Y.A.L.E. School News

OPINION: Autism, Asperger’s and Bullying

By Karen Huber

Karen HuberAt The Y.A.L.E School, intake interviews often begin by asking students and parents why they are leaving their public school. Quite often, the answer is a sad and sometimes horrific story of bullying and social isolation in mainstream classes.

There is evidence to support this: a new study in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine shows that 46 percent of kids with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are bullied. Sadly, this comes as no surprise to those of us who parent, teach and counsel these unique, wonderful kids.

Many people seem to believe that high-functioning students with ASD alienate and isolate themselves intentionally, inciting their own bullying. Nothing could be further from the truth. These children and teens desperately want relationships and friends, but miss and misunderstand social norms necessary for this to happen.

In efforts to address bullying, New Jersey schools have done an excellent job dispelling myths about racial and ethnic minorities, physical differences and sexual orientation. When our society acknowledges that even high-functioning, verbally adept students with ASDs do not choose to socially misbehave, we will be one step closer to implementing comprehensive anti-bullying programs, and addressing the unnecessary suffering of these marvelous students.

Karen Huber is the Admissions and Clinical Coordinator at The Y.A.L.E. School Cherry Hill Campus. Learn more about Admissions and view our Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying statement.

One thought on “OPINION: Autism, Asperger’s and Bullying

  1. Great Article! Thank you for sharing this. My son has exerienced bullying when he was mainstreamed in public school. I identify.

    Thank you,

Leave a reply to this