10 minutes for a lifetime

This week is Anti-bullying Week – it is coordinated by the Anti-Bullying Alliance. The theme this year is ‘Power for Good’.

I can hear you wondering how you can get involved – here’s how:

  • If you are a school or college, register for Anti-Bullying Week updates by joining the free ABA School or College Network. (Time needed: 1 minute)
  • Download the Anti-Bullying Week logos and share on your websites and newsletters. (Time needed: 1 minute)
  • Have a look through the free Anti-Bullying Week resources . (Time needed: 30 minutes, or 5 minutes or however long you want it to take)
  • Join the Anti-Bullying Week social media campaign – upload our Twibbon, share our pledge and tell us how you will use your Power for Good this Anti-Bullying Week.(Time needed: 5 minutes)
  • Raise much needed funds for the work of the Anti-Bullying Alliance by dressing up as a hero of your choice!
  • Take action now and contact your MP to ask them to support Anti-Bullying Week! (Time needed: 3 minutes)
  • Teach your children to accept and love their peers by educating them about disadvantage, disability, poverty, self-esteem.

pledge_postSo, to do all of the above (excluding the obvious such as running an event and reading material) takes approx 10 minutes. 10 minutes to make some of your friends take notice by sharing the campaign or using the twibbon. 10 minutes to take away the devastating effects of bullying and change someones life. All you have to do is make one person aware.

I was bullied in school, for years; but i had a very loud voice, a family that never let me fall, I stood up for myself and it made me strong. Think of all the people who don’t have support. The ones that suffer in silence, the ones that are so emotionally abused they end up believing their bullies. Think of the children who don’t have a voice. The ones who are made to think they are not ‘normal’, the ‘weird’ ones, the ‘outcasts’. Think of the people that choose suicide over life; Bullied victims are 7% to 9% more likely to consider suicide according to a study by Yale University.

The are people, living in this world that are so emotionally, physically, psychologically abuse by others that they want to stop being alive. They want to stop breathing, sleeping, eating, love, miss, cry, laugh because of bullying.

The UK Annual Bullying Survey 2016 found that:

15064926_10154625430215030_61308079_o 1.5 million young people (50%) have been bullied within the past year.
• 145,800 (19%) of these were bullied EVERY DAY.
• People who have been bullied are almost twice as likely to bully others.
• Twice as many boys as girls bully (66% of males vs. 31% females).
• 57% of female respondents have been bullied, 44% of male respondents and 59% of respondents who identified as trans have been bullied.
• 24% of those who have been bullied go on to bully.
• Based on their own definition 14% of young people admit to bullying somebody, 12% say they bully people daily.
• 20% of all young people have physically attacked somebody.
• 44% of young people who have been bullied experience depression.
• 41% of young people who have been bullied experience social anxiety.
• 33% of those being bullied have suicidal thoughts.

You can read the whole report here.

More autism-specific stats in December 2015 showed that parents of over 900 students in the UK with children suffering from aspects of Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) revealed that 61% of those asked said their child was being bullied because of their autism related condition.

A small fraction of stories that came to light in 2016:

David Wooby was discovered in February by his parents with a ligature round his neck. His father David Wooby told the inquest he believed his son had been in a “spiral” of depression due to bullying and had purposely taken his own life.

Harry Gosling,12, suffers from autism and ADHD and his father, Graeme Hunt, claims he has been targeted by fellow year eight pupils, leaving him suffering from seizures after being ‘tied to a tree and punched’ by bullies.

A Tiverton schoolgirl with special needs and her two sisters have changed primary schools because of bullying problems.

Robert Howard was bullied, and hit in face with traffic cone.

What’s 10 minutes if it means saving a life?


Preach & Teach

A voice mail message has come to light where school staff, in Matravers School in Westbury, asked a mother to keep her autistic son at home during an Ofsted inspection. The school suggested that her son took an “authorised” absence.

This happens in schools every day, this isn’t just about Autism, or Downs, or dyslexia, or anything specific – it’s about children being targeted and scarred – not just by children but by members of staff as well. How can we expect an inclusive society, an educated, compassionate world if we preach without teaching?

Another parent, said his 15-year-old son, who has dyslexia, was told by a teacher that his lessons would be swapped during the inspection “because they didn’t want any disruption in classes”.

A couple of months ago a teacher said “I was told to ignore a child’s autism to keep fees coming in”.


Two severely autistic boys’ parents threatened legal action against a school, claiming they were shut in a room for hours each day. The boys, aged 12 and 14 were pupils at Abbey Hill School in Stoke-on-Trent. They were kept in a cupboard-sized calm room; the room in the picture. The door was not locked, yet it was closed and there was no handle on the inside. We’ve talked about sensory overload or deprivation and there are certain environments that facilitate this and the use of seclusion and ‘calm rooms’ are recognised. They are positive tools to use to assist autistic children, but how does a cupboard with two sleeping bags constitute a calm room? A room with no escape? Or just a room to shove people in when you can’t be bothered to deal with them? Incident reports detail how the boys charged at the door and tried kicking the door handle until it broke. Incident reports about a child trying to get out of a room, which is supposedly designed for their benefit. The log shows him spending the majority of his school day in the room.

A Kansas community is was recently grieving the loss of a 16-year-old autistic boy. Maxwell Webb took his own life. He didn’t leave a note; he was bullied. His father said the mistreatment wasn’t addressed by the school’s administration and was the major factor out of several that led to Maxwell’s death.

An Ohio family says that their 15-year-old boy with learning disabilities was bullied and misled into stripping off and subsequently getting covered in feces and urine. The teen thought he was participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by his peers.

Listen. Learn. Grow. Accept.


The [A] word: [T]ired

Tired of being up all night.

Tired of feeling helpless.

Tired of not feeling good enough.

Tired of feeling like we make no progress.

Tired of being ignored.

Tired of being excluded.

Tired of people staring.

Tired of being treated like we are different.o_dente_de_leao_da_consciencia_do_autismo_deseja_o-r079a3806e36c40388746113b553c5e46_wvw_8byvr_512

Tired of being to comply to society’s expectations.

Tired of being compared to ‘normal’ kids.

Tired of people not understanding.

Tired of screaming.

Tired of trying to make them keep up with society’s latest definition of ‘normal’.

Tired of being stereotyped.

Tired of people who don’t understand Autism.

Tired of people who don’t make an effort to understand Autism.

Tired of people drowning in their ignorance and prejudice.

Tired of the consequences this has on our kids.

Tired of the pity.

Tired of assumption.

Tired of not being heard.


You can be tired, but you have to never give up; you can fall, but you have to get up. Make them listen; make them see; make them aware.

We, the families, have only one wish – help us make it reality & learn one new thing about Autism.


*Want to make a difference? I know you