Reviewing Research on Bullying Among Students with Autistic Spectrum Disorders in Mainstream Schools

Reviewing Research on Bullying Among Students with Autistic Spectrum Disorders in Mainstream Schools

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Perceptions of social support and experience of bullying among pupils with autistic spectrum (ASD) disorders in mainstream schools

Conceptual Framework
The purpose of the study is to examine the level of social support received and the frequency of bullying experienced by adolescents with ASD. The author has defined bullying as ‘the systematic abuse of power’ (Smith 2004, 98) which can be seen as a key indicator of social exclusion in school. Children and young people with ASD may be particularly at a ‘risk’ of bullying because of their impaired social skills. Furthermore, pupils with ASD often act different whether being ‘odd’ or ‘strange; by their peers, making them easy targets for bullies (Humphrey and Lewis 2008)
The researchers main assumption was that the children may not report the bullying as their social cognition problems can lead them to assume that others are already aware of what has happened or simply because they do not fully understand that they are being bullied with more subtle forms of bullying and secondly, pupils with ASD may lack the necessary resilience to help them overcome the problems associated with being bullied, and the thought of the school itself can become distressing (Tantam 2000).
The paper focuses on the current study which was to examine the levels of social support received and the frequency of bullying experienced by adolescents with ASD, pupils with dyslexia (DYS group) and a control group of pupils without any SEN (CON group). The aim was to examine the contribution of social support from parents, classmates, teachers and friends to the frequency of bulling experienced.

Children and young people with ASD experience difficulties in co...

... middle of paper ...

...aged social relationships, thus making the pupils more isolated, which increases their risk of bullying. It has also be shown that the area’s in which pupils with ASD receive least support may also be the most important in preventing bullying.
Pupils with ASD reported lower levels of social support from classmates and friends than the other groups were expected given their more limited social networks, and the fact that they spend less time interacting with their peers than children without SEN. However, the lower level of social support from parents reported by pupils with ASD was surprising. Many parents of pupils with ASD will be reflected by positive responses on the SSSC. In conclusion if effective inclusion is to be an attainable goal for mainstream schools, then consideration needs to be given to the distinct needs of particular groups of learners.

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