Bullying is an issue that has plagued schools for years. With recent movements to stop bullying receiving media attention in storyline son hit shows like “Glee” and viral videos featuring young Hollywood, it would be easy to conclude that the problem is being addressed. However, in a recent study by the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, findings show that this is not the case.
In the report released Monday, researchers found that roughly half of adolescents with autism, intellectual disability, speech impairments and learning disabilities have been subject to a bullying episode at school, a rate that is significantly higher than students not receiving special education services.
How do we make bullying go away? Researchers believe that it is up to schools to do more to “promote an accepting environment.” Schools have responded by implementing anti-bullying programs. We applaud this effort. But many school systems simply don’t have the funds to put in place a formal anti-bullying program.
What’s the alternative? We propose that schools and parents start reducing bullying with this three-part approach:
1. Start with the Students Who Are the Most Likely to Be Bullied
First, because the highest incidence of bullying is among special needs population, recognize that the battle will be won or lost within the confines of special education.
2. Walk Away from a Bully
Parents need help understanding how to talk to their children about bullying, how to modify behavior, and how to give their special needs children the skills they need to walk away from a bullying without scars be they physical or emotional in nature.
A good resource for parents on how to talk to your child about bullying is this: Bully Free World
3. Consider Technology-based Alternatives to Special Education.
For schools, applying technology the right way can allow children with special needs to spend more time in “regular” classrooms which ultimately reduces the stigma associated with special education.
One such option for schools is online speech therapy that provides is a safe and isolated environment to allow students to learn at their own pace by eliminating the social pressures that perpetuate bullying.
To learn more, please read about how schools that have adopted live online speech therapy services see their students thrive in our collection on our Scribd channel.
Source: Disability Scoop