Bullies Target Kids with Autism, Survey Finds
Kids withِ autism spectrum disorders areِ three times asِ likely asِ their non-affected siblings toِ experience bullying, a newِ national survey finds.
The results ofِ the survey, whichِ areِ preliminary andِ have notِ beenِ published inِ a peer-reviewed journal, hint atِ some troubling patterns forِ children whoِ haveِ autistic disorders, particularlyِ those withِ Asperger’s syndrome.
According toِ theِ survey ofِ parents byِ the Interactive Autism Network (IAN) andِ Johns Hopkins University researchers, 61 percent ofِ kids withِ Asperger’s haveِ experienced bullying.
Bullies and the bullied
Unlike friendly teasing, bullying isِ long-term torment thatِ doesn’tِ occur betweenِ social equals.
The newِ IAN survey recruited parents ofِ children withِ autism spectrum disorders (ASD) fromِ aroundِ the country toِ answer online questions aboutِ their children’s experiences withِ bullying.
Based onِ the parents’ answers, 63 percent ofِ the ASD children hadِ experienced bullying atِ some point, theِ researchers found.
Children withِ autistic disorders alsoِ were moreِ likelyِ than theirِ non-ASD siblings toِ haveِ bullied someoneِ themselves (20 percent compared withِ 8 percent).
This fits intoِ a pattern inِ bullying relationships inِ which bully victims alsoِ bully, according toِ theِ researchers.
My son doesn’tِ realize heِ is bullying, oneِ parent explained onِ the survey.
Another parent blamed the child’s rigidity for his bullylike behavior.
He hasِ very set rules ofِ behavior thatِ heِ expects allِ to follow, theِ parent reported.
He doesn’tِ see howِ hisِ reaction toِ perceived slights orِ rule-breaking isِ sometimes bullying.
The bully madeِ life a complete hell forِ my son, saidِ oneِ mother whoِ ultimately withdrew herِ child fromِ school.