A comment on a YouTube video I watched yesterday disturbed me greatly. The video was an interview with a 10-year-old with Asperger’s. The interviewer asked the boy if he enjoyed having Asperger’s, and he said “Yes.” A commenter retorted, “he likes having AS? wait till he gets bullied so much he wants to die.” I became confused. I’m not bullied to the point that I want to die. In fact, I enjoy my Asperger’s because it makes me who I am.
I wondered to myself why Aspies would be bullied and how bullying can be avoided. Neurotypical kids love to pick on “different” kids, and that will never change. So I’ve decided the key to avoiding bullying lies in the Aspie. From my experiences, I used to have a few girls who picked on me, but once I began to accept and realize my differences, I became much more comfortable. Once I was comfortable, nobody picked on me.
The key to beating bullies is self-advocacy. If a child with Asperger’s can learn to verbalize themselves and speak about their difference, then they will not be bullied. Thinking about this concept, I wondered why more Aspies aren’t self-advocates. It occurred to me that many Aspies don’t even know that they have Asperger’s. Their parents never tell them. I saw another video regarding the best time to tell a child about their diagnosis. The man in the video said that once the child asks questions such as “Why can’t I make friends?” and “Why do kids pick on me?” the right time has come. In my opinion, the question-asking phase is a phase too late.
I think that children who receive an Asperger’s diagnosis should be told the second they get their diagnosis. Honestly, I have no clue why parents don’t tell their kids sooner. We Aspies are very logical people. We yearn for answers to questions. Never assume we won’t understand the diagnosis.