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Is your ASD child being bullied? What can you do about it?

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American Psychological Association defines bullying as a form of aggressive behavior in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort.

Signs of Bullying

Your special ASD child may not be adept at expressing to you that he is being bullied at school or by his friends. Among the common signs are –

  • Greater anxiety or irritability. Increase in the frequency of temper tantrums.
  • Difficulties in sleeping or changes in appetite
  • Avoidance of school or playing with peers.
  • Academic Impact – performance starts declining.
  • Being hungry in spite of carrying lunch or food.
  • Often “losing” money or attempting to steal money from home. (This in response to the bullies demanding money).

 

What Action can you Take

  1. Communicate with your child.
    Explain to your child what bullying is and encourage him/her to have an open communication with you about it when you listen calmly.
  2. Encourage your child to deal with the bully.
    Teach your child to stand up to the bully and to make eye contact and demonstrate confidence.
  3. Involve the school authorities.Children with developmental disabilities have legal rights. Consider talking to the school teachers or concerned authorities to make the school environment a safe space for your child.

Reference

  1. Marcus Autism Center. What to do if your child is bullied. 

    Available at - https://www.marcus.org/autism-resources/autism-tips-and-resources/protect-your-child-from-bullying

  2.  American Psychological Association. Bullying

    Available at - https://www.apa.org/topics/bullying

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