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Teens With Disabilities Face High Rates Of Bullying


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Roughly half of adolescents with autism, intellectual disability, speech impairments and learning disabilities are bullied at school, new research suggests.

That’s significantly higher than the rate of bullying faced by typically developing students, about 1 in 10 of whom are victimized by their peers.

The findings reported Monday in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine are based on data from a nationwide survey of more than 900 parents of teens receiving special education services.

Researchers found that about 57 percent of students with intellectual disability were bullied, while slightly less than half of students with autism, learning disabilities and speech/language impairments were victimized.

Parents also reported that some students with disabilities were responsible for perpetrating bullying, but this occurred at rates more similar to those experienced by typically developing students, the study indicated.

The likelihood that a teen would be bullied was greatest for those with the worst social skills, researchers said. What’s more, students with disabilities who spent more time in mainstream classrooms tended to face a higher risk of bullying. Accordingly, the researchers said that schools need to do more to promote an accepting environment.

“Tailored antibullying programs are needed to address the unique needs of these vulnerable adolescents given their social, communication and academic impairments,” wrote Paul Sterzing of the University of California, Berkeley and his colleagues in the study.

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Comments (7 Responses)

  1. GARY B. RUBIN says:

    i think it should go this bulling its so old even me going to school though out the 70s and 80s it needs to stop!!!!!!! once and for all we live on the same damn earth people need to stop thinking there better then every one i have two sisters and a brother all 3 are the same way like there better then me. and i tell them like hell you are. if only people used what god gave them a brain which most dont use

  2. Lee Ann says:

    Tell us something we don’t know.

  3. Jon K. Evans says:

    If I were paid just one dollar for every time someone made fun of me because of my speaking voice, I would accumulate enough money to buy myself a Mini-Cooper S; that would include full coverage insurance! Never mind that though! The kind of bullying that was outlined here lasts well into adulthood and in the workplace. It rarely goes away! “Proper-Boy” “Squeaky” “Fag” “Queer” You name it.

  4. Jon K. Evans says:

    How Well I know! I was picked on-clear until the age of 29-because of my speaking voice! Meanwhile, I wouldn’t find out that I had Asperger’s until I was the age of 47! Not only is the bullying I experienced, a classroom issue, but it is also an issue in the workplace!

  5. Vivian D. Swibel, RN says:

    Having a son with special needs who was bullied all through elementary school, when are educators going to look at the whole picture? Why does the child who is reacting to being bullied the one who gets the detention, and then is made fun of by the bully(ies), who get no detention or reprimand at all? I saw it all the time. A child is bullied or made fun of or is teased, he/she reacts to it and then gets called down to the office for their behavior. Do you expect this child to point a finger at anyone, which would result in being picked on more? Or will you finally see that teachers, principals & parent monitors need to look at the whole picture instead of focusing their only attention on the child reacting to being teased or bullied?

  6. Kathryn says:

    I have special needs and I’ve been bullied lot more, Yes I agree with this.

  7. Joyce says:

    My question is, why aren’t parents teaching their children bullying is unacceptable?
    Because this is learned long before kids go to school.

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