I think I understand what the author is trying to say and it’s being taken way out of context. It has caused an uproar in the autism community because it has caused a lot of knee jerk reactions and flashbacks.
I think the term “bully” is a subjective word and we have to look at what do they mean by it. Most people think of bullying as teasing and normal kid stuff and just bugging someone so they trivialize it and think it’s no big deal and the victim is just weak if they let it get to them. But those people don’t realize how bad it can get and I have never witnessed it myself nor ever known anyone who was that badly bullied. Yes I was teased growing up, rejected, taken advantage of, egged to do things that would get me into trouble, harassed, and it got worse by 6th grade I was falling apart and had a nervous breakdown. I was even having seizures because of the side affects of the medicine I was on for my anxiety. But I was only having seizures in school because the teasing and the harassment was giving me anxiety so I was having seizures. But at home there was nothing to give me anxiety so I didn’t have seizures at home. I got sicker and sicker and couldn’t handle the harassment so I eventually fell apart and needed to be home schooled for a while. That was a tough year for me and bullying was only part of it that got me sick but it wasn’t the whole picture.
Yes all this did make me a stronger person, I did learn to deal with assholes and that are mean people in the world, you will run into someone who isn’t very nice and you just walk away ignore it but what it if was a daily thing and all the time, then you can’t ignore it. For me it was all the time as a kid so it did give me depression, brought down my self esteem, gave me more anxiety, it did give me PTSD tenancies so I had to be in therapy for it and I overcame that. I had learned to turn it around as a young adult that yes kids were mean to me, I was not an angel myself, I wasn’t always innocent, yes I also did some bullying myself but could that be the other reason why kids teased me? They did it to fit in? I also did change as a person because I wanted to be liked and respected so there was a positive spin to it.
When bad things happen, we try and look on the bright side and find the positive and I think that is what the author was trying to say. I don’t think she was saying bullying should happen and that people on the spectrum should be bullied, I think she is saying trying to find the positive in it and grow stronger from it. But people will see the title and it changes the whole meaning of the article but I was still able to understand what she is trying to say because of my own mindset and personal experience but if you were badly abused by other kids where you were beaten up or burned or had stuff taken or dunked in the toilet or had you r clothes taken or your stuff and work sabotaged, then this will not be taken lightly. I was fortunate that no one ever did these things in my school and none of it was tolerated and it’s shocking if anyone ever thinks any of this is actually okay. I remember being six and my mom bought me a new coat and three days later these boys in special ed took it and did something with it and it was never found, they got into trouble. When I was also pushed into a mud puddle, they also got into trouble and it never happened again. When Russell in my class would call names and pinch or hit people, he was always in trouble. The “keep your hands you to yourself” policy was followed. But of course these incidents wouldn’t traumatize me because it was not tolerated and the mud puddle and coat incident only happened once and Russell didn’t hurt me on a daily basis or get me into trouble on a daily basis and none of us were afraid of him. I was just relieved when I saw he wasn’t in my class again the following school year. He was older so he was in a different classroom because that was his age range. But of course not everyone is going to get traumatized.
As you can tell I like to give people the benefit of the doubt.
But I will say what I learned from bullying is not everyone can be trusted, not everyone is your friend, you get immune to words like selfish, stupid, retarded, not everyone is a good person, there are mean people out there. It can change you as a person because you then learn to hide certain behaviors from the public, not talk about certain things, change things about yourself to be a better person because you want more respect and want to be nicer and kinder and less rude.
I think the author was just trying to put a positive spin to it like we all do when bad things happen. For example I was in a car wreck but I got a new hood. Your kid goes off to college but at least you will have less messes to clean up and less food to buy and the electric and water bill will be lower. See, the positive in the bad. But sometimes seeing the positive doesn’t work like if a mother miscarries, telling her at least she won’t have a disabled child or that there was probably something wrong with the egg so at least she won’t have a sick baby or at least it happened early instead of at 32 weeks or 24 weeks, that will also backfire like it did on the author here. I am someone who always tries to see the best of things and I also decided to take someone’s advice online by taking things as a compliment even if it’s insulting.