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A brave Year Eight pupil has opened up about being bullied because he’s autistic.
Jack Lowe, who goes to Cotham School, has starred in a powerful short film called Think Beyond Autism.
Produced by Year Eight pupils at Fairfield High School, it aims to raise awareness to the high levels of bullying faced by children with autism.
Jack said: “In my experience, autism can be good and bad in a lot of ways.
“It can make me feel like an outcast and it can make me get bullied.
“I have experienced discrimination from my peers. I will always try to ignore them but when I get upset I will bang my head against the wall to stop me from lashing out.
“They bully me and wouldn’t leave me alone. They would take my things.
“If I said something to them, they would just ignore me. They knew I would get really upset, because they knew how it affected me and they took advantage of that.”
In the film, he then writes a letter to his friends to explain to them about autism.
Some 75 per cent of autistic children say they have been bullied.
Those being bullied should reach out to an appropriate adult, advises Henry Barnes, from the National Autistic Society.
He said: “Bullying for anyone is horrible and can lead to problems with mental health and with low self esteem.
“You can imagine that happened to someone with autism, and that’s doubly disadvantageous.
“We hope with more understanding to autism there will be less judgement, less bullying.
“We say you should understand the person behind the autism.”
The film, which aired in the Watershed on Friday, aims to educate people to see the person beyond the label.
The Fairfield students worked as writers, directors, production team and campaign leaders on the project, called Sharp Shotz.
Founded in 2007, it gives young people the chance to highlight social issues.
Fairfield Art Teacher David Otlet said: “Sharp Shotz is a unique project.
“It provides a great way to link English, arts, humanities and personal, health, social and emotional education in a way that really means something to students.
“Our teams have put in a considerable amount of hard work and we are very proud of their dedication and passion to produce such powerful and professional films.”
Sharp Shotz is run by IDEAL Community Action in partnership with the North Somerset Community Partnership, University of the West of England film and animation students and BBC Bristol.
Via : bristolpost