Think Global, Act Local


Hey blog world! Today’s daily post (found here) is called Think Global Act Local

“Think global, act local.” Write a post connecting a global issue to a personal one.

2010 Gander Conference 004

Me with my friend Sarah at a Special Olympics speaker conference in Gander

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My friend Heather and I at a Best Buddies semi formal

Glen

My wonderful boyfriend Glen.

Look at those pictures. In each there are beautiful, unique people out and about having fun. What is not in each photo is people who deserve to be bullied. People who have special needs like me and my friends in the above pictures all want to be accepted and included by our neurotypical peers. Sadly we’re outcast instead of welcomed by them. We’re people too and we want to be treated that way please and thank you!

I’ve been bullied since literally day 1 of kindergarten because of my Aspergers syndrome. Pencils have been thrown at my back, my belongings  have been stolen, the erasers were sharpened off my pencils, I was told to f**k off because I was going too slow down the stairwell at school due to a knee injury (I dislocated it a few years ago and now it flares up during the winter). Those are just a few examples! I didn’t do anything to anyone so I didn’t know why the bullies were doing these things to me! I felt terrible being treated that way.

It wasn’t just my peers either! Grade 1 was hell because the teacher bullied me! For identity protection she’ll be known as the holy terror. When my plastic baggie with all my belongings got stolen the holy terror didn’t believe it was stolen. She blamed me for losing it and called me unorganized! In a meeting with my mom and the principal she said that everything my classmates put me through wasn’t bullying! It was just kids being kids! I have ticks (uncontrollable, involuntary movements or sounds that my body makes) and the holy terror said I was just acting out and doing these things because I could and I wanted to cause trouble. The worst thing she did was when we were making a mother’s day craft. I had attention problems that year and when she told everyone to put their things away I didn’t hear her, I kept working on it. She kept telling me to put it away and I still didn’t hear her. Eventually she got so upset with me that she stormed over to my desk, grabbed my project and threw it into the garbage! Needless to say I came home that day in hysterics. It’s bad enough that children and teenagers bully those with special needs but it’s worse that adults do it! They’re the ones that should know better!

If I could erase one word from human vocabulary it would be retard. It’s a hurtful and derogatory term that is unfortunately used by a lot of people in reference to individuals like myself. My friends and I all have names and would appreciate it if you addressed us by them instead of calling us retard or some other awful name.

My friends Peter Peter Halley, Bethany, Laura, Emma and Allison are true angels. They are all neurotypical. As I said above I’m outcast by the majority of the neurotypical community. While these guys could have easily jumped on the bully bandwagon and caused my self esteem to plummet even lower, they decided instead to be my friend and that means the world to me! I thank the Lord for them every night. I can’t begin to explain how much their friendship means to me! They’re all great listeners who are there for me when I need someone to pray with and/or talk to (and also they don’t mind that I sometimes go on and on about my favorite subjects like Spirit of Newfoundland and musical theater, both of which I could talk about for hours), they’re lots of fun to be around and best of all they accept me for who I am and are patient and understanding of my challenges. For example last night on Facebook Peter and I were messaging each other and he made a pun that went over my head (I find puns hard to understand). I asked “What pun?” because I read his sentence back several times and didn’t see one and he explained it to me, apologized and said that he’d teach me about puns and help me understand them.

According to the National Bullying Prevention Center 60% of students with special needs report being bullied regularly compared with 25% of all students. Please blog world, do your part to lower that number! Let’s change the statistic! Remember, we are people too, just like you! Please be kind to us!

Leah

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2 thoughts on “Think Global, Act Local

  1. Pingback: think globally, suffer environmentally | Musings of a Random Mind

  2. I completely agree with you! People with SPECIAL needs (it doesn’t just mean special needs, but special and great people) are great and they don’t deserve to be bullied! I absolutely am annoyed by the “R” word, too.

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