A NEWPORT woman with Asperger syndrome who says she was bullied throughout her childhood and some of her adult life is calling on others in the same situation to seek help.
Karen Thompson 45, of Newport, who wasn’t diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder, until the age of 38, says she was a bullying victim from nursery right through to comprehensive school.
But the trauma didn’t stop after school as she even experienced cruel comments while trying to make a living for herself.
Now she is calling on others in the same situation to seek help as part of a campaign by the National Autistic Society Cymru to raise awareness and understanding of autism and to put an end to bullying of people with autism spectrum disorders.
Miss Thompson, who was also diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 22, says she remembers being laughed at in school, had her school bag thrown down a railway embankment and her coat thrown into the mud and trodden on.
She said: "There were times when the bullying became so uncomfortable I would feel unwell, and would tell my parents, just to get a rest for a day."
Even when trying out jobs when she was older, although the bullying was not continuous, at some places she would get nasty comments and people would expect more from her than she was capable of.
It wasn’t until she worked in a school that her condition was finally recognised.
Miss Thompson is currently unemployed due to her difficulty finding a job suitable for her condition.
Miss Thompson’s mum, Pat said: "When Karen was diagnosed it was a great relief. We now just want to do anything that will help publicise the problem of bullying and help stop it.
For more information about helping to recognise and cope with bullying visit the website via the link.