October is National Bullying Prevention Month. While bullying can affect anyone, it has been suggested that children on the spectrum are particularly vulnerable to becoming victims. Therefore, because this is an issue that relates heavily to autism, October is the perfect month to expand your role in advocacy!
Whether you are looking to lend your voice to someone you know or to the community as a whole, there are plenty of ways to get involved in advocacy to fight bullying and to spread autism awareness. Here are five ways that you can get started now:
Bullying thrives when it is hidden. That is why it is important to make those around you aware of the issue and its impact. Speak with those around you about what type of treatment is appropriate and inappropriate, so that others may be better equipped to recognize bullying when it’s happening. This is especially important for those who may have difficulties with understanding social cues.
In learning how to combat bullying in your community, you may need to get the law on your side. Luckily, bullying, especially due to disability, can be considered harassment and is prohibited by law.
3. Reach out to other members of your community
Get in contact with local schools and organizations and ask what their policies on bullying are. You can also ask if they are participating in National Bullying Prevention Month. The more support that community leaders show, the more likely that social change will happen.
If you are comfortable with public speaking, now is the time to let your voice be heard! Offer to give talks at schools or organizations. However, if public speaking isn’t your thing, there is also plenty of opportunities to spread the word about Bullying Prevention through social media, blog posts, news articles, and more. Get creative, and you may find that people are ready to listen.
5. Support others who share your mission
There may be others around you who are trying to share the same message. Try getting in contact with non-profits in your area, and connect to a larger community of advocates like yourself! By meeting up with other people who are actively fighting bullying, you may be able to spread your message to more people.
What are you doing this month to fight bullying? Tell us about your advocacy efforts below!