Monday, May 11, 2015

7 Steps to Take A Stand Against Bullying

In 2012, Autism Speaks partnered with the National Center for Learning Disabilities, Ability Path and the PACER Center's National Bullying Prevention Center to create a movement toward a bully free world through our BULLY Project. Together with our partners, we released a Special Needs Anti-Bullying Toolkit full of resources and information specifically tailored to parents, educators, and students dealing with bullying and children with special needs.
Based on this Toolkit, we have put together seven steps that you can take to help take a stand against bullying. The Special Needs Anti-Bullying Toolkit contains a number of additional tips and resources to accomplish each of these steps. The links are included with each step.

1. Start the Conversation

Because individuals with autism may not realize that they are being bullied or may be unable to communicate what is happening at school or in the community, the first step is to get the conversation started so they understand what bullying means and why it is not okay. Teach your child or your student to know the difference between appropriate and inappropriate treatment from classmates. Make sure your child feels comfortable telling you when he or she feels bullying may be happening. Encourage him or her to talk to you about his or her feelings at school. Be supportive.
The Anti-Bullying Toolkit contains sections for parents as well as educators on how to talk to your child about bullying. Resources to help your child understand bullying roles can be found here.

2. Develop a Plan