Navigation Links
Almost Half of U.S. Kids With Autism Have Been Bullied

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly half of U.S. children with an autism spectrum disorder are victims of bullying, a new study finds.

"The rate of bullying victimization among adolescents with an autism spectrum disorder is alarmingly high, indicating a profound public health problem in the United States," said lead researcher Paul Sterzing, an assistant professor at the School of Social Welfare of the University of California, Berkeley.

Bullying among children and adolescents is common, and it's often the most vulnerable children who become targets, the researchers added.

Sterzing's team found that about 46 percent of teens with an autism spectrum disorder had been bullied -- a much higher rate than the national average of less than 11 percent for other teens.

One expert wasn't surprised by the finding.

"This study confirms what we know," said Dr. Jeffrey Brosco, professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Miami and associate director of the school's Mailman Center for Child Development. "It's clear that kids with disabilities are much more likely to be victims of bullying," he said. "We need to figure out better ways to prevent this -- for all children."

For the study, Sterzing's team used information from 920 parents of adolescents with an autism spectrum disorder. Data came from a long-term national U.S. study of adolescents receiving special education services in grades 7 through 12 in December 2000. It also included 13- to 16-year olds in ungraded programs.

The bullies among these teens (15 percent) and those who had histories of being both both bully and victim (9 percent) were about the same as the national average for non-autistic children, the researchers noted.

Some of the most common factors of the victims of bullying included having attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), poor social skills and taking more general education classes, the team found.

"Bullying victimization may increase as their child spends more time in a general education classroom," Sterzing said. He believes that parents should "discuss with teachers and school staff what measures will be taken to ensure the successful inclusion of their child in the classroom setting and subsequent peer groups."

Also, anti-bullying interventions need to be tailored to meet the needs of this population, Sterzing said.

"Schools are aware of it but there aren't many good ways to deal with it," Brosco added. "We don't really know how to prevent bullying. We are still at the stage of 'it's a bad thing we really have to do something about it.'"

Another expert agreed that too much bullying goes unreported.

"When kids have special vulnerabilities, rather than being protected, often times they're preyed upon," added Dr. Victor Fornari, director of the division of child/adolescent psychiatry at North Shore-LIJ Health System in New Hyde Park, N.Y. "Autistic kids are victimized more than typical kids."

"They are vulnerable because they are stigmatized and picked on more regularly. So parents need to be on the lookout," he said.

Parents also have to be aware that their child can be both a victim and a bully, Fornari said. "Often parents aren't aware of the negative behaviors their kids are involved with, because they can't imagine it," he said.

Schools can also help by educating teachers and with programs to prevent bullying, by having "a zero tolerance for bullying," he added.

"There is no magic answer," Fornari said. "But everyone needs to be mindful that bullying is a prevalent problem -- much more prevalent than we realize."

More information

Visit the Colorado Trust to learn more about bullying prevention.

SOURCES: Jeffrey P. Brosco, M.D., Ph.D., professor of clinical pediatrics, University of Miami, and associate director, Mailman Center for Child Development; Paul Sterzing, Ph.D., assistant professor, School of Social Welfare, University of California-Berkeley; Victor Fornari, M.D., director, division of child/adolescent psychiatry, North Shore-LIJ Health System, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; Sept. 3, 2012, Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, online

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Egg Yolks Almost as Bad for Arteries as Smoking: Study
2. An Early Start for Your Child with Autism
3. IntegraGen launches ARISk test, a genetic screening tool for autism in high-risk children
4. Researchers Find Gene Mutations That May Be a Key to Autism
5. Pregnancy Length May Influence Severity of Autism
6. Children Born to Obese Moms May Face Higher Autism Risk: Study
7. Online Tool Could Diagnose Autism Quickly, Developers Say
8. Autism by the numbers: Yale researchers examine impact of new diagnostic criteria
9. In Mice, Drug Reverses Symptoms of Condition Linked to Autism
10. Study of half siblings provides genetic clues to autism
11. Genes Associated With Autism Also Related to Schizophrenia
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Almost Half of U.S. Kids With Autism Have Been Bullied
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... Beard and Brooke Bennett are collaborating with brands across various categories through traditional ... influential figures make up an elite group of Gold Medal Moms who can ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... The National ... 2015-2016 inductee into its VIP Woman of the Year Circle. She is recognized ... networking organization exclusively for professional women, boasting 850,000 members and over 200 operating ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 30, 2015 , ... During the National Family Caregivers Month, ... two webinars on topics of ‘Medical and Palliative Care Decisions,’ and ‘Self-Care for ... . , With a loved one's diagnosis of mesothelioma, the closest family member ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... MOSI recently added two state-of-the-art augmented reality ... to the Jurassic to their collection of interactive exhibits within the Kids In Charge! ... will allow guests to get closer than ever to a range of animals as ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... across the United States to access life-saving information provided directly from top ... will consist of three individual conferences in three major cities: Houston, San Francisco, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... 2015  Kevin Smith has been appointed Chief ... pioneer in wireless monitoring of vital signs.  As ... , Mr. Smith will be responsible for the ... He will also directly oversee partnering with US ... for SensiumVitals, the first early warning detection device ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... LAKE, N.J. and SAN DIEGO ... and Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA ) today ... has accepted for filing the New Drug Application (NDA) ... the extended release formulation will offer patients a chronic ... ® ) is currently approved as an ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... iCAD, Inc. (Nasdaq: ICAD ) ... solutions for advanced image analysis and workflow tools ... Radiological Society of North American (RSNA) 2015 Annual ... November 29 to December 4, 2015. The company ... automated breast density assessment solution, PowerLook® Advanced Mammography ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: