NY Times reports on school bullies that prey on children with asperger’s syndrome.
This article hits close to home because our son Jesse has Aspergers syndrome, and had this happen to him. For those who do not understand, children and adults with Asperger’s are wired differently. Some like our son Jesse are mainstreamed and quite intelligent, but because they do not easily understand social cues from others (for them, they need to be taught these skills), often bullies will harm them physically, or emotionally, and they just do not understand what they did to deserve it. In my son’s case, it was early on, in the fourth grade. We actually moved him to a different class to have him learn in an atmosphere that was less caustic.
Years later, I am sure that his experience in this class is now part of his makeup. Some children can be quite mean. For the parent of the child on the receiving end, it is quite hurtful and upsetting, for the child who does this to others, they need guidance from their parents because their actions can affect someone emotionally for a lifetime.
Check the article out here
School Bullies Prey on Children with AutismBy ANAHAD O’CONNOR Connie Anderson didn’t know what was bothering her 17-year-old son, a Baltimore-area high school senior with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism. He was usually a diligent student, but his grades began to plummet.
“He was starting to go downhill fast,” Ms. Anderson said. “His grades were crashing, and he wasn’t able to focus.”
At a meeting with school counselors, the teenager finally spoke up, confessing that he was being bullied by students in the cafeteria. Once, they had pulled his pants down to his knees in front of his class.
While the problem of school bullying has received national attention, with many states passing anti-bullying legislation and school districts adopting anti-bullying programs, a troubling new pattern has emerged among victims. Research published on Monday in Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine shows that children with autism spectrum disorders, who typically have difficulty in communicating and forming relationships, are far more likely to be bullied than their non-autistic peers.
“I would call it a profound public health problem,” said Paul R. Sterzing, lead author of the new study and an assistant professor at the school of social welfare at the University of California, Berkeley. “The rate of bullying and victimization among these adolescents is alarmingly high.”
The children at greatest risk, it turns out, appear to be those who also hold the most promise for leading an independent life. The researchers found that the risk of being bullied was greatest for high-functioning children who end up not in special education programs, but in mainstream classes, where their quirks and unusual mannerisms stand out and