Children with disabilities - including autism - 'struggle to protect themselves from bullying'|
LONDON, UK: Children with disabilities - including autism - struggle to protect themselves from bullying because they lack confidence and friends, a British study suggests.
The study, carried out by the children's commissioner for England, also found that many victims were left feeling suicidal.
The paper, to be published on November 20, will highlight cases where disabled youngsters have been bullied. It will also include recommendations on how to deal with bullying.
Researchers examined the experiences of children with disabilities, visible illness and learning difficulties and found alarming examples of bullying.
The report will highlight the case of a young girl who had the wheels of her wheelchair removed by classmates and the case of a boy with mild autism who was thrown repeatedly against the walls of the school corridor.
The commissioner, Professor Al Aynsley-Green, will also publish proposals for improving the handling of bullying incidents in schools.
Shortly after his appointment last year, he said almost every child was affected by bullying and was growing up in a society that sees violence as "the norm."
He argued that, despite good work in schools, there was still denial about the "existence, severity and effect" of bullying.
(Source: BBC News Online, November 18, 2006)