Bullying is a nearly constant concern for many families affected by autism. With school now underway, we polled our readers for their ideas on how to deal with potential bullying towards children with autism. Here are your Top 10 Tips:
1. Find out what your school district’s policy on bullying is and be prepared to advocate for better if needed. Be firm in letting them know that bullying can’t be tolerated.
3. Teach your child humor and “walk-away” skills.
4. Keep the lines of communication open with teachers, coaches, and any school worker in a position to observe your child at various times during the school day.
5. Consider a volunteer job at your child’s school which will give you an opportunity to watch out for any questionable actions or words that might be red flags for bullying.
6. Share social stories with your child that deal with bullying.
7. Employ a buddy system by asking a trusted teacher, aide, or even a non-disabled peer to keep an eye out for any negative actions or words directed towards your child.
8. Educate teachers and classmates about what autism is and what struggles those affected may have. Raising awareness may have an impact on bullying tendencies.
9. Check for bruises, torn clothing, or any items taken to school that are now missing. Follow up immediately with the school if any of these red flags exist.
10. Roleplay teasing with your child and practice back and forth humorous replies to negative comments.
Don’t forget to check back with The Autism File on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/autismfile later this week for another opportunity to share your expertise with others. Your strategies and ideas can make a difference for other autism families!