It has been suggested that children with autism are especially vulnerable to bullying. A 2012 survey by the Interactive Autism Network (IAN) showed that children with ASD are bullied at a very high rate, and are also often intentionally “triggered” into meltdowns or aggressive outbursts by ill-intentioned peers. The study found that a total of 63% of 1,167 children with ASD, ages 6 to 15, had been bullied at some point in their lives.
We are committed to providing resources and tools to help take a stand against bullying.
Autism Speaks worked with the National Center for Learning Disabilities, PACER’s National Bullying Center and Ability Path in partnership with the documentary film BULLY to raise awareness about how bullying affects children with special needs.
Together with our partners, we 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.
Taking Action Against Bullying
Getting started is as easy as writing a letter to your child's teacher, or asking your Principal to post your school's anti-bullying policy in public places around the school building. It could mean talking to your child about how he or she has experienced bullying, or reading about the roles of bullying and identifying your personal place in the cycle of bullying.
Every step towards a bully free world will help a child with special needs live free from fear and torment.
Visit specialneeds.thebullyproject.com to learn more, and find out what you can do to help our children live in a bully free world.