Posted by: myautisticmuslimchild | September 25, 2010

How to protect children with autism from bullying

Bullying is an increasing problem in schools. Almost every week we hear a very disturbing story that involves injury, or even death. “Neuro typical” children having problem coping with bullying. Now imagine  an autistic child, verbal or non-verbal, who doesn’t even have too much, or any social skills to respond to such situation.  So what can a parent do? How one can know that the child is being bullied? Where, and how to start any intervention? So many questions, and so many are unanswered.  We had a very unfortunate event here  where I live. A father of a special need child ended up in jail because his daughter was bullied in the school bus every single day. He tried to talk to the  school bus driver, didn’t get any result. He tried to talk to the  aid in the school bus, the child was still abused. He went to the school , talked to the teacher , the principle , counselor…nothing was  done, so he took matters into his own hands. He got on the bus and questioned the girls who bullied his special need child. Cops were called and he was hauled to the jail. He is out of jail now, but why did this have to happen? Very unfortunate, that a parent have to resort to such dramatic action. As a parent it is our responsibility to learn about school policies regards to bullying, and it is our responsibility to learn about the  warning sings. Some of our autistic children will not be able to tell you what is happening to them, and they start acting differently as a meaning of expressing their emotions. We must be very vigilant about any behavior changes, and we should investigate right away what triggers those changes. Once we have determined that the child is being bullied we need to speak with school officials right away to resolve this problem, and to prevent this to escalate into a bigger problem. This article below from crestonnews.com gives you great clues and explanations regarding what one should do in the event of bullying.

How to protect children with autism from bullying

By (ARA)

(ARA) – Bullying is a headline-grabbing issue these days, one many adults know of first-hand from their own childhood experiences. Fortunately, bullying — once considered a normal and unavoidable part of the schoolyard landscape — is now viewed as a much more serious matter.

Parents of children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may be especially worried about the issue of bullying, fearing their child’s characteristic social deficits make him or her a particularly tempting target.

Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Interactive Autism Network (IAN), the largest online autism research effort in the world, recently released a report exploring how children with ASD are particularly at risk of becoming victims of bullying. Children with ASD may have trouble correctly interpreting social cues, especially in a bullying situation where the bully may intentionally mislead the child.

It is not hard for parents of children on the autism spectrum to imagine the scenarios: their child’s inability to “read” the social signs that someone doesn’t have her best interest at heart; the eagerness to please that can make him easy to manipulate; the tendency to say what he thinks without a full understanding of consequences. Many children who are bullied do not report it to parents or other adults. In addition to this general tendency not to tell, children with ASD may be nonverbal, and so unable to communicate that they are being bullied, or they may have fluent language skills, but be unable to interpret the situation. Many times, children with ASD also may have trouble distinguishing bullying from good-natured teasing. When all parties are having fun, it’s not bullying, a concept that may be difficult for a child with ASD to grasp.

In some cases, children with ASD can also become what is known as a “bully-victim.” As other children learn to trigger a child’s meltdown, he or she can be provoked into behavior that results in punishment while the “real” bullies go unnoticed.

Successful anti-bullying strategies require a team effort from school personnel, early childhood professionals and psychologists, students involved in bullying as targets or aggressors, and child bystanders. Teachers and other staff should be trained on how to respond to bullying, while victims and bullies need training in special social skills that target the perceptions, misinterpretations or interactions that contributed to the bullying in the first place.

Making a child less isolated is one crucial piece of this puzzle, perhaps via inclusion in an ongoing support or social skills group, perhaps with other children with ASD. Even child bystanders can be provided with a safe way to report bullying incidents so they can do the right thing without fearing they will make themselves a bully’s next target.

What if efforts made by parents, in partnership with a school, fail? What might a parent do? Suggestions include:

* Find out exactly what the school’s anti-bullying policy (if any) contains.

* Determine if the school is implementing that policy effectively, or at all. Has a lack of tolerance for bullying really been incorporated into the school’s culture? Or is the school only paying lip service to a zero tolerance for bullying?

* If the policy is not being implemented in an effective way, make an issue of the fact that your child is not able to benefit from his or her education when he or she is being bullied and living in fear.

* Don’t accept “We didn’t see it happen” and “It’s that kid’s word against his” as excuses for inaction, especially if the conditions remain the same and the same things happen again. If incidents are occurring at the same place and time (during gym, on the playground at recess, in the cafeteria), someone should be assigned to monitor and “catch” the next incident in progress.

* Expand their thinking. Are they really grasping how a child’s ASD is playing into a bullying situation, whether the child is a victim or a bully-victim? Are the interventions proposed getting at the real issues, or are old myths and ways of thinking about bullying coloring adult responses?

* If a child does act out such that he or she would usually be suspended or face other drastic action, does the school hold the required Individualized Education Plan meeting to determine whether the behavior was a manifestation of the child’s disability?

Parents, teachers, and school staff can play a proactive role by understanding the danger and intervening the moment there is a problem.

To learn more about the IAN Project and to reference the full report, visit: www.ianproject.org.

Bullying is an increasing problem in schools. Almost every week we hear a very disturbing story that involves injury, or even death. “Neuro typical” children having problem coping with bullying. Now imagine  an autistic child, verbal or non-verbal, who doesn’t even have too much, or any social skills to respond to such situation.  So what can a parent do? How one can know that the child is being bullied? Where, and how to start any intervention? So many questions, and so many are unanswered.  We had a very unfortunate event here  where I live. A father of a special need child ended up in jail because his daughter was bullied in the school bus every single day. He tried to talk to the  school bus driver, didn’t get any result. He tried to talk to the  aid in the school bus, the child was still abused. He went to the school , talked to the teacher , the principle , counselor…nothing was  done, so he took matters into his own hands. He got on the bus and questioned the girls who bullied his special need child. Cops were called and he was hauled to the jail. He is out of jail now, but why did this have to happen? Very unfortunate, that a parent have to resort to such dramatic action. As a parent it is our responsibility to learn about school policies regards to bullying, and it is our responsibility to learn about the  warning sings. Some of our autistic children will not be able to tell you what is happening to them, and they start acting differently as a meaning of expressing their emotions. We must be very vigilant about any behavior changes, and we should investigate right away what triggers those changes. Once we have determined that the child is being bullied we need to speak with school officials right away to resolve this problem, and to prevent this to escalate into a bigger problem. This article below from crestonnews.com gives you great clues and explanations regarding what one should do in the event of bullying.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. Bullying most often occurs on school grounds and tends to be most common in schools where students are not well supervised. Education Reference

  2. I noticed this problem in the school where I worked, not with an ASD child, but with a girl who had Downs Syndrome. She was constantly a target for bullying not just by a few individuals, but pretty much the whole yeargroup. I’m sure the school did have an anti bullying policy for regular kids or individual sporadic indicidents, but they were useless when it came to something more widespread and systematic like this.

    When I sent an email about it to all school staff, I got a very angry reply from the Head reprimanding me for “not going through the proper channels”- yeah right, as if that would’ve worked! I kept copies of all the messages because the reprimand made me afraid that it could lead to an unfair dismissal (alhamdullilah it didn’t). Several staff were aware of the problem and as concerned as I was, but no amount of attempts at social inclusion were working. One teacher tried to speak to the girl’s mother but she was indifferent and worse than useless and seemed to think this was normal playground banter. My guess is that the mother had her own insecurities about having a special needs child and considered her to be a burden so didn’t want to acknowledge that there was a problem- luckily I never met the mother otherwise I’d have wanted to beat her up.

    It was heartbreaking to watch and went on for years. I think when all else fails, it should be up to the parents to stand up for their children, fight for them, be a royal pain in the b*** towards the school if things aren’t done about it and maybe even consider calling the police or other advocacy groups to intervene if that doesn’t work. People are so afraid of seeming overprotective or hysterical or offending people that they’d accept the torture of their children instead- that’s simply not good enough. As a last resort if all else fails, I’d highly recommend removing the child from the school and finding a more approrpriate setting instead. Then again, I don’t have experience of working with ASD kids so I don’t know if that changes the dynamics, but I think this should be the case where all kids are concerned.

    Neelu

    • As usual you nailed this on the head again. Only one thing I want to make more clear. The parent should stand up for their child not when all else fails, but from the very beginning. I was labeled being a B…., b/c I stood up for my son in his frst private school and the public school. No one believed me that neglect and abuse is going on, until real physical issues came up. But at least I was there for my son, and I protected him and removed him from that environment. If anyone is embarrassed about their special need child they need to have their head examined, and get a life. May God bless you for trying to stand up for that little girl. WE mus forbid evil and promote good.

  3. me too muslims person.I LOVE MY GOD

  4. niceee writerr

  5. Good work, do you have other sites ?

  6. all the best, i was looking for this long time

  7. thanks people

  8. thanks people

  9. thank you really


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: