As an aspergers boarding school that treats teens with neurodevelopmental disorders, issues around bullying are not new to us. Many of our students have experienced the sting of bullying–for some, it’s even the reason they come to us in the first place. While bullying has been getting more and more attention by the public, it’s still a large issue for all children in school.
A recent study delved into how bullying rates change overtime. They discovered that for most children bullying rates tempered off–but for children with disabilities, it continued.
Bullying rates higher for kids with disabilities
The study was conducted over 3 years and involved more than 6,500 children ranging in grades 3 to 12. Around 16 percent of those surveyed had disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorders, emotional disabilities, and learning disabilities. The researchers from the University of Missouri-Columbia found that individuals with disabilities were consistently bullied at a higher rate than their peers without disabilities–as an autism and aspergers boarding school, this isn’t a huge surprise. Not much is usually done in “regular” schools to help these children.
Chad Rose, assistant professor of special education in the MU College of Education, explained the research:
“Studying how individual children are victimized by bullying over time has revealed that children with disabilities are not learning how to effectively respond to victimization. As children continued to mature, we expected to see that they would slowly develop social skills that would help them combat victimization and close the gap with children without disabilities, but that was not the case. Their rates of bullying victimization remained consistently higher, which shows that current intervention approaches are not effectively preparing these children who are most at-risk for bullying involvement.”
Teaching awareness and social skills
As pointed out in the above quote by Rose, more specialized interventions need to be prepared for children and teens with disabilities. In school, these kids should be taught social skills and coping skills when faced with bullying. We strive to teach our students in our aspergers boarding school the necessary skills to move through life successfully.
At the same time, though, this brings up another issue: awareness among those without disabilities. As an aspergers boarding school, we are familiar with the stigma against disorders and mental health issues. In order to change and dismantle this stigma, we must educate our children–even if they aren’t struggling with those issues. We need to teach awareness and understanding. The reason these children are getting bullied aren’t just because they’re “different,” it’s also because their neurotypical peers don’t understand what’s going on. It’s hard for children to be sympathetic or understanding when they’ve never been taught why they should be.
An autism & asperger’s boarding school that can help your child
Seven Stars is an aspergers boarding school that combines residential treatment with adventure therapy to create a multifaceted, effective program for teens, ages 13 to 18, struggling with emotional and behavioral issues as a result of their neurodevelopmental disorder.
We embed the objectives we have for each student into daily activities and teach emotional wellness skills such as conflict resolution, problem solving, social awareness, academic skills, self-efficacy and prosocial behaviors. In our aspergers boarding school, we strive to help each of our students develop the skills necessary to live full, productive lives.
For more information about how our aspergers boarding school at Seven Stars can help your teen, contact us today at 844-601-1167.