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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I handle bullying?

Autistic children and young people can be more at risk of being bullied than their peers. This problem is further augmented by the fact that they may not be able to communicate this with you.The first step is to help the child understand what kind of behaviour can qualify as bullying and is inappropriate for their peers to be doing. This can include name-calling, insulting, pushing, and hitting, among others. Recognising the behaviour will allow them to report it to an authority. The next step is to reassure the child being bullied that this is not their fault. Often, children who are victims of bullying start to blame themselves, which can have adverse effects on their mental health. It is important to let them know that you, as an authority figure, stand by their side. You should convince them to come to you the next time someone treats them harshly or bullies them so you may be able to take appropriate action. If you are a parent of an autistic child, you can talk to the school administration to bring the problem to an end. If you are a teacher, you should make use of anti-bullying techniques inside your classroom. Include sessions on bullying after you have been informed about the problems. Include sessions on autism to allow the children in your class to understand the situation instead of being confused by it. More often than not, bullying behaviour emerges when children are scared by a situation they do not fully understand. Providing them helpful information may help solve the problem. Team building exercises are also a good practice to prevent bullying among children.

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