I'm one of the lost. My parents had absolutely no idea what was going on, as I have always been very secretive about everything. I was able to build a passable emulation of normal human behavior, and maintain adequate enough grades that I didn't arouse suspicion. However, it was terribly draining to do so. It's only recently that I've started being me. Being secretive has always been one of my defense mechanisms. The less people know about me, the less there is to hate about me, and the less I have to explain to people I shouldn't need to explain myself to. I'd like to tell the parents of this boy that everything will turn out OK, but there are just no guarantees about anything. I survived relatively intact because of a mix of physical stature and emotional temperament. I beat the stuffing out of any bullies who targeted me, which resulted in them moving on to easier prey. I usually only had to get into 1 or 2 scraps before I was left alone when I moved to a new school (I attended 6 different schools during elementary and secondary as my father followed his next job). One thing I can tell you: The bullying will NOT stop unless you stop it yourself. The teachers won't do anything. The principal won't do anything. The police won't do anything. And anything your parents do to protect you will just make you look weak (thus making you MORE of a target than ever). You WILL get into trouble for defending yourself. Do NOT back down no matter how much your teachers browbeat you. Take a suspension with your head held high. This is a social contest, and people only remember the winner. If you lack the physical strength, use other means. There are many ways to make someone very afraid, and that is the effect you want to generate. If he feels unsafe being alone when you are around, he will also leave you alone when his friends are around (it may take a few tries to hammer the point home to him that he is vulnerable to you). The isolation will not end. I'm lucky in that I don't really need much human interaction (once a month is more than plenty for me). I much prefer to be alone so that I can concentrate on my projects. I do, however, have a couple of close friends who, it turns out, are also autistic. That can be very helpful, as you can swap stories and strategies for getting by in this alien land. Autistics are FAR more trustworthy than any neurotypical could ever hope to become. Girls might be a problem as well. I don't like intimate contact (especially kissing! yech!), so going out with girls never really worked out for me, except for one night stands. Your mileage may vary.

> You don't have to put on

> You don't have to put on an aggressive front to stop the bullying. No, you don't. But it helps. The basic premise is to induce the bully to leave you alone, and that means making it not worth his while. Unfortunately, the only method that really works (at every level, from personal to international) is fear of reprisal. > Developing the ability to instill fear in others doesn't quite help in getting along in the social world The ability to instill fear is not a tool for getting along in the social world; it is a tool to stop bullying and instill a respect for my person when it cannot be done any other way. It is to be applied judiciously and surgically to remove the motivation in another to torment me. > I'm concerned about the authority with which you make certain statements, such as "The isolation will not end" I suppose that statement was too broad. Isolation has many nuanced meanings, and I suspect that we are talking about different things. I'm speaking in terms of that distance that will always exist between those adept in social negotiation, and those not. I suppose that even this is not a description that fully encompasses my meaning, either. In fact, the same could be applied to the introvert, or the shy individual. However, the fact that I am unable to read faces ensures a minimal divide that cannot be bridged. Of course, other autistics will have the same affliction to differing degrees, but since this is one of the fundamental traits of an autistic, I stand by my earlier statement. Social integration is a two-way street. People will always notice that I'm somewhat odd, and all it takes is the right kind of stressor in the group to oust me from their favor. It need not even be something I've done. Their impression of me grows over time, and pack behavior can be incredibly cruel at times. > your divisive comments regarding autistics and neurotypicals. It wasn't intended to be divisive. It is an observation I have made throughout the years with people around me. Of course, my sampling size is low (I only know 5 other autistics), but the one thing they all have in common is that they will not betray a trust no matter how much they come to hate a person. Perhaps I should have said consistent instead... That's still not an accurate description, though. > You are not your position on the spectrum, it is just where you currently are. It is what you can do, that is all. You can learn other ways of doing as well. You are not a hammer, and everything isn't a nail. Of course not! A person missing a leg can get a prosthetic and learn other ways to get around and do stuff. But that doesn't change the fact that he's missing a leg.