Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are particularly vulnerable to bullying. The International Autism Network (IAN) conducted a study of over 1,000 children with ASD ages 6 to 15, and they found 63% had been bullied at some point in their life. The findings show that children with ASD are bullied at a very high rate, and are often intentionally “triggered” into meltdowns or aggressive outbursts by ill-intentioned peers.
Special Needs Anti-Bullying Toolkit
Autism Speaks is working with the National Center for Learning Disabilities, PACER’s National Bullying Center and Ability Path in partnership with the new documentary film BULLY to raise awareness about how bullying affects children with special needs. They just released a Special Needs Anti-Bullying Toolkit, full of resources and information specifically tailored to parents, educators, and students dealing with bullying and children with special needs.
Below is an excerpt from the Toolkit:
Top Ten Facts Parents, Educators and Students Need to Know:
- The Facts – Students with disabilities are much more likely to be bullied than their nondisabled peers.
- Bullying affects a student’s ability to learn.
- The Definition – bullying based on a student’s disability may be considered harassment.
- The Federal Laws – disability harassment is a civil rights issue.
- The State Laws – students with disabilities have legal rights when they are a target of bullying.
- The adult response is important.
- The Resources – students with disabilities have resources that are specifically designed for their situation.
- The Power of Bystanders – more than 50% of bullying situations stop when a peer intervenes.
- The importance of self-advocacy.
- You are not alone.
Visit specialneeds.thebullyproject.com to learn more, and find out what you can do to help our children live in a bully free world.
I recently met an individual who goes around speaking to schools about bullying. He was bullied as a child and it obviously carved some very deep scars. So his mission is to bring awareness to the harm of bullying and all aspects of it. I thought this was a very worthwhile cause and worthy of mentioning.
I think there’s more to come on this topic!
Until Next Time!
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