Children who have autism or Asperger’s syndrome may become victims of bullies. Why does this happen and what can you do to help your child if she’s being bullied?
Why do bullies attack aspies?
Children with autism spectrum disorders such as Asperger’s syndrome are more prone to become bullies’ targets. This happens simply because they stand out. Bullies attack those who are different for whatever reason, and those whom they perceive as weaker.
Whereas children with ADHD, for example, often provoke the attacks by impulsively insulting the bullies or standing out because of their uncontrollable behaviour, aspies may incite the wrath of bullies by being less receptive than others, by avoiding eye contact, or just by moving strangely.
How to prevent bullying?
Work with your child to keep him from ever being bullied. There are some simple measures of prevention you can undertake.
First, remember that bullies are usually simple and instinctual in their attacks. They choose targets which they consider easy victims. So, children whose body language reveals their lack of confidence may be targeted. Teach your child to stand and walk straight and look at people or at least not to constantly look on the ground. The right posture is key to preventing any attacks.
Another thing is to actually build your child’s self-confidence. It’s the next step but it can be harder. Simply appearing self-confident is easier than actually being self-confident – especially as a teenager who is different from her peers.