Bullying has become an increasing issue in our schools, and children with Autism may be susceptible to bullying for several reasons. Our therapists at Acuity Behavior Solutions have compiled a list of 5 ways that our services can help prevent bullying. Applied Behavior Analysis can help reduce or prevent bullying by:
1. Teaching Communication Skills
Children with Autism who can more clearly communicate their needs are more likely to be able to communicate when things aren’t going well at school. If a child at school is hurting others or treating others poorly, it’s important to teach children with Autism how to use their words and tell an adult.
2. Teaching Emotional Management
Children with Autism who can manage their emotions better are able to stay calm. They also remember to contact an adult to help with any problems they have with peers. Sometimes, when children are emotional and unable to remain calm, it’s harder to find an adult and ask for help.
3. Teaching of Social Skills
Children with Autism who have better social skills can more easily navigate the social world. They also can better determine when they are being picked on versus when friends are engaging in appropriate, fun teasing.
4. Teaching Non-Verbal Communication Skills
When children with Autism are able to see the potential for danger and bullying in the non-verbal cues of others, they can better avoid problems and issues with bullies at school.
5. Teaching Perspective Taking
Sometimes, people with social difficulties can accidentally bully others without knowing it. Teaching people with Autism to take the perspective of others can help them to identify if they are accidentally hurting others’ feelings.
It is important to talk to children about bullying, but it is equally important to talk to them about how it’s not their fault when someone bullies them. Each person with autism has their own needs and their own deficits. Therefore, an ABA program must be tailored to the child and their needs. Contact Acuity Behavior Solutions at 714-696-2862 for more information about starting ABA services.