Bullying has a very negative impact on children so it’s important to take it seriously. Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders make easy targets. A key element is ensuring that your child is prepared for any attack – verbal or otherwise.
The first thing to know is that bullies want “attention” so don’t give it to them. You might be able to ignore someone and they will stop. Secondly, girls and boys bully differently, so you need to have multiple strategies in place.
If a girl says something mean, you can say, “Ok, that’s your opinion” or “Ok, whatever you think.” If a boy is physically bothering you, you should be assertive. Say, “Stop” or “Stop Now!” The way you say the words and how you respond makes an impact as well. Say, “Ok” and shrug your shoulders like it doesn’t bother you. Or say “Stop” in a firm voice like you are more irritated by them than affected.
Try Instant Modeling™ with the skill you are trying to teach using the proper tone and actions along with the words. Show it to your child so they can see and hear it repeatedly. Have them practice, practice and practice some more.
- Know the early signs that this could be happening
- Be clear to let your child know that it is not their fault
- Seek a trained professional to provide you with ideas for your specific situation.