How to Deal with Bullies When You're Autistic

Bullies tend to pick on anyone they perceive as different. If you're autistic, or if you've been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, they may single you out. Here's how to handle them.


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    Report them to a trusted adult. You don't have to deal with this on your own. Adult intervention can get rid of the problem.
    • Ask an adult for tips.
    • If the bullying is making you anxious (stomachaches, headaches, wishing to stay home from school), seek adult help right away.
    • Report any aggressive, threatening, or violent behavior to the police. If you feel unsafe at school, get help right away.
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    Remember that they are wrong. Bullies want to hurt other people, and they will say anything to do so. Even if it feels like they're right, remember: "I'm okay, you're mean." There is nothing wrong with being autistic, and there is nothing wrong with being yourself.
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    Know that bullies are usually dealing with personal issues. For example, a bully with judgmental and closed-minded parents might lash out in the hopes of attention and feeling powerful.
    • Sometimes, erring on the side of kindness will cause the bully to stop being mean to you. (The "kill it with kindness" approach, as seen in The Gilmore Girls.) However, this depends on the type of bully.
    • You are not obligated to solve their problems.
    • Remember that no matter what they're going through, that does not excuse being mean to other people. It is not okay for them to bully you.
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    Don't change who you are because of bullying. Your stimming is okay, your special interests are okay, and your autism is okay. Their opinions of you are less important than your happiness and comfort.
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    Get help from friends. They may be able to help keep you away from the bully (e.g. calling you over as soon as they see that the bully has approached you), or walk with you so the bully is less likely to strike.
    • Friends can also offer advice on how to brush off the bully.
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    Don't bully them back. The bully wants to fight back: it proves that their bullying is successfully upsetting you. If you fight back, they will keep pushing even harder.


  • Go with friends/family/others in a group - Remember there's safety in numbers, bullies mainly target those who are alone, shy and find it hard to stand up for themselves.
  • Carry on telling and reporting till you are taken seriously. You have a right to be safe, be treated with respect and to be free from any kind of bullying. Any kind of bullying is wrong, unacceptable. Remember no one deserves to be bullied and there is NO EXCUSE EVER!
  • Also tell your parents, family, friends, and other adults you trust such as your social/support worker etc.
  • Remember that verbal and emotional bullying such as name calling, gossip, rumours, telling lies, hurtful comments, excluding, shunning, going behind backs, betraying secrets/confidences, making someone feel silly etc can be worse than a physical smack, kick, punch. Remember words DO HURT and words can leave long lasting/lifetime scars (physical scars do fade, but emotional scars don't)
  • Keep a diary or journal of every bullying event, record everything that has happened.
  • Get witnesses
  • Remember that being bullied is never your fault - it is the bullies who have the problem, not you.
  • If you are being bullied on computer, via text messages and other technical means, don't respond to the messages, but show the messages to your parents and/or trusted adults, and also the police. Remember that harassment and bullying via those means is a criminal offense and against the law.
  • Bullying on the internet should also be taken seriously.
  • If you are being bullied at work, tell your manager, management, your union rep, and sympathetic work colleagues.
  • Remember that bullies are cowards and the only way to stop bullies and bullying is to REPORT IT.
  • Also, bullying can occur anywhere else: at the shopping mall, in the street, your own estate, the park, etc.


  • If they want you dead, just walk away and leave it to trusted adults. A death threat is a criminal offense, so take it seriously and do not have any further dealings with anyone who threatens your life.

Things You'll Need

  • Friends
  • Parents/Guardians
  • Teachers
  • If it occurs in the workplace - Manager, management, sympathetic colleagues, HR, union rep.
  • Other trusted adults such as social/support worker, doctor, nurse, and other family members such as grandparents, siblings, aunties, uncles, cousins.
  • A diary/journal to record all bullying events and to keep as evidence.
  • Witnesses

Article Info

Categories: Autism Spectrum | Dealing with Bullying