New Year’s Resolution – Let’s Do Something About Bullying

January 12, 2012 Prism Newsletter
By Amy Goodman

New Year’s Resolutions. What good are they unless you take action and actually do something about them? One of the hottest topics in the news this last year has been bullying, especially bullying of individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.

Statistics show that approximately 94 percent of individuals with autism or autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are victimized or bullied an average of 1-2 times per week. It is a well known fact that individuals who have a disability are more likely to be bullied than other individuals. Though people typically think bullying only occurs to teenagers, it is not just happening in schools and it is not only teenagers who bully. Bullying happens at work, among the elderly, among pre-schoolers, and across all races. It has become such a problem that more individuals have chosen to end their life by suicide.

What is bullying? It is hitting, biting, pinching, or any act of physical aggression. It also includes teasing, taunting, and name calling. It could include cyber bulling – spreading rumors on the internet via some form of social media – or sexting – sending sexually suggestive pictures or nude photos of someone. Sexting is against the law and can cause an individual to be arrested and have to go to court or to a detention center or jail.

Bullying is harmful, and the effects of it can last a lifetime if not dealt with effectively. However, one person cannot change this situation alone; it takes everyone to make bullies reconsider their actions. There are small steps that can be taken on all levels – personal, local, state, and national – to stop bullying. Here are some ideas:

  • Stand up for yourself. Research your rights and know what can and cannot be done to an individual with a disability.
  • Talk about bullying and make a plan of action on what you would do if you are a victim of bullying.
  • Go to a conference about bullying, or if you can find one listen to a webinar about bullying.
  • Look for information on bullying or check out some websites like, for information on bullying, autism, webinars, and much more.

I challenge each of you to take a stand on bullying and make a New Year’s resolution help stop bullying of all people, including those with autism and autism spectrum disorders. If everyone steps up to the plate, hopefully this world will be a better place to live, work and play.

Amy Goodman is the Co-Director of the Autism NOW Center.

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3 thoughts on “New Year’s Resolution – Let’s Do Something About Bullying

    LOOK at comment by Jason Belanger under this article. Jason is the BROTHER in law to the accused abuser, Matthew McDUffie. Mcduffie is caught on tape PUNCHING the autistic patient in the face and head, yet Jason Belanger ignores this and chooses to attack the victim’s family in this case, and the good judge who made the decision to take this case to trial.

    So take note of Mr.Jason Belanger of Oceanside, California. He’s low level marine stationed at Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, Ca, married to the sister of one of the disgusting caregivers CAUGHT on tape repeatedly abusing a severely autistic non verbal man. Belanger, like a true sociopath, comments on the news story to defend his brother in law:
    “Hurt?HURT?! Where is your evidence that either of these men “hurt” Jamie? There is no physical evidence that Jamie was ever hurt as indicated by medical records and no bruises or any other injuries that might be expected if somewhere were to “Punch” someone. Stop being ignorant, you and everyone else that are playing the role of armchair judge, jury, and executioner are the problem that is going to be presented when selecting a jury because of the overwhelming bias of negativity forced upon us by the media. The judge has also apparently been influenced by this as there is NO CASE for the DA to even present, yet she feels it necessary to continue to travel with no evidence. I am tired of everyone defaming these men while remaining ignorant to the actual facts of the case. If you want to say something educate yourself (the court proceedings are open to the public you know) or be quiet.”
    Reply •

    • 3 hours ago
    WOW> THIS Jason Belanger IS A MARINE???? Marines go against autistic people? They support those who abuse autistic people? That doesn’t look good for our country. Yep, Jason Belanger IS A DISGRACE TO THE MARINE CORE. HE IS A LOW CLASS SCUMBAG WHO should not be a marine and who DEFENDS ABUSIVE PEOPLE WHO ABUSE DEFENSELESS AUTISTIC PEOPLE. Take note of Jason Belanger, the husband of Seana McDuffie, who is the sister of Matthew McDuffie, one of the caregivers caught on tape punching an autistic man. Jason is a reminder to us all what the face of evil and cowardice against autistic people looks and sounds like. Get him out of the marine core as fast as you can. He’s no marine. A real marine would defend a defenseless non verbal autistic man being punched in face and stomach by the abusive civilian, Matt McDuffie. And to make matters worse, the idiotic Jason Belanger stands up for Michael Garritson, a man who was charged with animal cruelty and abuse a few years ago. along with being charged with murdering an infant years ago, and then NOW, is also caught on tape abusing the autistic man. Can a man representing the marine core be any more disgraceful? He’s advocating for an alleged child killer, a convincted animal abuser and now an alleged abuser of autistic people who can’t defend themselves? Is this what our marine core accepts now? These types of people like Jason Belanger? Supporting people who abuse autistic people and who have abused animals? Really? Wow.

  2. Sounds like another Steve Wilko show where he confronts the former “marine” who was secretly abusing his mentally disabled son. Steve Wilko made the comment this guy was not a marine because marines are supposed to defend the defenseless, not support those who abuse the defenseless.

  3. Minimum 10 years in prison for those abuse the most vulnerable (elderly, handicapped,etc…) in our society.

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