Though most people believe that vulnerable or gullible people are mostly taken advantage of in bullying cases, the opposite could also be true. Scientists from the Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI) have revealed that autistic children may be prone to bullying at 3 times higher rates than those not suffering from the same.
In the study, approximately 1,200 parents of kids suffering from ASDs were surveyed. According to the results, these children seemingly faced more bullying situations. About 42 to 49% of kids with ASD were currently being subjugated in the fifth and eighth standards.
“Children with ASD are already vulnerable. To experience teasing, taunts, ostracism or other forms of spite may make a child who was already struggling to cope become completely unable to function. The issue is complex and we plan to carefully analyze the data and publish peer-reviewed findings that will serve to advance policy and care for individuals with ASD,” commented Dr. Paul Law, director of the IAN Project at the Kennedy Krieger Institute.
Also, children studying in regular public schools experienced more bullying than those in special education settings. Types of bullying behavior that were exhibited included teasing, making fun of, ignoring along with kicking and pushing. As compared to the unaffected siblings, autistic kids were seemingly subjected to more frequent bullying episodes.
As the authors mention, the condition of autistic kids may worsen if they are ostracized in this manner. Further reviews pertaining to ASD could be used to extend improved care to ASD patients. This study titled, ‘The Bullying and School Experiences of Children with ASD Survey’ is part of the Interactive Autism Network (IAN) project.