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Almost Half of Teens with Autism Bullied: Study
New York (Reuters Health) – Close to half of all teenagers with an autism spectrum disorder are bullied at school.
The results, published Monday in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, suggest that rate is much higher than the estimated 11 percent of bullied kids in the general population.Previous studies have found kids and teens who are bullied tend to be more depressed, lonely and anxious and do worse in school than those who aren’t picked on, according to the researchers.That means bullying could make things extra difficult for those with autism, who may already struggle more in school than other kids.
The researchers say the findings suggest schools should target their anti-bullying campaigns toward the more vulnerable populations, such as children with autism and attent ion deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
In addition to learning basic skills, all children should know how to keep themselves safe and what to do when danger is present.
GOOD TOUCH BAD TOUCH
In this simple and engaging guide, Mandee and Bobby explain “good touches” (hugs and kisses from family members, a pat on the back, a handshake, or a high five) and “bad touches” (a hit, slap, punch, kick, bite, hard pinch, shove, or grabbing, tugging, scratching, tripping, or choking). They describe how to recognize each kind of touch, the differences between them, and how to respond.
Then Bobby and Mandee talk about private areas and what to do if someone touches you in those places (“Tell a trusted adult! It isn’t your fault!”). They explain that it’s not okay to keep a secret about private areas, even if the person who touched you says that bad things might happen if you tell.
When it comes to bad touches, Bobby triumphantly concludes, “Whether it is a stranger, or someone you know well, the rules to be safe are always the same: Say no! Run Away! And find a grown up friend to tell!”
Author and former Deputy Sheriff Robert Kahn recommends that parents read this book with their children and encourage teachers to share it with the class!
- Bobby and Mandee’s Touch Test – an 8-question quiz along with a page number for each answer
- 911 Tips for Parents – a guide for teaching kids when and how to dial 911
- My List of Safe Grown-ups to Call – a blank form that parents and children can fill out together
DON’T HIDE ABUSE
In this moral-driven tale, Bobby explains to Mandee that some secrets should not be kept—especially those that threaten a friend’s safety.
Bobby explains to Mandee the concept of “abuse” and then tells a very sad story of a boy who did not tell a trusted adult about his friend’s abuse and what happened as a result. Mandee replies with a story of her own, about her friend at school.
Together, Bobby and Mandee decide to go to Dad and ask for his advice on how to help Mandee’s friend.
TOO SMART FOR BULLIES
Bullies, Beware! This is a little book is going to have a big impact!
In this moral-driven story, Mandee tells big brother Bobby how a bully took all her money. Bobby stresses that she needs adult help, and explains what to do if it happens again. Don’t argue; just walk or run away; tell a trusted adult, or call 911.
If the adult doesn’t believe you, tell another adult until you find someone who understands.
A quiz at the back of the book helps the reader remember what to do, and there’s a place to write the phone numbers of “safe grown-ups” to call.
TOO SAFE FOR STRANGERS
Most children, especially children on the autism spectrum, accept adults’ friendliness at face value. Sometimes it can have tragic consequences.
Written by a Deputy Sheriff, this book is credited with foiling at least 22 stranger abductions. Characters Bobby and Mandee explain stranger danger in a way that is accessible, but not frightening, for children.
Read it to your child and role-play different scenarios. Create a password only you and your child know, label backpacks on the inside (so strangers won’t know your name). Strangers can be men or women, old or young.
Adults should not touch, give gifts to, or ask for help from children. If they do, don’t keep it a secret! Tell an adult! Arm your child with the knowledge that may save his or her life.
THE CHILD WITH AUTISM AT HOME AND IN THE COMMUNITY: Over 600 Must-Have Tips
In this amazingly helpful guide for family members, friends, and professionals, author and mom Kathy Labosh and special-educator LaNita Miller take on the issues and obstacles that parents and educators face every day.
Hundreds of easy-to-read bullet points provide tips that readers can put into action immediately. First they cleverly tackle home life, from breakfast to bedtime, and then they take readers on a trip through the community, offering essential do’s and don’ts for going to restaurants, church, the doctor’s, the grocery store, family gatherings, and more!
With Kathy and LaNita’s insight and advice, you can be better prepared for the unique challenges autism throws your way!
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