Survey: Most Kids with Aspergers Are Currently Being Bullied
17% of American kids are being bullied.
61% of kids with Aspergers are being bullied.
A survey done by the Autism Interactive Network indicates that kids with autism are significantly more likely to bullied than their neurotypical peers. Parents report that 63% of their children with autism spectrum disorders have been bullied.
The situation is worst for kids with Asperger's syndrome, 61% of whom were currently being bullied. CBS News provides this analysis:
According to the Kennedy Krieger Institute, children with Asperger's may be more prone to bullying because they're often placed in typical classrooms in regular schools. The Institute also said certain behavioral traits including clumsiness, poor hygiene, rigid rule-keeping, talking obsessively about a favorite topic, frequent meltdowns and inflexibility may make children with an autism spectrum disorder more prone to bullying.
Parents were asked if another child, who knows what bothers or upsets their child with an autism spectrum disorder, had ever used that knowledge to trigger a meltdown or aggressive outburst on purpose. Fifty-three percent of parents said "yes." In some cases, bullies got the child to fall apart emotionally. "Often kids try to upset her because they find it funny when she gets upset and cries. She is overly emotional, and they seem to get a kick out of this," one mother shared.
This is one of the reasons I am especially concerned by the choice of the producers of the film Bully to hide from the audience the fact that two of the subjects have autism spectrum disorders.
The IAN study cites a 12% rate for neurotypical siblings of autistic kids currently being bullied. Since this is lower than the general rate found by the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, I used their number of 17% for my comparison instead.