BEATING BULLYING: Born This Way
Jordan Huffman always knew he wanted to put his life on paper.
“As far as writing one and having it published and having it online for everybody to buy, I never really had aspirations to do that. I just thought maybe I would write the book and get some of my feelings out onto paper, which I always wanted to do,” said Jordan.
And after all he has been through in his life; he didn’t have to look far for inspiration. Jordan was born with Asperger’s, a form of autism that affects a person’s ability to socialize and communicate with others.
“When you have a child that`s dealing with something like autism and each day they are really struggling with so many things. They are struggling with social relationships, they are struggling with handling changes they are struggling with the routine,” said Dr. Warren Phillips, a child psychologist.
Experts in child psychology say children with Asperger’s are often socially awkward, making them a prime target for bullies.
“A lot of the people went out of their way to like I said call me names, they didn`t want anything to do with me I think because I don`t know if they ever knew exactly what disability I had they just knew that I was in the special education classes and that I was different than them,” said Jordan.
“It was absolutely heartbreaking for me to watch him go through that. It was a day to day thing. It wasn`t just sporadic, it was every single day,” said Deneen, Jordan’s mom.
It isn’t easy for a parent to explain to child why they are being picked on and bullied. It can be even more challenging with an autistic child.
“A lot of time children with autism spectrum conditions tend to be very literal in their communications and they may not pick up on subtlety or sarcasm. They may not understand when another child or teenager is bullying and making fun of them at their expense,” said Dr. Phillips.
“I tried too hard to be accepted by everybody. I went out of my way to try and fit in with everybody, sometimes did things negatively to get attention in a bad way and by the time I got to high school, I knew what my role was I guess, that I never was going to be fitting in with them I was never going to be popular or anything like that. I was just trying to let people know I was somebody,” said Jordan.
Years later Jordan no longer has anything to prove. Instead he is reliving it all to help others
“I am just one person. There are a lot of people out there with autism and Asperger’s syndrome that may never write a book about their lives or what it’s like to be autistic. I am not trying to speak for everybody but I hope that I can give some insight about the disability,” said Jordan.
Jordan’s book “Born This Way” is sold on Amazon.com. It’s his dream that someday it will be used in classrooms to teach about Asperger’s and those who live with it.