Washington: Autistic children are bullied three times more frequently than their healthy siblings, says a new study.
The results show that 63 percent of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have been bullied at some point in their lives. They are sometimes provoked into aggressive outbursts by sneering bullies so they can be targeted.
The Interactive Autism Network (IAN), a project of Kennedy Krieger Institute, reported the preliminary results of the first US national survey to examine the impact of bullying on autistic children. It shows that 63 percent of them have been bullied at some point in their lives.
"These survey results show the urgent need to increase awareness, influence school policies and provide families and children with effective strategies for dealing with bullying," said Paul Law, director of the IAN Project, according to a Kennedy statement.
"We hope that this research will aid efforts to combat bullying by helping parents, policymakers and educators understand the extent of this problem in the autism community and be prepared to intervene," said Connie Anderson, IAN`s community scientific liaison.
Nearly 1,200 parents of children with ASD completed the survey. Findings show that these children (aged six to 15 years) are especially vulnerable to bullying.