Finding out that your child is being bullied is never pleasant, but it can be especially stressful for parents of children who have autism . Unfortunately, studies have shown that children with autism are more likely to experience bullying from their peers than other children are. These are some steps you can take if you believe that your child is being bullied at school:
Talk to your child.
It’s important to make sure that your child understands what bullying is. Sit down with your child and explain the difference between being treated kindly and respectfully and being bullied. Explain how to recognize name-calling, hurtful expressions, and intimidating body language. You can also talk about how some bullies may pretend to be friendly at first, and that you need to be able to recognize when someone is not your friend.
Remind your child to talk to you.
During your talk, you should emphasize that your child should tell you at once if he or she is being treated inappropriately by another person. It isn’t always easy for children who have autism to speak up at school, especially if they feel intimidated or afraid because of a bully’s behavior. Make clear to your child that he or she can always feel safe talking to you.
Communicate with the school.
Effective communication with your child’s teacher can help to minimize the risk of bullying. If you have reason to think that your child is being bullied at school, it’s important to get in touch with the teacher right away. Partnering with school staff can help you find an effective solution to the bullying.
The Behavior Exchange offers programs and resources to help families who are dealing with the challenges of autism at our ABA school near Plano. We also collaborate with schools to help ensure that children with autism are able to thrive in a positive and nurturing environment. To learn more, call us at (888) 716-8084.