Study Published by StopBullying.gov Suggests Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders at Heightened Risk of Bullying

According to the abstract of Preventing Social Victimization of Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), authors outline the issue at hand and make several recommendations when approaching the issue.

Authors Linda Hickson and Ishita Khemka explain social victimization by peers is known to be a common occurrence in schools. However; they not children with ASD are at heightened risk for social victimization. This may occur in the form of bullying or cyberbullying.

The researchers note that both victims and perpetrators can suffer short-term and long-term psychological distress and social relationship difficulties as a consequence of their experiences.

They explain, however; that despite the scope and seriousness of the issue at hand, social victimization prevention programs have not yet become an established part of the curriculum for youth with ASD. Hickson and Khemka suggest continuing investigation of the complex dynamics of bullying in individuals with ASD and the development of effective prevention programs and curricula for youth with AD warrant serious attention.

They recommend continuing to explore the following approaches:

1.) Comprehensive social skills programs for youth with ADS.

2.) Friendship-building programs for youth with ASD and their nondisabled peers

3.) Adaptations and modifications to generic schoolwide programs with a bullying component.

4.) Self-protective decision-making programs for youth with ASD with an emphasis on differentiating between positive and negative peer relationships and resisting negative peer pressure.

5.) Continuing to develop and evaluate broad-based social victimization prevention programs designed to address the core deficits associated with ASD.

(Photo: Autism Society)

Michaela Madison Reporting

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