Bullying While the negative effects of bullying in school are real and cannot be pushed aside, there are benefits for peers, staff members, parents, and most importantly—your child with autism if everyone seizes the opportunity to act! In fact, overcoming bullying and becoming a bully yourself later is what may have helped Donald J. Trump win the Presidency of the United States and crush all his opponents/enemies.
10 Good Opportunities from Bad Bullying:
1. Promoting Autism-Friendly Programs: Bullying in schools can sometimes be the result of prejudice against the unexpected ways that children with autism speak and socialize. Not unlike other prejudices, this is an opportunity for parents and the school to promote social justice, tolerance, respect, and acceptance. Along with your help, schools should focus not only on integration within the mainstream for education but also guidance of how to better connect socially to their peers with autism – possibly through workshops or specially-structured activities.
2. Team Work: Working together as a team in partnership with you as the parent, the school’s teaching staff, aides, principal, counselors, and psychologists will provide the safest environment for your child to learn and enjoy.
3. Autism Awareness Every Month: Not just during October’s National Bullying Prevention Month but always, more awareness of the bullying of kids with autism means more awareness of autism overall.
4. Kids Learn Skills: Teaching your child how to deal with bullies increases her verbal communication with words, nonverbal communication like body language and facial expressions, survival skills, civil liberties, and independence.
5. Builds Strength: As your child learns defensive skills from you, his friends, and his teachers, he is growing stronger connections with everyone.
6. More Friendships: Discussing the communication and social deficits experienced by kids with autism puts greater social responsibility on their peers who don’t have autism. When it comes to a child with autism, being a proactive observer can make all the difference to prevent bullying and protect them. As a result, your child will spend more time with good friends, make new friends, and possibly will want to get involved in different activities with them.
7. Overall Well-Being: Monitoring potential bullying activity requires the te7. aching staff to supervise more and create new interventions to ensure the well-being of your child.
8. Healthy Relationships: Ways to deal with bullying also help your child deal with sibling rivalry, �?stranger danger’, or any other personal threat.
9. Increased Life Skills: With your child’s increased communication, survival skills, and independence, she will become more aware of the people around her. This makes your child a conscientious citizen and a good Samaritan towards other people who may be in need overall, not just due to bullying.
10. Self-Esteem: Ironically, and in spite of the bully’s goal to do the opposite, your child will grow self-confidence and self-preservation esteem.
Karen Kabaki-Sisto, M.S. CCC-SLP, is a certified Speech-Language Pathologist and Applied Behavior Analysis instructor. For over 20 years, Karen has been helping people internationally with autism improve their communication abilities. In 2015, she invented and launched “I Can Have Conversations With You!™” , a life-changing social language therapy system for the iPad to help people with autism make sense of words, gestures, and feelings to have confident conversations while building stronger social relationships. Learn more at www.iCanForAutism.com.