I just read this article about a 10 year old boy who was made to list ways he could change his behaviour to make other children like him and to stop bullying him. This has brought back so many bad memories for me and part of the reason I do this blog is to increase knowledge and acceptance of autism and other neurodivergences to make sure that kids growing up now don’t have to go through the same shit my generation did.
I know his parents probably won’t read this, but some parents do. And what I want to say to your kids is
THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU.
The fact that the onus has been placed on a neurodivergent child to change their behaviour to suit others is BULLSHIT. Autistic behaviour is not a choice. It is normal and natural to us. Being a bullying shit IS a choice, especially when it is done long-term. Everyone has bad days but to target someone for this long is deliberate. Those children are the ones that should be changing their behaviour. Where are their posters saying “How can I stop being awful to other kids”?
We have GOT to stop this idea that we need to change autistic people to get other people to like us. Believe me, I spent many years at school, college and university trying to get people to like me. It doesn’t work and it just made me tired and miserable, anxious and depressed.
Now I have all the friends I need. Many of them are autistic and we understand each other well. Some of them are neurotypical and are used to me being a bit different. They don’t care; they like me for who I am.
Acceptance of differences is perfectly possible and should be encouraged. There will always be people that are more resistant to the idea but we need to show them it can be done.
To those kids who are struggling; it gets better, I promise. You are perfect the way you are and you will find friends who accept you. Someone that will only be your friend if you change who you are is not a real friend.