There Are No “Perks” To Being Bullied.

TW: bullying, abuse, rape, sexual assault, ableism, ABA

For some inexplicable reason, Autism Daily Newscast thought it would be a great idea to publish this article on the “perks” of bullying.  Written by an “ABA instructor”, Karen Kabaki-Sisto.   The irony of a professional bully writing about the perks of bullying is not lost on those of us at Parenting Autistic Children With Love & Acceptance either.  

My trauma is not your teachable moment.  My PTSD is not an opportunity for non-Autistic people to “learn” about “autism awareness”.  And unlike what the author of this piece said to me on Twitter, it is not about using my “hurt” for strength.  

Image: Twitter conversation between @wileyautlibrary, @chromesthesia and @karensisto @WileyAutLibrary says: .@AutismDNews This is so irresponsible and horrifying. Kids do not benefit from being bullied! They develop PTSD and are traumatized! @chromesthesia responds: @WileyAutLibrary @AutismDNews THANK YOU! Damn! Benefits from bullying. might as well say being pushed into a pit of fire ants is beneficial @karensisto responds: @chromesthesia @WileyAutLibrary @AutismDNews Spider, We cant stop bullies 100%. We can choose 2 use hurt as strength. Glad u commented. @wileyautlibrary responds: @KarenSisto @chromesthesia @AutismDNews Yeah, I am not your example of strength. I was fucking gang raped by bullies. This is irresponsible

Image: Twitter conversation between @wileyautlibrary, @chromesthesia and @karensisto
@WileyAutLibrary says:
.@AutismDNews This is so irresponsible and horrifying. Kids do not benefit from being bullied! They develop PTSD and are traumatized!
@chromesthesia responds:
@WileyAutLibrary @AutismDNews THANK YOU! Damn! Benefits from bullying. might as well say being pushed into a pit of fire ants is beneficial
@karensisto responds:
@chromesthesia @WileyAutLibrary @AutismDNews Spider, We cant stop bullies 100%. We can choose 2 use hurt as strength. Glad u commented.
@wileyautlibrary responds:
@KarenSisto @chromesthesia @AutismDNews Yeah, I am not your example of strength. I was fucking gang raped by bullies. This is irresponsible

This response from Ms. Kabaki-Sisto is the ultimate in condescension and ablesplaining.   The trauma and pain of Autistic people who have been victimized by bullying is not for your inspiration!  It’s not for you to use in such disrespectful and dehumanizing ways.

Image: Image description: Dark purple background with light gray text that reads “What is

Image: Image description: Dark purple background with light gray text that reads “What is “ablesplaining”? Ablesplaining is a patronizing “explanation” of any aspect of disability from someone who does not have the lived experience of being disabled. An ablesplainer’s opinion is often shared without request and with a grossly inflated sense of entitlement. Don’t be an ablesplainer.“

The Ten “Perks” are as follows:  

Promoting Autism-Friendly Programs.

First of all, when has this happened?  Secondly, if your response to a child being bullied because they are Autistic is to use them for an opportunity to create “awareness” of autism,  you are ridiculously misguided.     Trust me when I say that bullies are well aware of autism…. they are aware that their Autistic peers are put in restraint and seclusion, are segregated in special education classrooms, are punished for “behaviors” that are harmless and held to unrealistic expectations that their non-Autistic classmates are not.  Do you think that could have a bit to do with why they are bullied?  When adults “other” us, how do you expect children to respond?  Children learn from YOUR example more than your words. What example are Autism Daily Newscast and Karen Kabaki-Sisto  giving to bullies about the worth of Autistic lives?

Team Work

I am dying of not being surprised that this “team” is everyone BUT the Autistic child.  Way to empower a child who is being bullied.  

Autism Awareness Every Month

The last thing that we need is more “awareness”.  Especially when that “awareness” is created by parents, professionals and teachers with absolutely zero input from Autistic people.  Awareness hurts.  Awareness gets us bullied and killed.  Also, how dare you use our pain for your own ends?  How dare you?

Kids Learn Skills

Are you god damn kidding me that you are going to use a child’s trauma to push them to use more verbal speech?  YOU ARE KIDDING, RIGHT?  Behavior is communication and the behavior of Karen Kabaki-Sisto  and Autism Daily Newscast is telling me that they are ableist and do not respect actually Autistic people at all.  

Builds Strength

No.  No, it doesn’t.  Let me tell you about the “strength” I have when I have a PTSD flashback to the intense and nonstop bullying from my peers as a kid and teen.  I am so strong that I will stay in bed all day, crying and desperately trying not to have a panic attack.  I am so “strong” that once someone who smelled like my tormenter caused me to run out into traffic and almost get hit by a bus.   I am so “strong” that I spent fifteen years of my life fighting addiction and almost losing my life and family in the process.  

I am not strong.  I’m a human being, not a life lesson.  Again, how DARE YOU?  

More Friendships

Seriously?  Really?  Children who have been bullied have an extremely hard time forming mutually trusting and loving friendships.  Probably because most adults want to write it off as “kids will be kids” and then professionals such as Ms. Kabaki-Sisto, who work with us write articles about how there are “perks” to our pain and trauma.   We end up with loads of internalized ableism and PTSD reactions that can get us killed or sent to jail.  Yeah, such a great perk.  

Overall Well-Being

FOR WHO?  Certainly not for the victims of bullying.  Is this a How-To-Guide for retraumatizing victims of bullying?  If so, congrats.  It worked!  

Healthy Relationships

Healthy relationships?  Bullying taught me that I had no right to be who I am.  Bullying taught me that my authentic, Autistic self was not good enough for anyone so I should accept mistreatment and abuse. Bullying taught me that people can do whatever they want to me and it was okay.  Bullying never taught me about healthy relationships.  This is outrageously offensive.

Increased Life Skills

“Survival Skills” are something I can do without when it involves surviving dehumanizing abuse and treatment.  I did not learn “independence” from being bullied.  I learned co-dependence and to not trust anything about who I was.  I did not learn to be a better person because I was bullied.  In fact, I often took out my frustrations on younger siblings because that is what people did to me.  Kids who are bullied usually bully other people.   I am a good person now.  It’s not because I was bullied and mistreated.  Do not dare tell me that the way I was treated, the abuse I endured, the PTSD that I developed made me a better person.  How dismissive and condescending.  

Self Esteem

I can’t even with this.  Self esteem?  My self esteem has been in the toilet for my entire life.  I have people in my life who love and adore me and in those dark moments, I still believe the bad people.  The ones who held me down and told me I was a worthless piece of garbage.  Who called me the R word, who told me I didn’t deserve to live.    My bullies did not help me to have better self esteem.  They did the opposite.  The people who have helped me to have a better self image are the people who have loved me, respected me, treated me with kindness and compassion and accepted me for exactly who I am. Bullying did NONE of that for me.  

This response to bullying and the is ableist, offensive and dangerous.   Autistic people do not exist to teach you life lessons about autism.   Autistic children are disproportionately abused and bullied and this piece amounts to nothing more than condoning the actions of our abusers.   

We deserve better than this.

 

PLEASE READ MORE RESPONSES TO AUTISM DAILY NEWSCAST AND KAREN KABAKI-SISTO’S DANGEROUS ARTICLE:

PACLA Moderator Giraffe Party‘s Response

Other Responses from the Autistic Community:

Ten Things Autistic Kids Pick up Faster, Better & With Less Trauma If They Aren’t Bullied Into Learning Them by Autistic Academic

Ten Perks Kids With Autism Get From Bullying:  The Honest Version by Musings of A Wandering Autistic

#ActuallyAutistic People on Twitter React

***EDITED*** More Responses:

Bullying is abuse, and abuse has no perks by Silence Breaking Sound

Ten Downsides Kids With Autism Get From Bullying (because apparently, it isn’t obvious…) by Feminist Aspie

Ten things THIS Autistic kid learned from Bullying by PACLA mod Neurodivergent K

A Parent Response from Angie the Anti-Theist

Ten Things THIS Autistic Learned From Being Bullied by The Digital Hyperlexic

There is no upside to bullying by Autistic in Southwest Virginia

PACLA Mod Yes, That Too’s response on their Facebook Page

Trash Talk: Bullying Edition by Amy Caraballo

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About Lei

PACLA is an Autistic friendly space dedicated to guiding parents toward respectful supports and accommodations for their Autistic children through the concepts of gentle parenting and a belief in the value of neurodiversity.

Posted on October 15, 2015, in Parenting Autistic Children with Love and Acceptance. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on Melissa Fields, Autist and commented:
    I was also bullied, and am still the victim of bullying even as an adult. Because adults bully too.

    I live my life in constant fight or flight mode, will no longer go anywhere by myself, and have stopped driving again due to mean bullies in my life.

    Anyone who writes that bullying is good and has perks, has no fuckin’ clue how bullying can ruin a person’s whole life!! I too have PTSD, trust issues, and almost daily and nightly nightmares. Bullying is something that needs to be stopped. We are human beings, and NO human being should EVER have to go through being bullied.

    Like

  2. Reblogged this on christyautisticwalk and commented:
    I too was bullied, and I still am as an adult. Nobody should have to be a victim of bullying. Bullying is unacceptable and wrong.

    Like

  3. After the site-owner of Autism Daily Newscast VERY suddenly sold the site (she documented this the other day, in an e-mail to all of her site’s subscribers), the new ownership brought in a substantially revised editorial policy, dated today. If you, like me, oppose their previous “professional” worship of “person with ______ ” talk, read especially the paragraph including the words “Identity First”: as this establishes that they now admit a variety of uses but will prefer “autistic person’ to “person with autism” — http://www.autismdailynewscast.com/editorial-policy/

    AND (even more importantly) the “bullying perks”‘article has been COMPLETELY REMOVED from the Autism Daily News site. Its link now comes up “404” (nothing there), and it is GONE from where it appeared: the site’s Editorial section at http://www.autismdailynewscast.com/category/opinion/editorial/ — and likewise GONE from everywhere else on the site. There is no reference anywhere to it, anywhere on the site.

    Like

  4. I am perversely curious to read the original article but it appears to have been taken down

    Like

  1. Pingback: 10 Downsides Kids With Autism Get From Bullying (because apparently it isn’t obvious…) | Feminist Aspie

  2. Pingback: Ten Things Autistic Kids Pick Up Faster, Better, and With Less Trauma If They Aren’t Bullied Into Learning Them | Autistic Academic

  3. Pingback: Documenting Autism Daily Newscast And Karen Kabaki-Sisto Promoting Bullying (Timeline And Analysis) - Autistick

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