Bullying and Autism

Bullying and Autism

Social skill deficits related to having Autism Spectrum Disorders can cause a child to be a victim of bullying by other children. These children do not often understand the deficits and quirky behaviors that children with Autism may display. In addition, the deficits these children with Autism display often puts them quite behind the social development of same aged peers. For example, a 12 year old with Autism may be developmental equivalent to a 9 year old socially.  

    An initial step is to often set up a meeting with the team of people that work with your child to discuss if there is an issue. Each school system in the United States is required to have an anti-bullying written policy by Federal law. It is recommended to request this policy several days in advance of the meeting and familiarize yourself with it. Then, many suggest having your talking points prepared for the meeting, so that these policies, as well as other safeguards, can be put in place for your child. These, in fact, can be added into an IEP or even added as an addendum to an existing IEP. 

    Other steps to assist with this are seeking services that directly teach social skills to your child. Please note that social skills for children in school are taught by the speech therapist since social skills are so heavily language-based. However, the average child gets approximately 12 hours of speech therapy per school year. Research recommends much higher amounts of treatment for children with Autism. Thus, many parents seek additional social skills interventions for their child. To see how Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) can help with this issue, contact us today.