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Bullying and Asperger Syndrome
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Bullying and Asperger Syndrome


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A presentation about bullying and Aspergers, and some strategies that can be used to counter it.

A presentation about bullying and Aspergers, and some strategies that can be used to counter it.

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  • 1. Issues and Implications for Students with Asperger Syndrome BULLYING
  • 2.
    • Intentional, repeated behaviour by an individual or group of individuals that causes distress, hurt or undue pressure.
    • It involves the abuse of power in relationships.
    • Can involve all forms of harassment (including sex, race, disability, homosexuality or transgender), humiliation, domination, intimidation and victimisation of others.
    • NSWDET Anti-Bullying Plan, 2007
  • 3.
    • Mutual conflict
      • No imbalance of power present
    • Social rejection or exclusive friendships
      • Unless accompanied by malicious intent
    • Single-episode or random acts of aggression or intimidation
      • Do not repeatedly target a victim
    Adapted from McGrath, H. & Noble, T. (2006). Bullying Solutions: Evidence-based approaches to bullying in Australian schools. Frenchs Forest, Australia: Pearson Education.
  • 4.
    • Decreased academic performance
    • Low psychological wellbeing
    • Poor social adjustment
    • Psychological distress
    • Suicide
    • (Rigby, 2003; Whitney, Smith & Thompson, 1994)
  • 5.
    • Bullying of students in general population
    • One in every six or seven Australian children report being bullied (Rigby, 2003)
    • Bullying of students with special needs
    • Between 5% and 25% more likely to be bullied than their peers (O’Moore & Hillery, 1989; Nabuzoka & Smith, 1993)
    • Bullying of students with Asperger Syndrome
    • 94% of students bullied or victimised (Heinrichs, 2003)
  • 6.
    • Social naivety
    • Impaired use of non-verbal behaviour
    • Lack of social and emotional reciprocity
    • Inability to identify social cues and conventions
    • Poor organisation and self-regulation
    • “ Quirks”
      • Unusual speech prosody
      • Intensity of interests
      • Motor clumsiness
      • Sensory issues
      • Many of these traits run parallel to those displayed by passive and provocative bullying targets.
      • Adapted from Attwood (2004)
  • 7. Theoretical basis – bullying occurs within an ecological framework
  • 8. A three-tiered, whole school approach with collaborative processes designed to enhance protective factors for students with Asperger Syndrome.
  • 9.
    • Playground mapping - surveys to determine “safe” and “unsafe” areas.
    • Provision of supervised activity room to “escape” playground.
    • Thorough investigation of all conflict situations involving students with AS to determine if covert bullying has occurred.
    • Implementation of a buddying system that pairs up potential targets with students of a higher social status.
  • 10.
    • Prime opportunity to develop a social support network to act as a “protective factor” for students with AS.
    • Model behaviour that values differences and contributions of all students – promoting socially-valued strengths of students with AS.
    • Bullying prevention programs most successful when woven into the curriculum – both explicit and incidental teaching.
    • Opportunities to empower students with the skills necessary to intervene in bullying situations.
    • Use of cooperative learning strategies to break down barriers between students.
  • 11.
    • Using coaching and behaviour rehearsal to create a “scripted” bullying response such as “I don’t like that. Stop it” or more age appropriate scripts.
    • Explicitly teaching support-seeking strategies and guided identification of peers who are “safe”.
    • Resilience and assertiveness training.
    • These and other strategies can be taught through social stories, bibliotherapy, role playing or comic strip conversations.
    • Assisting students to “tone down” behaviours that may cause them to be picked on, without affecting “who they are”.
  • 12.
    • Clip One:
    • Clip Two:
    • Clip Three:
    • What attributes does Reuben have that may make him prone to bullying?
    • What are some strengths of Reuben that could be socially valued?
    • Are there any other points of interest that you found in this clip?
  • 13. Questions and Answers