Given the statistics around bullying and autism, it is important for parents to know what they can do proactively to protect their child living with autism. Often the tools given to parents and the approach taken by educators and professionals is good. But they rarely meet the unique needs of children with autism who are at increased risk (three to four times) for bullying. Most anti-bullying programs put the responsibility on the target to report the bullying. This doesn’t work with kids with autism, who struggle to understand what bullying is, who to report it to, and even how to talk about it.
Our children are more vulnerable to bullying due to their struggles with social communication. They are targets for bullies, but they often resort to bullying others due to a lack of understanding in how to deal with intense social situations. It is complicated, but the following resources can help you teach your child about bullying, how to respond to bullying, and create communities that support your family.
Safe and Supportive