There is a culture in the school system which emphasizes self-reliance. This is far from a bad thing, especially for aspies. However, when we attempt to explain an incident that occurs, such as Tyler on the bus, we need a certain form of understanding when we approach with a situation. Plenty of school districts still adhere to inefficient anti-bullying techniques that never meshed with autistics to boot. Being instructed to tell an adult what happened and to press charges does not always work for us because we could never articulate exactly what the bully was doing and would be more likely to implicate ourselves. In the case of Ells, the second child, a bus incident where he ended up charged due to his own demonstration appeared to be badly mishandled.
We've been prone to bullying for years, and so are many NTs. I admit that I was able to handle myself slightly; my naivete led to me getting pranked a few times in school but I never took a beating beyond a few shoves trying to provoke me. This was in part because I knew people would make fun since I did not understand social conventions the same way my peers did. However, even learning early wasn't perfect, as I would always want to ask why I didn't understand some term, which would also lead to more jokes.
Teaching children early about their autism can help them fight back against bullies, experts say.
"It's extremely important when people are struggling with things like social communication, anxiety, depression, misunderstanding peoples intentions, that they are understanding what's really going on," Jekel said. "Then they stop blaming themselves and others. They see their life through slightly different lens, and they can really be proud."
Jekel said administrators have found when students tell their peers as early as kindergarten about their condition, they are more likely to be accepted and less likely to be bullied.
Telling the child why he will be bullied and how the lens is different doesn't reach the other side of the spectrum. An important point not reflected in this article enough is that schools don't often approach the bullies as to why they are who they are, as if these people are lost causes. Many bullies don't feel support at home or see certain influences in popular culture, and they take it out on those most vulnerable and different, like those on the spectrum. If teachers or counselors, among others, can support at-risk students who pick on others, then AS students will have a more comfortable experience.
My hope is that when news like this goes public, it makes people aware. I know I'm preaching the whole anti-bullying message here, but it's because some of us have a harder time knowing how to stand our ground. As much as we talk about finding a way for Aspies to blend in with the school system, a bigger point that can be expounded upon is how bullying is fostered. If there is a possibility of preventing the cause before it can take effect, then the school will be credited with a major accomplishment. Who knows how easy this would be, finding out why a kid picks on others...worth an investigation, I muse.