a single editor’s appalling sense of right and wrong, power-hungry adherence to pandering views of anti-autistic forces. Good comes in spite of evil, not because of it – and now you know which side you are on. Here comes some serious ostracism!  Sign the Petition to take this now Hate page down!”

John Greally, autistic and father to autistic son.

“ I would like to point out several big problems I have with this article, including, but perhaps most of all, the assertion that bullying can improve self-esteem, it has been 12 years for me since grade school, and to this day, I still battle depression, low self-esteem, PTSD, and anxiety, it has effected me romantically, socially, and professionally. I have basically grown apart from society as a result.”

Thomas Âû Wall, autistic.

 

Please sign the below petition.

 

17
  Related Posts

Comments

  1. Louise Page  October 15, 2015

    You know how I feel about this Emma – this is shocking and displays a lack of understanding of not only an autistic person’s experience of life, but a lack of understanding of how poor behaviors of others truly impacts the well-being of another person…..I shake my head…

    reply
  2. Joanna Rochfort  October 15, 2015

    As both a parent and having previously spent 12 years counselling & doing therapeutic group work with adolescents I cannot support the argument put forward in the ‘Perks of Bullying’ article. A positive outlook is to be commended in most instances but this is dangerously misguided.

    reply
  3. Rebecca  October 15, 2015

    Having been bullied, seeing my child being bullied, this is utter nonsense. Bullies need to be educated about why they are mean and learn acceptance, WTH are you promoting bullying to “help” autistic kids? Or make them “submissive” to bullies. Truly disturbing.

    reply
  4. Niki  October 15, 2015

    My son has AS and was so severely bullied he would scratch himself with anxiety until he was bleeding. He started refusing to go to school and would run away. It made him more anti social and angry. He withdrew more and more. Then by 9 had suicidal ideations. It got so bad I took him out of school and home schooled. He was later diagnosed with PTSD. Sure enough this bullying wasn’t taunting alone but quite physical at times. 10 years on my son still suffers from depression and is withdrawn.
    The person who wrote the original article should be ashamed. There is no positive outcomes for bullying. It is not a perk invested activity.

    reply
  5. C.H.  October 15, 2015

    I know what standing up to bullies gets you. It gets you punished by adults. Maybe it is a valuable lesson, if the lesson you’re trying to teach is “never trust anyone, especially authority figures.”

    reply
  6. Toni  October 15, 2015

    Bullying has destroyed my ability to trust people. I was always blamed for my own harassment. “If you ignore them, it will stop. If you be more normal than they’ll stop. You need to learn to be less sensitive to loud noise.” No, teachers didn’t take it as an opportunity to educate my bullies about autism, they wouldn’t even tell them I was autistic due to policy.

    reply
  7. Cyndi  October 15, 2015

    I’m a 35 year old autistic bullying survivor. I posted my story on Youtube as well as my antibullying website. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpaI9mLOtRhpJcarobFpOYY49fQBHsuhU

    It took me 17 years to love and accept myself after high school. I still have issues that I struggle with and there are times where I don’t know if I’m good enough to matter. But I refuse to let other people go through it alone like I did.

    Affirmations for Bullying Victims
    by Cyndi H.
    ***
    This is a message to anyone who is being bullied right now. It doesn’t matter if it’s online or IRL. This is for you.

    YOU matter.
    Your opinions matter.
    Your feelings matter.
    Your thoughts matter.
    Your dreams matter.
    Your LIFE matters.
    You are special.
    You are beautiful.
    You are talented.
    You are valuable.
    You are wonderful.
    You are respected.
    You are cared about.
    You are STRONG.
    You are a good person.
    You are loved.
    You can succeed.
    You can reach out.
    You can hold on.
    You can overcome.
    You mean something.
    You have worth.
    You deserve to LIVE.
    I LOVE YOU.

    reply
  8. Kate Gladstone  October 21, 2015

    The “Autism Daily News” people have LIGHTLY re-edited the article (changing “perks” to “strategies” and a very few other words) and have closed the comments, removing several people’s comments (mine among them) It’s still at the same URL …,and, of course, the ten things they are calling “strategies” now are even less “strategies” than they were “perks”!

    So go there, read the article, then (if you agree that it’s even worse than it was!) DIRECTLY reach the author and editor (the author is VERY easily Googled, and the editor/owner gets messages via Facebook Messages at Autism Daily News’ Facebook page.

    Below is my response, in full, to the (unacceptably) rewritten article, which I have sent to the persons concerned. Feel free to use it to,spur your own ideas, if it helps.

    The article’s vaunted change of title is a “Band-Aid” superficiality: plastering over the tiniest fraction of the surface of the wound you caused (which your article continues to inflict).
    
    Changing the title, adding a word here, shading and a phrase there — without _fundamental_ change in the underlying presuppositions and attitudes — reveals itself clearly in thexslightly revised piece’s ineffectiv attempt to purvey ten alleged “bullying perks” as now, oh-so-nicely, “strategies.”
    
    Let’s look, point by point, at what you are now dubbing “strategies.”
    
    SISTO: “1. Promoting Autism-Friendly Programs: Bullying in schools can sometimes be the result of prejudice against the unexpected ways that children with autism speak and socialize.”

    ———– RESPONSE: To say that bullying is “sometimes” the result of prejudice is false. There is NO act of bullying that does not stem from someone’s prejudice. Prejudice instigates EVERY act of bullying — or (to call things by clear names) every act of torture, harassment, and assault.
    (Torture, harassment, and assault are the words that the English language uses when these things are done to someone we care about. When they’re done to someone we don’t care as much about, such as someone else’s child, the same things get called “bullying” instead.)
     Calling prejudice only “sometimes” a cause of bullying is not only false, but dangerously false — because, when you only _sometimes_ identify the roots of any evil, that evil will remain and spread. (Imagine where we’d be today, if we still thought that scurvy was only “sometimes” caused by lack of vitamin C!)
    

    SISTO: “Not unlike other prejudices, this is an opportunity for parents and the school to promote social justice, tolerance, respect, and acceptance.”
    
    ———- RESPONSE: Promoting justice, respect, and so on, definitely matters. But justice, and all the rest of it, should have mattered _before_ the torture and assault. Treating these important and non-negotiable values as mere “strategies” to be hastily patched in after the fact … that is like watching me break my arms, then telling me that health and restored function are “strategies” which you will now use to promote a campaign to build a hospital. (And why does anyone call justice “_social_ justice”? — it is as if someone imagined that simply being just, simply being fair, couldn’t possibly be worthwhile unless it was “social” too. )
    
    
    SISTO:
    “Along with your help,”

    ——— RESPONSE: Who is the “your” here? Whom do you consider your audience? Us autistics? Our parents? If you meant to write the parents should be helping here, why not be clear about whom you’re talking to? Why not write “Along with the help of parents”?
    The context, evident throughout the rest of this piece, does of course make plain an unstated presupposition that “you” = “parent.” I’ll return to this a bit further down, at the point where you begin to make inescapably plain that you wrote as if you assumed an autism-interested audience to be parents and _only_ parents. It is just as if you and your editor had forgotten, or had never learned, that a VERY large percentage of the people reading anything with “autism” in the title are — surprise! — us autistics (Many of us are NOT parents, and are more than a little sick of the presupposition that “a person reading about autism = a parent = probably a person without autism. “)

    SISTO:
    “schools should focus not only on integration within the mainstream for education but also guidance of how to better connect socially to their peers with autism – possibly through workshops or specially-structured activities.”
    
    ———- RESPONSE: That isn’t strategy: it’s a goal (which could, presumably, be reached _by_ strategies which you aren’t, here, spelling out). Calling it a “strategy” is like a speech pathologist telling a patient who stutters that “your treatment strategy should be to not stutter.”
    
    
    SISTO:
    ”2. Team Work: Working together as a team in partnership with you as the parent,”
    
    ——– RESPONSE: Why, again, equate “you” (each reader) necessarily with “parent”? Why not write “in partnership with _the_ _parent(s)_,” instead of presuming that everyone in your audience can be described as “the parent”? Writing “in partnership with parents” would have conveyed your meaning WITHOUT the exclusionism of using a “you” that immediately specifies it doesn’t REALLY mean _everyone_ present.
    

    SISTO:
    “the school’s teaching staff, aides, principal, counselors, and psychologists will provide the safest environment for your child to learn and enjoy.”
    
    ——– RESPONSE: Again, do you or your editor Imagine that “Autism Daily News” is only for parents? Why assume that “your child” makes sense about every reader? Why not “provide the safest environment for _each_ _child_ to learn and enjoy”? (This would include each child — and each parent — without leaving so many of your other readers feeling, once again, as though “Autism Daily News” had a sign on the door reading: “Parents Welcome — People With Autism: We don’t mean YOU.”)
    
    
    SISTO:
    ”3. Autism Awareness Every Month: Not just during October’s National Bullying Prevention Month but always, more awareness of the bullying of kids with autism means more awareness of autism overall.”
    
    ——— RESPONSE: Again, this is not a strategy — in fact, it isn’t even a sentence. It’s relabeling a hoped-for goal as a strategy (“Treatment for stuttering: Don’t stutter”) because you had to give up calling it a “perk”
    
    
    SISTO:
    “4. Kids Learn Skills: Teaching your child how to deal with bullies increases her verbal communication with words, nonverbal communication like body language and facial expressions, survival skills, civil liberties, and independence.”
    ———- RESPONSE: Again, this is not a strategy. It’s a vaguely worded curriculum item (“Teaching your child how to deal with bullies” tells _what_ to accomplish, not _how_), followed by some hoped-for outcomes (one of which is poorly expressed: “verbal communication with words” is pleonastic, like “female adults who are women.”)

    

    SISTO:

    “5. Builds Strength: As your child learns defensive skills from you, his friends, and his teachers, he is growing stronger connections with everyone.”

    ———-RESPONSE: “Builds strength” (with what follows) is, again, not a strategy, but an expected outcome. Further, “stronger connections with everyone” are not always even _desirable_ outcomes. “Everyone” after all,,includes the child’s tormentors. It is immoral to expect — let alone to teach — the victim of tortures to grow stronger connections” with his or her torturers. (Further, it is psychologically destructive. Google “Stockholm Syndrome.”)

    

    SISTO:

    “6. More Friendships:”

    ———- RESPONSE: “More friendships” is not a strategy.

    SISTO:

    “Discussing the communication and social deficits experienced by kids with autism puts greater social responsibility on their peers who don’t have autism. When it comes to a child with autism, being a proactive observer can make all the difference to prevent bullying and protect them. As a result, your child will spend more time with good friends, make new friends, and possibly will want to get involved in different activities with them.”

    ———- RESPONSE: Again, this is not a strategy; it’s what you _wish_ would happen. “Discussing the communication and social deficits” does not mean that the people with whom they are discussed will _do_ anything about the “greater social responsibility” they now supposedly have. It does NOT mean, for instance, that the target of torture will now get better friends. Too often, all that “discussing the communication and social deficits” actually _does_ is to give a a child’s actual or potential tormentors a better idea of just how and where to take advantage of these and damage the child further.

    SISTO:

    “7. Overall Well-Being:”
    ———- RESPONSE: That isn’t a strategy, It’s a wished-for outcome.

    

    SISTO:
    “Monitoring potential bullying activity”

    ——— RESPONSE: This, at last, is a strategy … or might be. ONE strategy, 3/4 of the way down a list of ten, is a very poor intellectual or practical return for an article that claimed to deliver strategies.
    

    SISTO:

    “requires the te7. aching staff”

    ——– RESPONSE: Hmmmm, “requires the …” _what_, exactly?! That glaring typo (“teaching” misspelled to include a numeral, a space, and a punctuation mark) appeared also in the earlier (“perks”) version of your article. Anyone can make an error: but preserving the error, in two successive versions of the document, provides clear evidence that it was carelessly edited both times — if it had been carefully edited for its revision (as the circumstances demanded), an error of this size would have almost certainly have been caught before the article appeared in its (barely altered) new form. (Especially disturbing is the fact that the particular error made — involving, as it does, a space added within the word — causes the five letters of the intended word “teaching” to appear as the separate word “aching.” Of all the words which might be created — and retained — through careless editing, the word “aching” is particularly unfortunate in an article on the subject at hand.)

    

    SISTO:

    “to supervise more and create new interventions to ensure the well-being of your child.”

    ———— RESPONSE: This (which of course should be done _before_, rather than after, any child ends up tortured) is not a strategy. (If a professional exam in any professional field were to ask for a list of strategies for attaining some curricular or practical goal, how many of the strategies in this article’s list of ten would be evaluated as being concretely and specifically measurable enough to rate as strategies and to monitor in action?)

    

    SISTO:

    ”8. Healthy Relationships: Ways to deal with bullying also help your child deal with sibling rivalry, ‘stranger danger’, or any other personal threat.”

    ———– RESPONSE: “Healthy relationships” is not a strategy. To state that “ways to deal with bullying” exist and have advantages — without detailing what those “ways” are — is, again, to call a non-strategy a strategy.

    

    SISTO:

    “9. Increased Life Skills: With your child’s increased communication, survival skills, and independence, she will become more aware of the people around her. This makes your child a conscientious citizen and a good Samaritan towards other people who may be in need overall, not just due to bullying.”
    ———— RESPONSE: Again, you are using the label “strategy” to (mis)name a goal — or, more precisely, a wish. It is as if a nutrition article on”ten strategies for losing weight” told readers to follow a “strategy” which was: “With losing weight, you will be healthy and you will start helping others to lose weight.”

    

    SISTO:

    ”10. Self-Esteem: Ironically, and in spite of the bully’s goal to do the opposite, your child will grow self-confidence and self-preservation esteem.”

    ———– RESPONSE: Again: this is not a strategy. Further: “self-preservation esteem” is not good English, but is (once more) most likely to be sloppy editing.

    

    CONCLUSION:

    The “Band-Aid” quick-fix quality of the revision suggests a rush job — as if the writer, and/or the editor, thought that changing the title and a couple of surface details would prevent people from noticing that the piece remains substantially unchanged. In particular, as shown above the decision to reclassify alleged “perks” as “strategies” makes the content and structure of the work even more difficult to take seriously and to apply as real-world advice. The problems throughout the revision (notably including the weaknesses of structure and content which were created by misusing or misunderstanding the concept of “strategy”) do not speak well for the writing, editing, or other expertise involved. (I cannot speculate on whether the problems were allowed to pass into print because of sheer haste — people scrambling to fix a misguided article, and hoping that a surface retouching would pass muster — or because someone assumed that not everyone in the audience would bother to read very carefully after having discerned problems with a previous version of the work — or because of some other reason. Whatever the cause, though, the [slightly] revised article remains conspicuously inappropriate, in more than one regard, for “Autism Daily News” or any publication which strives to be helpful, fair, and respectful of its readers and of their experiences and concerns.)

    reply
  9. Kate Gladstone  October 21, 2015

    The “Autism Daily News” people SLIGHTLY re-edited the article (changing “perks” to “strategies” and changing/adding a few other words), and closed thr comments, removing several people’s comments (mine among them) at the same time. It’s still at the same URL …,and, of course, the ten things they are calling “strategies” now are even less “strategies” than they were “perks”!

    So go there, read the article, then (if you agree that it’s even worse than it was!) DIRECTLY reach the author and editor (the author is VERY easily Googled, and the editor/owner gets messages via Facebook Messages at Autism Daily News’ Facebook page.

    Below is my response, in full, to the (unacceptably) rewritten article, which I have sent to the persons concerned. Feel free to use it to,spur your own ideas, if it helps.

    The article’s vaunted change of title is a “Band-Aid” superficiality: plastering over the tiniest fraction of the surface of the wound you caused (which your article continues to inflict).
    Changing the title, adding a word here, shading and a phrase there — without _fundamental_ change in the underlying presuppositions and attitudes — reveals itself clearly in thexslightly revised piece’s ineffectiv attempt to purvey ten alleged “bullying perks” as now, oh-so-nicely, “strategies.”

    Let’s look, point by point, at what you are now dubbing “strategies.”

    SISTO: “1. Promoting Autism-Friendly Programs: Bullying in schools can sometimes be the result of prejudice against the unexpected ways that children with autism speak and socialize.”

    ———– RESPONSE: To say that bullying is “sometimes” the result of prejudice is false. There is NO act of bullying that does not stem from someone’s prejudice. Prejudice instigates EVERY act of bullying — or (to call things by clear names) every act of torture, harassment, and assault.
    (Torture, harassment, and assault are the words that the English language uses when these things are done to someone we care about. When they’re done to someone we don’t care as much about, such as someone else’s child, the same things get called “bullying” instead.)
    Calling prejudice only “sometimes” a cause of bullying is not only false, but dangerously false — because, when you only _sometimes_ identify the roots of any evil, that evil will remain and spread. (Imagine where we’d be today, if we still thought that scurvy was only “sometimes” caused by lack of vitamin C!)

    SISTO: “Not unlike other prejudices, this is an opportunity for parents and the school to promote social justice, tolerance, respect, and acceptance.”

    ———- RESPONSE: Promoting justice, respect, and so on, definitely matters. But justice, and all the rest of it, should have mattered _before_ the torture and assault. Treating these important and non-negotiable values as mere “strategies” to be hastily patched in after the fact … that is like watching me break my arms, then telling me that health and restored function are “strategies” which you will now use to promote a campaign to build a hospital. (And why does anyone call justice “_social_ justice”? — it is as if someone imagined that simply being just, simply being fair, couldn’t possibly be worthwhile unless it was “social” too. )

    SISTO:
    “Along with your help,”

    ——— RESPONSE: Who is the “your” here? Whom do you consider your audience? Us autistics? Our parents? If you meant to write the parents should be helping here, why not be clear about whom you’re talking to? Why not write “Along with the help of parents”?
    The context, evident throughout the rest of this piece, does of course make plain an unstated presupposition that “you” = “parent.” I’ll return to this a bit further down, at the point where you begin to make inescapably plain that you wrote as if you assumed an autism-interested audience to be parents and _only_ parents. It is just as if you and your editor had forgotten, or had never learned, that a VERY large percentage of the people reading anything with “autism” in the title are — surprise! — us autistics (Many of us are NOT parents, and are more than a little sick of the presupposition that “a person reading about autism = a parent = probably a person without autism. “)

    SISTO:
    “schools should focus not only on integration within the mainstream for education but also guidance of how to better connect socially to their peers with autism – possibly through workshops or specially-structured activities.”

    ———- RESPONSE: That isn’t strategy: it’s a goal (which could, presumably, be reached _by_ strategies which you aren’t, here, spelling out). Calling it a “strategy” is like a speech pathologist telling a patient who stutters that “your treatment strategy should be to not stutter.”

    SISTO:
    “2. Team Work: Working together as a team in partnership with you as the parent,”
    ——– RESPONSE: Why, again, equate “you” (each reader) necessarily with “parent”? Why not write “in partnership with _the_ _parent(s)_,” instead of presuming that everyone in your audience can be described as “the parent”? Writing “in partnership with parents” would have conveyed your meaning WITHOUT the exclusionism of using a “you” that immediately specifies it doesn’t REALLY mean _everyone_ present.

    SISTO:
    “the school’s teaching staff, aides, principal, counselors, and psychologists will provide the safest environment for your child to learn and enjoy.”

    ——– RESPONSE: Again, do you or your editor Imagine that “Autism Daily News” is only for parents? Why assume that “your child” makes sense about every reader? Why not “provide the safest environment for _each_ _child_ to learn and enjoy”? (This would include each child — and each parent — without leaving so many of your other readers feeling, once again, as though “Autism Daily News” had a sign on the door reading: “Parents Welcome! People With Autism: we don’t mean YOU.”)

    SISTO:
    “3. Autism Awareness Every Month: Not just during October’s National Bullying Prevention Month but always, more awareness of the bullying of kids with autism means more awareness of autism overall.”

    ——— RESPONSE: Again, this is not a strategy — in fact, it isn’t even a sentence. It’s relabeling a hoped-for goal as a strategy (“Treatment for stuttering: Don’t stutter”) because you had to give up calling it a “perk”

    SISTO:
    “4. Kids Learn Skills: Teaching your child how to deal with bullies increases her verbal communication with words, nonverbal communication like body language and facial expressions, survival skills, civil liberties, and independence.”

    ———- RESPONSE: Again, this is not a strategy. It’s a vaguely worded curriculum item (“Teaching your child how to deal with bullies” tells _what_ to accomplish, not _how_), followed by some hoped-for outcomes (one of which is poorly expressed: “verbal communication with words” is pleonastic, like “female adults who are women.”)

    SISTO:
    “5. Builds Strength: As your child learns defensive skills from you, his friends, and his teachers, he is growing stronger connections with everyone.”

    ———-RESPONSE: “Builds strength” (with what follows) is, again, not a strategy, but an expected outcome. Further, “stronger connections with everyone” are not always even _desirable_ outcomes. “Everyone” after all,,includes the child’s tormentors. It is immoral to expect — let alone to teach — the victim of tortures to grow stronger connections” with his or her torturers. (Further, it is psychologically destructive. Google “Stockholm Syndrome.”)

    SISTO:
    “6. More Friendships:”

    ———- RESPONSE: “More friendships” is not a strategy.

    SISTO:
    “Discussing the communication and social deficits experienced by kids with autism puts greater social responsibility on their peers who don’t have autism. When it comes to a child with autism, being a proactive observer can make all the difference to prevent bullying and protect them. As a result, your child will spend more time with good friends, make new friends, and possibly will want to get involved in different activities with them.”

    ———- RESPONSE: Again, this is not a strategy; it’s what you _wish_ would happen. “Discussing the communication and social deficits” does not mean that the people with whom they are discussed will _do_ anything about the “greater social responsibility” they now supposedly have. It does NOT mean, for instance, that the target of torture will now get better friends. Too often, all that “discussing the communication and social deficits” actually _does_ is to give a a child’s actual or potential tormentors a better idea of just how and where to take advantage of these and damage the child further.

    SISTO:
    “7. Overall Well-Being:”
    ———- RESPONSE: That isn’t a strategy, It’s a wished-for outcome.

    SISTO:
    “Monitoring potential bullying activity”

    ——— RESPONSE: This, at last, is a strategy … or might be. ONE strategy, 3/4 of the way down a list of ten, is a very poor intellectual or practical return for an article that claimed to deliver strategies.

    SISTO:
    “requires the te7. aching staff”

    ——– RESPONSE: Hmmmm, “requires the …” _what_, exactly?! That glaring typo (“teaching” misspelled to include a numeral, a space, and a punctuation mark) appeared also in the earlier (“perks”) version of your article. Anyone can make an error: but preserving the error, in two successive versions of the document, provides clear evidence that it was carelessly edited both times — if it had been carefully edited for its revision (as the circumstances demanded), an error of this size would have almost certainly have been caught before the article appeared in its (barely altered) new form. (Especially disturbing is the fact that the particular error made — involving, as it does, a space added within the word — causes the five letters of the intended word “teaching” to appear as the separate word “aching.” Of all the words which might be created — and retained — through careless editing, the word “aching” is particularly unfortunate in an article on the subject at hand.)

    SISTO:
    “to supervise more and create new interventions to ensure the well-being of your child.”

    ———— RESPONSE: This (which of course should be done _before_, rather than after, any child ends up tortured) is not a strategy. (If a professional exam in any professional field were to ask for a list of strategies for attaining some curricular or practical goal, how many of the strategies in this article’s list of ten would be evaluated as being concretely and specifically measurable enough to rate as strategies and to monitor in action?)

    SISTO:
    “8. Healthy Relationships: Ways to deal with bullying also help your child deal with sibling rivalry, ‘stranger danger’, or any other personal threat.”

    ———– RESPONSE: “Healthy relationships” is not a strategy. To state that “ways to deal with bullying” exist and have advantages — without detailing what those “ways” are — is, again, to call a non-strategy a strategy.

    SISTO:
    “9. Increased Life Skills: With your child’s increased communication, survival skills, and independence, she will become more aware of the people around her. This makes your child a conscientious citizen and a good Samaritan towards other people who may be in need overall, not just due to bullying.”
    ———— RESPONSE: Again, you are using the label “strategy” to (mis)name a goal — or, more precisely, a wish. It is as if a nutrition article on”ten strategies for losing weight” told readers to follow a “strategy” which was: “With losing weight, you will be healthy and you will start helping others to lose weight.”

    SISTO:
    “10. Self-Esteem: Ironically, and in spite of the bully’s goal to do the opposite, your child will grow self-confidence and self-preservation esteem.”

    ———– RESPONSE: Again: this is not a strategy. Further: “self-preservation esteem” is not good English, but is (once more) most likely to be sloppy editing.

    CONCLUSION:

    The “Band-Aid” quick-fix quality of the revision suggests a rush job — as if the writer, and/or the editor, thought that changing the title and a couple of surface details would prevent people from noticing that the piece remains substantially unchanged. In particular, as shown above the decision to reclassify alleged “perks” as “strategies” makes the content and structure of the work even more difficult to take seriously and to apply as real-world advice. The problems throughout the revision (notably including the weaknesses of structure and content which were created by misusing or misunderstanding the concept of “strategy”) do not speak well for the writing, editing, or other expertise involved. (I cannot speculate on whether the problems were allowed to pass into print because of sheer haste — people scrambling to fix a misguided article, and hoping that a surface retouching would pass muster — or because someone assumed that not everyone in the audience would bother to read very carefully after having discerned problems with a previous version of the work — or because of some other reason. Whatever the cause, though, the [slightly] revised article remains conspicuously inappropriate, in more than one regard, for “Autism Daily News” or any publication which strives to be helpful, fair, and respectful of its readers and of their experiences and concerns.)

    reply
  10. Kate Gladstone  October 24, 2015

    The site-owner of Autism Daily Newscast has VERY suddenly sold the site (she documented this the other day, in an e-mail to all of her site’s subscribers) — and the new ownership has a substantially revised editorial policy, dated today (read especially the paragraph including the words “Identity First”) — http://www.autismdailynewscast.com/editorial-policy/

    reply
  11. Kate Gladstone  October 24, 2015

    The site-owner of Autism Daily Newscast has VERY suddenly sold the site (she documented this the other day, in an e-mail to all of her site’s subscribers) — and the new ownership has a substantially revised editorial policy, dated today (read especially the paragraph including the words “Identity First”) — http://www.autismdailynewscast.com/editorial-policy/ … So let’s stay tuned …

    reply
  12. Kate Gladstone  October 24, 2015

    AND the offensive “bully ing perks”‘article has been REMOVED from the Autism Daily Bews site. It’s link now comes up “404” (nothing there), and it is GONE from the site’s Editorial section at http://www.autismdailynewscast.com/category/opinion/editorial/ (which is where it used to be) and from everywhere else on the site. There is no reference anywhere to it, anywhere on the site.

    reply
  13. Kate Gladstone  October 24, 2015

    AND the offensive “bully ing perks”‘article has been REMOVED from the Autism Daily Bews site. It’s link now comes up “404” (nothing there), and it is GONE from the site’s Editorial section at http://www.autismdailynewscast.com/category/opinion/editorial/ (which is where it used to be) and from everywhere else on the site. There is no reference anywhere to it, anywhere on the site.

    reply
  14. Liliet  October 27, 2015

    Wow, this article (the original one) was written by a person living in such an… optimistic world…
    like, I can just see how AWESOME it would be if it worked like that!

    Children always step in for bullied peers!
    Adults always notice when a kid’s being bullied and take steps to address the root cause!
    Children are always capable of standing up to bullies successfully!
    There is no actual danger to bullying, and it’s easily repelled with some basic social skills!
    There is a special “this is bullying and it’s very wrong and you are actually awesome” stamp visibly hanging over every bullying interaction!

    But at the same time, it implies
    – if a child is not bullied, there is no reason for other children to even interact with them;
    – if a child is not bullied, adults at school will pay no attention to them;
    – if there is no autism-related bullying going on, there will be no autism awareness raising;
    – if a child is not bullied, parents and school professionals will not work together to give them the safest environment;
    – if a child is not bullied, they will not ever interact with their peers or get any social skills ever.

    There are a couple of openly ableist insinuations in there (the first and the last), but mostly they are demeaning towards other people around the child. Like… I don’t even know how to tackle #2-4. If that’s true, these people won’t step in against bullying either, I assure you, and – WHY AND WHEN WOULD IT BE TRUE.
    (Possibly ableist assumptions about how an autistic kid would not be ‘worth’ paying attention to unless there’s a lesson for allistic kids to be had in it?… Probably, yeah. I can’t really think of any other explanation, and HOLY SHIT.)

    This article appears to argue that bullying is some sort of ‘vaccine’, like training wheels for the organism of a child + everyone around them to learn how to make the child safe. Ignoring that the bullying IS the disease. There isn’t any problem OTHER than ableist bullying that a child is going to face and need those ‘skills’ for – and bullying is not a ‘weakened and harmless’ version of anything. It is strong, it is harmful, it is damaging. Once it starts, there is no easy way to notice it, stamp it out, counter all harm it’s done to the victim.

    And yes, it makes all the sense ever that it’s written by someone promoting institutional abuse. There is some other, harder, more horrible abuse out there! We are just toughening you up for it! What we are doing is not harmful at all, and most people can learn to deal with it just fine! What do you mean there is no Other abuse out there? THERE SO IS. HOW CAN PEOPLE NOT ABUSE NEURODIVERGENT PEERS COME ON IT’S JUST NATURAL

    yeah, this is ableism from start to finish with some wilful denial of reality as a cherry on top. amazing

    reply
  15. Eric Ledger  October 27, 2015

    Just clicked the link to the ADN page, and it’s gone. I wonder who took it down, be it any of the site’s staff of someone external.

    reply
  16. Jack Turner  February 1, 2016

    Now this is so offensive I don’t know where to start. “Being an autistic child myself I can assure bullies in no way cause social skill infact even supress it because well in whatever silly language you may understand this best. “Bullying make autistics sad, Sad make autistic meltdown, autistic meltdown make less social skills and more autistic” another thing is kids are more likely to make less friendships than usual and mabye even lose some and why? to make people feel more powerful they’ll join in with the bully even if the victim is their friend

    reply

Add a Comment