• 43 percent of ASD children who attend regular public schools report being bullied.
• 61 percent of children with Asperger’s syndrome (AS) reported being bullied, “compared with 28 percent of those with autism and 37 percent of those with Other ASDs.”
It is generally accepted that this 61 percent is probably higher because there are children who are unable to verbalize that they’re being bullied, or may not even realize they’re being bullied because they are unable recognize when someone’s being mean to them.
More investigation needs to be done to confirm this hypothesis , but researchers believe that children with Asperger’s syndrome are in typical classroom settings in regular public schools, because they’re high performing.
Children with Asperger’s appear more “normal” than children with other ASDs, and classmates perhaps forget that AS children “share the same problems with social understanding as others on the autism spectrum”—this makes them ‘perfect targets’.” (1)
Interestingly, children with more repetitive behaviors, like flapping or spinning, were less likely to be bullied. Perhaps it’s because these children had more severe autism and were more sheltered in terms of school environments, or because these more outward signs made their disability more noticeable and children less likely to pick on them.
Behavior traits that were associated with an increased likelihood of being bullied included:
• Poor personal and oral hygiene
• Rigid rule keeping
• Continuing to talk about a favorite topic even when others are bored or annoyed
• Frequent meltdowns
• Inflexibility or rigidity (1)
The Effects of Bullying and Getting Involved
“Bullying is not a harmless rite of childhood that everyone experiences. Research shows that bullying can negatively impact a child’s access to education and lead to:
• School avoidance and higher rates of absenteeism
• Decrease in grades
• Inability to concentrate
• Loss of interest in academic achievement
• Increase in dropout rates.” (4)