Childrearing

Depressingly Awful Study Finds That Half Of Autistic Teenagers Are Bullied

By  | 

autisticTeenagers with autism can now take a seat next to LGBTQ youth with regard to those nauseating bullying numbers. A study in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine determined that half of teenagers on the autism spectrum endure regular torment from their peers. The findings aren’t particularly shocking given how unknowingly cruel some children can be. However, they do put a spotlight on holes in our trendy bullying campaigns — as well as the lenience by some teachers.

TODAY reports:

Using records from a 2001 survey of 920 parents, [Paul R. Sterzing] and his colleagues found that 46 percent of parents said their autistic teenagers were the victims of bullying and 15 percent thought their children were bullies themselves. Nine percent of moms and dads said their kids were both victims and bullies.

While the researchers said autistic children were picked on at a much higher rate than current estimates for kids in general, the proportion who were bullies or both victims and bullies was about average.

Yet, autistic and ADHD kids endured a bigger risk of being bullied by sharing “regular classes,” meaning that keeping special needs students in with the “regular kids” puts them at risk. Dr. Sterzing suggests that these numbers indicate just how minimally classrooms are both accommodating special needs while also including them. While American teachers certainly aren’t paid enough to be professional lion tamers in between Algebra lessons, calling out visible bullying is essential. And an endeavor that teachers need all the more support, resources, and education in.

(photo: Suzanne Tucker/ Shutterstock)