The Rampant Bullying of Autistic People

Little boy with dark hair, a baseball cap, and a bow tie wearing headphones and looking off into the distance. The text reads, "The rampant bullying of autistic people".

**Trigger Warning** – Bullying and Suicide

I was suicidal at age 10. My life was so horrifying, I would actually beg God to take me.

I was bullied at school and abused at home, and life was one big mess of confusion. One of these days, I may get into the abuse part of it, but today, I want to talk about bullying.

Bullying is an insidious, horrible, disgusting, and venomous disease that’s been spreading like wildfire for I don’t know how many millions of years…maybe since the dawn of mankind?

There are plenty of articles and videos spreading awareness about bullying, which is fine, but they don’t address the core issues behind it, and they leave a HUGE piece out of the conversation.

Autistic people are bullied at an absolutely alarming rate. Far more than neurotypical people (although it certainly happens to them).

What’s even more frightening is the WAY autistic people are bullied. It’s more of a hate crime than garden variety playground stuff.

Autistic children and adults are absolutely brutalized!

For example, a neurotypical kid may be shoved around and called names at school, but an autistic child will get drop-kicked down 3 flights of stairs.

A neurotypical adult may be avoided and shunned, but an autistic adult may be beaten half to death in an alley.

What I’m saying is, this type of violence is akin to what Black people, Middle Eastern people, and transgender (just to name a few) go through, and it’s not because the person hurting them doesn’t like their glasses or their braces…they HATE THEM for daring to exist!

When I say an entire school hated me when I was a child, I am not exaggerating. People either hated me, didn’t know me, or were indifferent.

(Article continues below.)

The best way to improve communication with your autistic loved one is to understand how your autistic loved one’s mind works! Intentions, motivations, and personal expressions (facial expressions or lack thereof, body language, etc.), are often quite different in autistic people than they are in neurotypical people.

Experience a better understanding of your autistic loved one by reading books about life from an autistic perspective as well as stories that feature autistic characters. You’ll have so many “Ah ha!” moments and start seeing your autistic loved one in a different light (and you’ll have a better understanding of their behaviors, which you may have been misinterpreting up until now).

Books I recommend for a better understanding of your autistic loved one:

Walking home from school was terrifying. I stayed after at the library playing Oregon Trail for hours after all the other kids left because I knew it was the only way I’d be safe.

– Jaime A. Heidel

I often took a taxi home. Me? Worried about creepy cab drivers? I was glad to take my chances with them than be out in the open and exposed for 45 minutes each day after school.

I was once literally stoned by two bigger girls throwing rocks at me. Huge ones. When they got close enough, they spit in my face and threw sand in my mouth.

That’s only one of many things that happened throughout the course of my childhood.

Oh, and teachers sneered and jeered me, too.

Bullying does such incredible emotional damage to anyone who experiences it, and autistic people are already struggling mightily just to get through the day as it is.

All the “awareness” videos in the world aren’t going to do anything to change what’s happening. The only thing, in my opinion, that could help is something like dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and emotion regulation for ALL children at every single school.

That and teaching about neurodiversity and how it presents and how children of different neurotypes can learn to interact and understand one another.

The sad truth is, it’s already been proven in studies that many neurotypical people, by and large, are automatically, without being told, suspicious, wary, afraid of, and even angry toward autistic people even if the person hasn’t spoken one word, even if they’ve only seen a photo!

This is that lizard brain at work that creates the pack mentality that screams, “kill, kill, kill”, and we have GOT to find a way to deal with that root cause of bullying and abuse RIGHT THERE if we can ever have a hope of reducing the violence against those of us who are deemed “different”.

Follow me on Instagram.

Want downloadable, PDF-format copies of these blog posts to print and use with your loved ones or small class? Click here to become a Patreon supporter!

You may also like...

10 Responses

  1. nameless says:

    I’ll never tolerate the bullying of neurodiverse people. If neurotypicals weren’t in charge of this world, this wouldn’t happen.

  2. Catharine says:

    I was socked in the stomach and had “the wind knocked out of me” in school at age 9. We were just lined up at the classroom door to go somewhere. I was just standing there, minding my own business when it happened. That was the first year that I consciously wanted to die. At the time I predicted I wouldn’t make it to 20. I’m almost 59 now and have four kids and a grandkid. Wounded, but still pressing forward!

  1. April 24, 2020

    […] can also cause abusers and bullies to be meaner than usual to ND […]

  2. May 4, 2020

    […] wake up in the hospital from a beatdown (and every possibility in between). There are people who HATE […]

  3. July 30, 2020

    […] is why so many of us autistic people can’t ever relax. We’re not only afraid of BEING targeted, we’re afraid we’re going to say or do something that’s perfectly natural and […]

  4. November 17, 2020

    […] The Rampant Bullying of Autistic People […]

  5. April 11, 2022

    […] explaining why this is so (and far more coherently than I can — see for example here and here (tw for bullying and suicide mentions in the second link)). To put it concisely, there’s the […]

  6. April 14, 2022

    […] last point. Neurotypical hostility to Autistic traits and people can make displaying those traits a matter of life or death, so we’re not going to take the safety to infodump for granted — and you […]

  7. April 21, 2022

    […] of their own social skills extends to how they treat Autistic people (all too often, BADLY). For example, two NT social rules are ‘treat other people kindly and with understanding if […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!