Bullying & Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Other Developmental Disabilities
October 24, 2012

This is a text synopsis of a powerpoint presentation that Attorney Jennifer Laviano and Special Education Advocate Julie Swanson present on Bullying & Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Other Developmental Disabilities

Jennifer and Julie are available to present this presentation for your group.

Bullying is a pattern of repeated aggressive behavior, with negative intent, directed from one child to another where there is a power imbalance.

– according to leading Norwegian researcher Dr. Dan Olweus

Bullying can take many forms…….

  • Physical (hitting, kicking, shoving)
  • Verbal (teasing, name calling)
  • Emotional (Intimidation through gestures, social exclusion or shunning)

And the newest form of bullying – Cyberbullying:

  • Sending mean, vulgar, or threatening messages or images;
  • Posting sensitive, private information about another person;
  • Pretending to be someone else in order to make that person look bad;
  • Intentionally excluding someone from an online group
  • Cyber-bullying… E-mails, Instant messaging, Text or digital imaging messages sent on cell phones, Web pages, Web logs (blogs), Chat rooms or discussion groups, and Other information communication technologies.

The challenge is that research supports that kids with disabilities are at greatest risk to be bullied by their peers, but we don’t know the precise correlation between someone’s disability status and their risk for victimization.

  • We only have research that tells us how kids with disabilities are at risk to be victimized by adults
  • We don’t have good empirical research to make the connection between the adult statistics and whether this same behavior is true for children abusing other children by bullying

Further challenged by the fact that many states keep disciplinary data on reportable offenses at school. Here in In Connectictut, the data does not include victim demographics or identify the type of bullying

  • Reportable offenses include:
  • Racial slurs
  • Fighting
  • Weapons
  • School threat
  • Drugs
  • Bullying (without identifying the type)
  • Etc…

In other words, most states don’t keep data on bullying and kids with disabilities

Therefore, we don’t have a finger on the size and shape of the problem.

So where does that leave us?

Read the Entire Article »

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