School is supposed to be a safe place where you can learn! Unfortunately, many children with Asperger’s Sydrome and High Functioning Autism feel unsafe when they encounter a bully at school who makes them feel bad by saying hurtful things about them or threatens to hurt them.
What can you do to avoid these bullies?
First, if you start getting bullied, it’s important to talk to your parents or someone you trust at school like a teacher or the principal. These people can help you make a plan on how you will stop your bully from teasing you.
Here are some strategies you could use in defending yourself from Michele Borba:
1) Be assertive. Tell your bully that they are a bully. Tell your bully that they are teasing. For example: “You are being a bully right now. Stop it.”
2) Question your bully’s behavior without getting upset. “Why are you saying these hurtful things?” “Why would you want to tell me I am dumb (or fat) and hurt my feelings?”
3) Use “I want.” Be direct with your bully. “I want you to leave me alone” or “I want you to stop teasing me.”
4) Agree with the teaser. If you argue with your bully, they may continue to attack you. If you agree, what else can they say? You might not agree with your bully, but you can fake agreeing to get them to leave you alone. Bully: “You’re dumb.” You: “Yeah, but I’m good at it.” or Bully: “Hey, four eyes.” You: “You’re right, my eyesight is poor.”
5) Ignore your bully. A bully is like a vampire feeding when you become upset by their teasing. If you act like their teasing doesn’t bother you, they may stop because they aren’t getting a reaction from you. Pretend they’re invisible, walk away without looking at them, quickly look at something else and laugh or look completely uninterested.
6) Make Fun of the Teasing. Don’t tease back, but respond to your bullies teasing and let them know that the teasing isn’t getting to you. For instance if your teaser says, “You’re weird” you could respond with “so?” or “thanks for telling me.”
- Respond to your bully with violence or say you will hurt your bully
- Become a bully to your bully
You can rehearse these strategies with a parent so you can be ready when your bully says something mean to you again.
More strategies at school coming soon!