I've just read an article that saddened me a good deal about Jenny McCarthy's son being bullied due to his autism. What was even sadder is that he apparently lacks the social understanding to know that he's being bullied.
Ms. McCarthy has generated a great deal of controversy in the autism community due to her stance that vaccines cause autism, and, for that reason, a lot of people were outraged when she got the job as one of the anchors on the television show, The view.
On a side note, I met the former playboy centerfold at an autism conference about six years ago that my friend Steve Shore was presenting at. She had recently appeared on the Larry King show stating that she had never met an autistic adult. Steve, another friend of Steve's and mine, and myself introduced ourselves to her. I pointed out that now she had met some autistic adults. Her response was, "you guys are awesome."
I think about all of the bullying I had to endure growing up as a child due to my autism, so this article hit home with me.
What is sadder was McCarthy's view co-host Whoppi Goldberg's inane suggestion that she discuss the problem the the bullies' parents. Somehow I don't think she's going to be able to meet every parent of every kid her son might come across. I wish I had a suggestion for Jenny but I don't.
Usually, I was aware that other kids were bullying me, except occasionally when some girls in junior high (called middle school nowadays) pretended to flirt with me and for a while I did not understand they were making fun of me.
Bullying is not a real problem for me nowadays, though the pain does not go away very easily, even after decades. I still get bullied occasionally by some of the less than savory members of the neurodiversity movement. I just try to shrug it off, though occasionally I did rise to their bait. I regret it now and hope I won't do it again. But that's okay. I realize it's the price I have to pay for daring to publicly say I want a cure for autism to be available and that I believe autism is a horrible disability and actually having the flippancy and chutzpah to write it on my blog.
Though I realize Ms. McCarthy has been a controversial figure in the past and is unpopular with some people, we should still have sympathy for her and what her son are going through and it is truly shameful that this has to happen. Regardless of how anyone feels about McCarthy personally, they can still feel sadness about what is happening to her son and what sort of life he may lead as he grows older and will likely have to endure more of this.
Other than making bullying a psychiatric diagnosis in the DSM, and sending bullies to a segregated special ed school just for bullies, which I've suggested doing in a previous article I wrote , I'm not sure what can be done. But reading this did make me sad and think of the bullying I had to endure in my youth.