Bullying and hazing are becoming increasingly popular topics for media outlets. Most people would say that the bullying must stop. When children with disabilities are targets of bullying, it can be a significant concern for parents. If you are worried about your child being bullied, here are some warning signs from stopbullying.gov:
– Unexplained injuries
– Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
– Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
– Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide
If you think your child is being bullied, kidshealth.org suggests ways to help. First, praise your child for telling you; it took a lot of courage for them to tell you. Secondly, remind your child that many people get bullied, and they are not alone. Bullying should be taken seriously so parents should go to the school counselor or teacher. If this does not work, the parents of the victim should talk to the parents of the bullying the presence of a school counselor. The school counselor can help mediate the conversation.
There are some tips specifically for children with special needs who are being bullied from Education.com, “Talk to the child about situations that invite bullying. A child with developmental delays such as Down Syndrome or Asberger’s syndrome is often trusting and friendly. Because he does not think that others will play tricks on him, he becomes an easy target”. Also, it’s a good idea to explain body language to a child that may not pick up on social cues as easily as other kids. Additionally, you may want to practice confident and socially appropriate comebacks. Finally, children should leave the situation as soon as they can.
Bullying can be a traumatic thing. Parents and siblings can ease the pain. As parents, your job is to recognize the signs and help stop the bullying. If we stay dedicated to this cause, we can stop bullying once and for all. Do you have any ideas on how to stop bullying? If so, post them here!