Friday, October 19, 2012

Factoid Friday: Special Needs Bullying (31 for 21, Day 19)

Sadly, bullying is a reality in our schools and a hot button topic as of late.  Even sadder, those with special needs, especially the learning disabled are routinely targeted.

Here are some fast facts about bullying, specifically aimed towards those with special needs:
  • 60 percent of differently abled students report being bullied compared to 25 percent of their typically abled peers
  • Only 10 studies have been performed in the US regarding the relationship between special needs and bullying.
  • Of these 10 studies, all have concluded that differently abled students are 2 to three times more likely to be bullied than their typical peers.
  • Along with this, the nature of the bullying appeared to be more chronic and had a direct relationship with their disability.
  • Children with special needs often have a lower social standing which may contribute to frequent bullying.
  • Children with visible disabilities, such as Down syndrome or cerebral palsy have a higher incidence of being called names or aggressively excluded from social activities.
  • Children with learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and ADD or ADHD exhibit significantly more victimization than even their peers with mental or behavioural disorders
  • Thirty percent of parents of a 12 to 17 year old fear bullying over kidnapping, domestic terrorism, car accidents, or suicide.
  • Twenty seven percent of parents of a child under twelve say that they fear bullying slightly less than kidnapping.
Also for consideration:
  • Twenty percent of total teens report having been the victim of cyber bullying.  More research is needed into the relationship between cyber bullying and teens with special needs as the average of internet usage is higher with this group (due to accessibility, etc).
  • Social and Emotional Learning curriculum (SEL) where students are are assisted in learning skills to help them develop interpersonal relationships, cope with school and schoolwork and develop personally as an individual have shown to decrease the overall incidences of bullying (both of typical and non-typical students) while at the same time improving overall grade scores (by approximately 11%).

And that's the facts, Jack.  Happy Friday. 

"Bullying and Ostracism Experiences in Children with Special Health Care Needs." Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics 31.1 (2010): 1-8

"Walk a Mile in Their Shoes: Bullying and the Child With Special Needs." AbilityPath.Org. Community Gatepath, Web. <>.

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