The story about two cruel girls who have bullied an autistic teen has been gaining a lot of media traction as of late. These girls compelled him to walk on some ice and when it cracked and he fell into cold water, they had him ride in the trunk of the car. They allegedly compelled him to masturbate and have sex with a family pet. They filmed these events on their cell phones. They've recently been charged criminally and the prosecution is trying to have one of the girls, aged 17, tried as an adult.
The boy has stated that he still considers these girls his friends and wants to continue to socialize with them.
The media have made much of the girls' cruelty and the boy's apparent social naivete in spite of being pretty high functioning and having a high IQ. A number of people seem to be absolutely baffled as to why he'd want to continue an association with these mean girls or they ascribe it to social impairments.
I'm reminded of my own experiences as a 14-year-old boy in 1969 when I was first mainstreamed in the 8th grade (put a year behind my chronologic peers). A number of girls would say, "Jonathan, I love you, will you be my boyfriend?" or pretend an interest in me just to make fun of me. For a brief time, I was socially naive enough to believe some of these girls, though I eventually knew better.
The answer to this question seems likely to be the boy is frustrated from loneliness and celibacy. This is a problem that is pervasive to a number of autistic people, but the media fail to write about and the neurodiversity movement would just like to sweep this problem under the rug. '
A few years ago, autism speaks addressed this issue in a phony baloney PSA, making the bold claim that the insurance mandates that they were lobbying for in various states would make the difference between autistic children having friends and not having friends. I addressed the validity of this in the post I linked to above.
I suspect this boy who attends a mainstream school with non-handicapped adolescents has seen others date and have relationships with the opposite sex and is frustrated by this. He probably has a limited number of friends or maybe no friends at all (of course I'm excluding these girls as friends of his) To me it is very sad that this likely scenario is ignored.
I'm wondering why the media has ignored this issue completely. Is it possible, never having been an autistic male, they are unaware of these frustrations? Or maybe they just don't want to address the real problems persons on the spectrum face because the "feel good" stories sell more newspapers or get more ratings on TV or whatever. I don't know the answer to this, but I suspect this is the case.