My 10 yo aut dx daughter came crying to me, her #ActuallyAutistic dad, about how she felt picked on by various people in her friendship group at school. After she explained to me the detail, I realised there is an allistic group dynamic, that I call the weakest link syndrome 1/
She didn't understand why the group would settle on physical games like tag, where she was at some disadvantage, and that she would be picked on, even by friends that were picked on themselves. I tried to unpack this for her, as knowing what was happening would help 2/
I know from seeing all sides of multi person interactions in attrition style reality shows such as Big Brother, real life games of the weakest link are in the subconscious nature of the neurotypical brain. Groups of peers sort themselves into a pecking order 3/
The top of the order is the Alpha, who gets to decide the games to play and who is following the rules. The bottom is considered the weakest link, and is considered that if for any reason the group needs to reduce, they will be abandoned first. 4/
The weakest link is in a precarious position, even if there is no obvious reason anyone should be dropped from the peer group. Neurotypicals instinctively know this, and to avoid being the bottom, make sure another is at the bottom by... picking on them. 5/
Most autistics will find themselves near the bottom of the pecking order, and will instinctively try to protect those peers that are being picked on. This almost always guarantees they are headed to be the weakest link themselves. 6/
Teachers and carers appear to have no idea about this dynamic in say 10 year olds. Some of the weaker peer group may even complain about the weakest to the teachers, and they feel duty found to believe the complainant. 7/
The result is that there is an autistic child (or one with other invisible disabilities) that feels they are being targeted with bullying behaviour by their friends and teachers. The worst thing about this is that friends and teacher allies are required to fix this 8/
This is what is not understood about the link between bullying, peer pressure and mental health rapid decline in children. It starts with the group dynamic, and can only be fixed with the group dynamic in mind. 9/9

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More from @MarcoParigi1

4 May
This tweet has got quite a lot of attention within the #ActuallyAustistic community, and I thus want to expand on it, tweet by tweet as it is educational for the autistic to help themselves a bit when feeling targeted. 1/
One point of note is that virtually *every* peer group that can be called that has these pecking order rituals/games/measures. Not everyone ends up ever being the weakest link, but virtually every peer group will evict one at some point 2/
Can one "escape" from this game of the weakest link? Can one get a "time out" from being targeted? Not really - If you leave the peer you were probably already the weakest or nearly. If you try to take a time out, this will almost certainly make things worse - 3/
Read 9 tweets
10 Jan 19
By this time in two weeks I will be a guest on the Weekly Space Hangout as a guest thanks to the @wshcrew who invited me…
Thread 1/7
I am really honoured and I want to tell my story as it relates to space journalism. It all started in 2012 with my obsession with bi-lobed comets and how I thought they came about. Especially in regards to comet 103P Hartley 2 pictured right.
My obsession shifted to the Flagship class mission #Rosetta going to #67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. I was led to the Rosetta Blog,
where many theories came up in the blog comment threads - Especially comments from @scute1133 regarding "stretch theory"
Read 8 tweets
11 Oct 18
@memcculloch's #QI and Ultima Thule. The idea with testing new theories is to make bold predictions about the near future that contrast expectations. The power in the best theories is in predicting new facts. space missions give these opportunities. 1/
On New Year's Day 2019, New Horizons will be sending back the first glimpses of a never before seen object, being a "cold" classical KBO. By mainstream science, these should have been orbiting at these distances for billions of years. 2/
The orbit of Ultima Thule is of low eccentricity - that is it is almost circular, and has no gravitational influence from Neptune or any other large body. At the distance it is at it gets so little sunlight that temperatures and time should have reduced everything to solid. 3/
Read 10 tweets
7 Oct 18
@memcculloch #QI's idea of mass and inertia contrasts considerably with *the narrative* of particle physics. In particle physics, mass is derived from particle interactions with fields, and scales up from those subatomic processes. 1/
The models associated with particle physics (eg. QCD, the Higgs field and so forth) are derived from extensive empirical experiments. Logically, other models, to be considered, need to concur with the physical experiments. I think #QI is up to the task. 2/
It is not a trivial exercise to separate results of empirical experiment with the interpretation through the "eyes" of the prevailing model. One has to start somewhere and realise that if one particle's experimental results can be explained with QI, then all may be. 3/
Read 13 tweets

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