Bully Prevention Month
October Is Bully Prevention Month
I can’t let this month pass by without highlighting special needs students and this critical issue.
Parents of children with autism know first hand the pain of bullies in both public school and private schools. At the time of this writing, there is no federal law against bullying in the United States.
Kids with autism spectrum conditions and other special education students have an urgent need for a social network and support systems within each school district, mainstream school and secondary school.
Behavioural Difficulties After Being Bullied
Somewhere along the way, your child may have experienced one or more of these behaviors.
- Mean comments
- Verbal Abuse
- Social Media bullying
- Aggressive Outbursts and aggressive behavior towards others
A recent survey shows that bullied autistic school-aged children in elementary school through high school are at higher risk for:
- Mental health problems
- School refusal
- Increased social difficulties
- Have a hard time focusing
- Increased repetitive behaviors
- Greater risk for school dropout
We have a set amount of energy to spend each day. Imagine a child goes to school and is physically and/or emotionally bullied. Now the child is in damage control mode. He has to protect himself and handle all of the big feelings brought up by being targeted.
Instead of learning, he’s spending his time and energy protecting himself. Schools need to be one of the safe places from bullying.
According to The Autism Society, kids with autism are easy targets in a bullying situation and 63% more likely to be bullied than other students.
Students with disabilities have legal rights against bullying.
If harassment denies a student with a disability an equal opportunity to education, it is a Civil Rights issue. Bullying blocks their rights to free and appropriate education.
Here is a link to the federal government bullying resource site.
We all have an idea of what bullying is. School officials, school staff , a child’s teacher, and parents can help by forming positive relationships with young people who have an intellectual disability, developmental disabilities, and neurodevelopmental disorders and encouraging them to share their school day.
It’s important to teach your child to seek help.
It is not your child’s responsibility to fix a bullying problem, but we have to teach them to talk about what is happening to safe adults so they can have the adult can step in.
Parents need to make sure to contact the school immediately in case of any reports of bullying.