It was in the middle of summer right before I started my freshman year of high school and I was about to turn 15 years old. I can still remember when I heard the term “autism” when my parents received the news from special educational diagnosticians at Scottish Rite Hospital. At the time, neither my parents nor I really understood what Asperger’s Syndrome (high-functioning autism), or autism was or what it meant. My parents had heard of it before but never really gave it much thought. They seemed a little puzzled and devastated due to the fact that I didn’t have traditional autistic traits. I remember my parents sitting me down along with my two younger brothers, who were getting very emotional to discuss it. I kind of dozed off, cutting off reality, puzzled, and not fully understanding to what was happening.
It happened to me when I was 13 and at an age to where many girls go through body image changes, and I was one of them. I didn't look like other girls my age. I already was well-developed and had the body of a grown woman, which made me very insecure. I was really obsessed with weight loss and had really low self-esteem. Besides all that, my family and I live in a neighborhood where almost everybody knows each other.
Have you been a victim of a educator who shamed or humiliated you simply just because your different from the rest of the class? Unfortunately, we've all fallen victim to this form of bullying. Let me just say that my second grade teacher was a woman and I feared her. It all started when I was eight years old and years before I was diagnosed with a learning disability. I already had poor reading and comprehension skills as well as my stuttering which my teacher was well aware of, and I couldn't understand why this teacher was so impatient and too cruel when she would handle her students who had disabilities.