by ADN

July 18, 2014

BullyingEditor’s Note: One of the mini themes in this month’s ASDigest is the subject of bullying. This week we take a look at various issues around bullying and autism.

It’s a fact that kids who bully have often been or are being bullied themselves. Kids bully because of peer pressure and to build social status. Some kids are merely repeating behavior they’ve witnessed in their own home or among family members. For children on the spectrum aggressive behavior may be a way for them to express frustration but it could be perceived by others as bullying.

Because as a parent you may understand the underlying reasons for your child’s behavior, it can be difficult for a parent  to believe that their child with autism could be seen as a bully or the individual who “started” the incident.

If bullying does cross a line and school officials get involved, these same parents are often shocked that their child is involved. However, there are some warning signs that can tell you if your child is  being seen as bullying other people. Teaching coping strategies is critical. Here is a recent and good blog post on 15 ways to help calm your angry child.

The school authorities may see some behaviors as signs of anger, contempt for authority and aggression in your child.  If your child seems to get into a lot of arguments, especially with one particular child at school, it’s possible he could be a either a bully or being bullied. It’s also possible he’s in a bullying situation if he seems to get into numerous physical confrontations.

If it’s the school administration that’s notified you of bullying behavior, it’s important that you back the authority up by supporting the process. It’s important that you get to the root of why your child is being seen as a bully.

Sometimes those who bully are trying to work through emotions and inappropriate behavior which can be labelled bullying becomes their outlet. If your child is being perceived as a bully and doesn’t understand the detrimental aspects of this, having him talk to a counselor can help.

Editor’s note:  For simplicity, we are using a male gender in the article but girls as just as easily to be victims of bullying as boys.
If you have a child who has been bullied and it has lasted for awhile, it’s important to have him speak to a counselor who can help him sort through his emotions. If you have a child who has bullied others, it’s important that he’s also counseled in order to learn better coping skills and proper social interaction.

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