• Autism Help UK

How to deal with bullying?

Updated: Mar 25, 2021

Although your child will have many good experiences there is a chance they will come across some form of bullying. This is common with all children and unfortunately is a natural part of growing up.


Overview:

  • About Bullying

  • Signs your child is being bullied

  • How to deal with bullying


About bullying

Bullying can come from many people and can often happen within friendship groups. This can be in the form of teasing repeatedly, setting out to hurt people's feelings or exclusion on purpose.


Being bullied can lead to many behavioural problems and if this is happening to your child you need to make sure you can provide love and lots of support both at home and in school. They will also need guidance. Bullying is natural and overcoming this is a great development for your child.


Signs your child are being bullied

Finding out your child is being bullied can be hard especially with autistic children. Your child might struggle communicating emotions and can find it hard to communicate experiences.


Autistic children will sometimes not understand when they’re being bullied or teased. However, in some cases, your child might feel like they are being bullied when in actuality another child is just trying to play or talk to them.


There are physical signs to tell if your child has been or is being bullied. You should lookout for the following:

  • Bruising, cuts, marks

  • Items missing, clothing ripped


Over time this has thankfully become decreasingly an issue. However, as a parent, you should always keep a close eye to monitor if it is happening.


There however might be other signs that your child might not want to go into school. You will be able to tell this through behavioural signs such as:

  • Your child not wanting to go to school

  • Being frightened when leaving the house to go to school

  • Starting to perform badly at school

  • Pretending to be ill

Since it is hard for your child to speak about their emotions you should read your child, by the way, the act. Look out for the following:

  • Having nightmares

  • Unexpected crying

  • Being more aggressive


If your child is being bullied it can lead to worse health. They might change eating habits and can alter their sleeping pattern. In some cases, your child might end up bullying instead.



What to do to combat bullying

If your child has a loving and caring home then you are doing the best thing you can for them to combat bullying.


If you feel like your child is being bullied or making them feel sad you can ask your child to tell you. If they struggle you might get them to draw pictures or you can show them pictures of bullying and seeing how they respond.


A good way to keep track of how your child's day went in school is behavioural tracking. You can obtain some cards which can state a child's emotions. At the end of each day, you can get your child to point to a certain card to highlight how their day has gone.


Working with schools on bullying

If you find out your child is being bullied the first step is to take action as fast as possible. Reach out to your school and explain the situation. Schools take bullying very seriously and will watch a close eye on your child to make sure they are safe. They will start to collaborate with you more to make sure you as a parent are feeling secure that your child is safe.


There are certain strategies for preventing bullying. You might want to do the following:

  • Organising your child to go to lunchtime clubs such as chess

  • Being in supervised safe places

  • Helping your child find a friend that can help deal with the issue


The best way your child will overcome bullying is by understanding how they can deal with it. You can teach your child ways to combat bullying.


In most cases, the best thing your child can do when being bullied is to ignore it. If your child doesn’t acknowledge the bully and just plays a blind eye to it then they are also doing the best thing for themselves by not letting it bother them. Most bullies need something to feed off and get bored if there is no give or take.



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