Several studies have shown that children with autism are often the targets of bullies. A new study found that nearly 70% of children with autism have been bullied. The study also found that of children with an ASD those with Asperger's are bullied more often than other children with autism. One reason for the large amount of bullying targeted at children with AS is probably that the outward manifestations of their condition are much more subtle. Their outward appearance of normality masks the social difficulties they have in common with other children on the autistic spectrum. The study found that children who exhibit traits such as "flapping or spinning" are less likely to be picked on. While those children who exhibited "clumsiness, poor personal and oral hygiene, rigid rule keeping, continuing to talk about a topic when others are bored or annoyed, frequent meltdowns and inflexibility or rigidity" were more likely to be targeted by bullies.
As parents of children with AS, we need to be strong advocates for our children. They usually do not have the appropriate social understanding of how they should behave in various educational settings. It is important that we try and anticipate situations they will encounter and prepare them. It is also important that we educate their teachers on this condition. When a child with AS looks normal and behaves "normally" in the classroom, teachers can forget that the child has significant deficits and not make appropriate accommodations for them.
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