What is so wrong with being different? Bullying has been around for years and people and children with disabilities have endured the struggles of being bullied, teased, made fun of all because we are different? No one with a disability asked to be born with it. But we pay the price for something we have no control over. Why is that?
Were you aware that children with a disability is two to three times more so to be bullied than a non-disabled peer? https://www.pacer.org/bullying/info/students-with-disabilities/
A study done on bullying showed that out of 93 children in school that 66% of those children who struggled with a disability had reported on being bullied, compared to 25% of non-disabled children. http://coddc.org/Documents/Bullying%20and%20Disability%20-%20An%20Overview%20of%20the%20Research%20Literature.pdf
What about adults living with a disability? As we get older and become an adult in this world you would think that bullying would stop, but does it? As an adult you do not hear it called bullying rather you hear words like harassment, discrimination. The question remains why is this? The truth of the matter is children and adult alike can be cruel. This opt not to be so. It is very sad that we with a disability have to defend ourselves against such scrunty.
How does bullying effect someone? It obviously effects someone physically, mentally, and emotionally. Most cases lead to depression. As adults we could struggle with socialization, feeling accepted, our perception of others could be impacted by what was done to us as a child. Bullying has a domino effect that just goes on from generation to generation. https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/bullying/conditioninfo/health
Can non-disabled people and children see the error of their ways? Does someone realize or know the impact they have on someone when they bully someone? In my experience children may not realize the impact, however adult should realize what they are doing is wrong and they should be aware of the impact it could have on someone. What if the shoe was on the other foot so to speak? Would you like or appreciate being bullied by a disabled person?
Let us take a minute to go back to the basics so to speak and define exactly what bullying means. In the dictionary bulling is, “seek to harm, intimidate, or coerce (someone perceived as vulnerable).” https://www.google.com/search?q=the+definition+of+bullying&rlz=1C1CHZN_enUS929US929&oq=the+definition+of+bulling&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0i10l2j0i10i22i30l3j0i390j69i64.12014j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
What do people get out of bullying? Who on earth would want to harm, intimidate, or coerce someone? Is there a thill or excitement for the bully? Is the bully aware that they are harming or scaring the person they are giving a hard time to? There are more questions than answers on this topic, however it still needs to be addressed.
We with disabilities can not help that we have limitations, struggles such as with cerebral palsy these are caused by a brain injury either before, during or after birth. Is that our fault? No. Did we ask to be like we are? No. why cannot nondisabled individuals and children accept us for who we are? The fact is inside we are just like you. Intelligent, having the ability to comprehend what is going on in our world.
Ignorance is a big part of the problem. The not knowing or realizing what a bully does to a disabled person emotionally, mentally, and physical. Another factor that is connected is parents influence on their children. Allowing this to occur and not correcting it in my mind does not make and adult parent any better than their bulling child. This should not be the case. Please do not ever allow your children to tease, bully, anyone. Do not laugh it off and say kids are being kids bullying is no laughing matter.
For the disabled community it is important that we speak up and allow our voices to be heard. You are not a slave, a door mat for someone to walk on. In the disabled community we have laws and such that protect us from certain things, bullying is one of those things it is known as the equal opportunity act. We are to be treated as any other individual. By learning techniques and ways to communicate and allow your voice to be heard is key. Advocate for yourself because chances are no one else will. If you have a loved one who is non-verbal, or a friend speak up for that person do not allow fear to get in the way. Learn how self-advocate for yourself using the following link.
This topic is very dear to my heart because, I was bullied as a child. The problem started and stops with us adult parents and adults in general children can learn how to communicate and problem solve but we got to be ready to listen and help them along the way. Getting involved in your children’s lives helps for you to be aware of what is occurring in their lives. Do you as a parent know whether your child is getting harassed and bullied at school? Or are you aware that it is possibly your child who is doing the bullying? For adults in the workplace and in everyday places, do not be arrogant and do your homework. Give that disabled adult a chance by having a conversation with them and get to know them before you start bullying. I am sorry if this read was hard to read and hear, I do not mean to sound hard and harsh, I am simply speaking the truth the only way I know how. Happy reading everyone.