New research project to look at dynamics of why ASD children more likely to be bullied

national-bullying-prevention-monthCalgary, Canada –  The University of Calgary’s Applied Child Psychology program is looking for students ages 8 to 17 with high functioning ASD and their parents to participate in a project which will look at their experiences with bullying and social situations.

Adam McCrimmon, an assistant professor says,

“We want to get a little bit more information about how, when and why children with ASD are bullied, so we can try and figure out some specific things we might be able to do about it.”

October is National Bullying Prevention Month in the US.  A recent report from the Interactive Autism Network found that 63 percent of children with autism have been bullied, over three times as much as those without the disorder. So far no research has been conducted to determine key factors that make those on the autism spectrum more susceptible to bullying.

Dr. Seokjin Jeong , lead researcher on a study published in September, by the University of Texas in Arlington, recommended that researchers,

“better identify the bully-victim dynamics in order to develop prevention strategies accordingly.”

That is exactly what this project plans to achieve.  McCrimmon explains,

“We want to see why it’s happening now and then we want to also hopefully follow some of these children for a couple of years and see what is the long term impact.”