Avoiding bullying can take a toll on not just your child but the entire family. Kids with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be especially vulnerable to bullying, so beginning the bullying talk early can be beneficial to making sure your child can advocate for himself and is not be prey to the bully. Here are five tips to help your child dodge the bully:
- Give Examples. Explain to your child about what it looks like when people are making fun of your child or being mean. If you witness someone teasing or being cruel to your child point-it-out to your child. For example: “When Joey said you are a nerd that was not nice.” Often children with ASD don’t know when people are being unkind to them, so you need to teach what callous behavior looks like and then you can start with the next step.
- 2. Open the communication lines. Have frequent conversations with your child about what is teasing, what is bullying, and what is a friend, and then ask questions like “Did anyone get in trouble today?” or “Who are your favorite friends?”
- 3. Help Your Kid Find His Group. When kids have friends and travel in a group they are less likely to be targeted by a bully, so encourage your child to find his cliché. Join clubs or sports that your child likes and try to establish friendships.
- Teach You Child How-to Stand-Up to the Bully.Teach your child how to leave the situation without too much harm.
- First don’t engage (no talking or physical behavior, it will just encourage the bully).
- Walk quickly away (don’t run, they will chase).
- Find a trusted adult to tell
- Talk to other parents and teachers. Avoid potential problems by talking your son/daughter’s teacher and other parents at your child’s school. Knowing the potential bully or his parents can help prepare your child to stay clear of the path of the bully or help you defuse the situation. What is the climate at school? Who are the kids that are the aggressors?
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