Adults are bullied too. Don’t let it happen to you.

Every day I see people, grown up people, being bullied online. Only they don’t know that they’re being bullied.

What’s worse is, I see people, grown up people, being bullies online.  Only, they don’t know that they’re being bullies.

Chances are, if you’re in the autism community, you’ve been bullied. Yes, people get bullied online every day no matter what community they’re in. But when it’s parenting, especially special needs parenting, either you’re very new to the experience or you’ve experienced bullying.

Parents, instead of receiving suggestions, advice, education… they’re demonized, accused of being potential murderers, abusive, future stealing wrong doers. Every decision, choice and even every little word they say is put under a microscope and ripped apart. A parent receives an autism diagnosis for their child, visits an autism Facebook fan page and asks a simple question. The next thing they know they are in tears, hating themselves and feeling worthless. Sounds extreme? I’ve seen it happen. And it is not ok.

Autistics, instead of being heard are told that their opinion doesn’t matter because they’re “not high functioning” or “not low functioning” enough. They’re told that they need to be cured or worse, that they never should have been born at all. When the media rolls out in search of someone to talk to about autism each Autism Awareness Day, who is it that they search for? Parents. And if they do look for autistics, they seek out the children that are behaving the worst… the ones that will make headlines and drum up sympathy.

It is even worse if you’re an autistic parent. Believe me, it makes absolutely no sense because to me, it seems to me that the smart thing would be to get the perspective of someone that has been an autistic child, is now an autistic adult and also the parent of an autistic child. Who could have more insight into all angles than that? But sadly, no. Instead of seeking autistic adults out for guidance, they are bullied by all comers. Other self advocates, other parents, the media… all of your choices are wrong, all of your opinions are invalid.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Not everyone in the world is a bully. Not every experience is going to go that way. However, as I said, unless you’re very new to the community, you’ve experienced it in some form or another.

What I’m saying is, you need to not be the victim. You need to not let yourself be bullied. You need to stand up. Whether it’s to stand up and not take it, to stand up and walk away or stand up and just declare that you won’t take it anymore, you need to stand up against bullies. Prove to your children, all children, your fellow adults and everyone that bullying doesn’t belong in the autism community or even on the internet anymore than it does in our children’s schools.

In many ways, this is worse than what children get in school. I’d rather take a punch in the face than a bunch of other parents or self advocates telling me that I’m a terrible parent.

But just like the punch in the face from my school days, I don’t have to take it. Neither do you.

Acceptance can not be achieved by bullying others. Lack of acceptance does not bring about more acceptance. Anyone that professes to want acceptance for all but bullies you into it is lying, or strongly misguided. Not one single person on this entire planet that truly wants to be accepted or for others to be accepted would ever, in a million years, attempt to make you feel like you’re worthless. They would never ever want you to feel like they feel… bullied.

Why do some people hate me? Why do some people attempt to bully me? It’s because I refuse to believe that their brand of bullying is acceptable and furthermore, I refuse to join in. I will not be a part of it. Even if I do not agree with someone else’s opinions, methods or decisions… I will not bully them for it.

Don’t ever let yourself be bullied but more so, please, please please… do not ever find yourself being the bully either.

We are in this together. The bullying stops now.

It’s my hope that you share this with everyone, far and wide… if not this blog post then certainly the message; do not let yourself be bullied. You do not have to feel that way.

Please watch and consider this:

About Stuart Duncan

My name is Stuart Duncan, creator of http://www.stuartduncan.name. My oldest son (Cameron) has Autism while my younger son (Tyler) does not. I am a work from home web developer with a background in radio. I do my very best to stay educated and do what ever is necessary to ensure my children have the tools they need to thrive. I share my stories and experiences in an effort to further grow and strengthen the online Autism community and to promote Autism Understanding and Acceptance.

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6 Responses to Adults are bullied too. Don’t let it happen to you.

  1. blogginglily February 11, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

    As always, appreciate your point of view. Hadn’t seen that video. It’s nice to see how easily the message is received when you put the middle school kids in middle aged skins.

  2. Patricia February 11, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

    REblogged on spectrumperspectives.wordpress.com

  3. mostlytruestuff February 11, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

    I started to read this completely unaware of the reaction I’d have. I don’t usually react to posts like this- especially in public- I’m in the lobby of our YMCA. And I’m in tears.

    I left my Facebook account for a lot of reasons, some I coukdnt put my finger on until I read this. The day before I shut it all down I wrote a simple status- I missed Kelli Stapleton in my feed. I do. I miss her smile, her support, her love of my kids. That’s all I said. Even there I was not safe. I felt there were no more safe places. People piled pain upon pain. Reeling, I was then called a muderer sympathizer,mhave been told that the blood of autistics are on my hand and many other things. I wanted to quit writing, quit speaking.

    But you’re right, Stu. I won’t. I deserve my voice as much as they do. You deserve it more than me because you see all angles of autism, and can speak if it with great ease. The community is lucky to have you.

    You’re amazing my friend.

  4. Elizabeth February 13, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

    Great post with excellent points. I am baffled by the “bullying” I see on social media, the intense opinions stated as if they were rock-solid, proven fact when the only foundation for them is someone’s theory and belief in its correctness. Thank you for posting this.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Adults are being bullied, too. Don’t let it happen to you. | Spectrum Perspectives - February 11, 2014

    […] Adults are being bullied, too. Don’t let it happen to you. […]

  2. Your brand of acceptance is hurting us | Autism from a Father's Point of View - February 13, 2014

    […] This is part 3 of what I want to say on bullying, hate and the autism community. Parts 1 and 2 can be found here: Hate me, for I am but a lowly autism parent! Adults are bullied too. Don’t let it happen to you. […]

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