I know that many of you are well-acquainted with this and similar situations! Bullying doesn’t happen just in schools. It occurs in homes, neighborhoods, places of worship, workplaces…anywhere people interact with each other. The sheer magnitude of research and resources on bullying is an indication of the prevalence of this issue, as well as the numerous methods of dealing with it. While some people might recommend "ignoring" the teasing or "just standing up to it," we know that these rather pat answers are not supported by research, and are not likely to be effective when applied to a situation where a child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or some other disability is on the receiving end of the unkind words or actions.
Basically, there are three people (or groups of people) involved in a bullying attempt. First, there is the child or person who is being "picked on." There is also the instigator/perpetrator, or the person attempting to do the bullying. Finally, there are likely bystanders, or people who might be in a position to ensure that the attempts are not successful. Most successful strategies address all three people or groups.
While the "victim" should not be blamed for the bullying attempts, he or she can be helped to identify these attempts, to respond in a more effective manner, and to cope with the ensuing emotions and feelings in a positive way. Everyone can be taught how to identify and promote healthy relationships, and how to get involved when they observe a bullying attempt. And we can all work to ensure that we are not the ones doing the bullying! Some great resources include:
- Stick Up For Yourself (available with corresponding teacher’s manual)
- The Juice Box Bully
- The Bullying Workbook for Teens
- Just Kidding
- The Bully, The Bullied, and the Bystander…How Parents and Teachers Can Help Break the Cycle
- Anti-bullying stickers
- Band Against Bullying wristband
No one is alone in their frustration and concern those who are being bullied. I hope that Social Incites™ readers will also post suggestions and/or encouragement here or on our Facebook page.
Best wishes as you promote personal and interpersonal growth in your corner of the world!