Understanding Bullying and How YOU Can Help
What is Bullying?: The Centers for Disease Control define bullying as unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, or leaving someone out of a group on purpose.
Here are 6 ways YOU can help:
1. Don't be a Bystander
2. Lend A Hand
3. Inform a teacher or school official, even your parents
4. Do not spread malicious or false messages
5. Speak Out by letting people know that bullying is NOT a joke
6. Understand and Respect others' differences
Bullying and Youth With Autism and Special Needs
Children with physical, developmental, intellectual, emotional and sensory disabilities are more likely to be bullied than their peers. Any number of factors – physical vulnerability, social skill challenges or intolerant environments – may increase their risks.
For children with ASD, researchers believe their inclusion in mainstream classrooms, due to their higher functioning, is a contributor to their exposure to potential bullies.
They argue, however, that the solution is not to exclude them from mainstream classrooms. Experts point to a combination of teaching social skills to children with autism and educating their typically developing peers about the disorder and teaching them compassion.
How H.U.G.S. Helps
H.U.G.S. for Autism offers Hope, Understanding, Guidance & Social Acceptance to youth diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and their general education peers. Our mission is to empower non-disabled students to see themselves as Ambassadors (Peer Advocates) who strive to create a Protective Peer Group that feels a sense of responsibility for their peers with an ASD and other disabilities. Our in-school initiative, the "NO BULL Peer Ambassador Program" provides hours of training by HUGS and school officials to our class of Peer Ambassadors on how to safely and effectively intervene when bullying is taking place. Additionally, they are trained on how to best foster and encourage others to form genuine relationships with the students whom they are advocating for.
For more information about H.U.G.S. for Autism or to
donate to our worthy cause, please click here.