OBJECTIVES To produce nationally representative estimates for rates of bullying involvement among adolescents with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), to compare population estimates with adolescents who have other developmental disabilities, and to identify social ecological correlates of bullying involvement. DESIGN Nationally representative surveys from 2001. SETTING United States. PARTICIPANTS Parents of adolescents with an ASD, principals of the schools they attended, and staff members most familiar with their school programs. MAIN EXPOSURE Autism spectrum disorders. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Parent report of victimization, perpetration, and victimization/perpetration within the past school year. RESULTS The prevalence rates of bullying involvement for adolescents with an ASD were 46.3% for victimization, 14.8% for perpetration, and 8.9% for victimization/perpetration. Victimization was related to having a non-Hispanic ethnicity, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, lower social skills, some form of conversational ability, and more classes in general education. Correlates of perpetration included being white, having attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and getting together with friends at least once a week. Victimization/perpetration was associated with being white non-Hispanic, having attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and getting together with friends at least once a week. CONCLUSIONS School-based bullying interventions need to target the core deficits of ASD (conversational ability and social skills) and comorbid conditions (eg, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder). Future bullying interventions also need to address the higher rates of victimization that occur in general education settings by increasing social integration into protective peer groups and increasing the empathy and social skills of typically developing students toward their peers with an ASD.
"What could be the impact of this atypicality on social interaction of individuals with ASD? Social vulnerability of individuals with ASD has been repeatedly reported: they are often victims of bullying and victimization (Cappadocia et al. 2012). Difficulty in judging their potential social partners might contribute to making them more vulnerable to abusers (Sofronoff et al. 2011; Sterzing et al. 2012). Indeed, they have difficulty in judging the appropriateness of social behavior (Baron-Cohen et al. 1999; Zalla et al. 2009). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evaluation of faces is an important dimension of social relationships. A degraded sensitivity to facial perceptual cues might contribute to atypical social interactions in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The current study investigated whether face based social judgment is atypical in ASD and if so, whether it could be related to a degraded sensitivity to facial perceptual cues. Individuals with ASD (n = 33) and IQ- and age-matched controls (n = 38) were enrolled in this study. Watching a series of photographic or synthetic faces, they had to judge them for "kindness". In synthetic stimuli, the amount of perceptual cues available could be either large or small. We observed that social judgment was atypical in the ASD group on photographic stimuli, but, contrarily to the prediction based on the degraded sensitivity hypothesis, analyses on synthetic stimuli found a similar performance and a similar effect of the amount of perceptual cues in both groups. Further studies on perceptual differences between photographs and synthetic pictures of faces might help understand atypical social judgment in ASD.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 08/2014; DOI:10.1007/s10803-014-2208-5 · 3.34 Impact Factor
"This lack of perception may cause some students with ASD not to report bullying to teachers or school officials. Furthermore, communication skill deficits could limit the verbal ability of students with ASD to report bullying incidents (Sterzing et al., 2012). Interventions targeted for students with ASD should incorporate content to target these areas. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bullying or any aggressive behavior of a more powerful person or group toward a less powerful person is a widespread problem in the U.S. educational system. While bullying is a significant problem for all students, students with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have a particularly high incidence rate of becoming victims of bullying. The social and communication deficits characteristic of students with ASD provide significant challenges in teaching and preparing these students for bullying situations. Cooperative work between teachers and parents, analyzing an individual student’s needs, educating the student about bullying, teaching how to cope with and reporting it in both controlled settings and natural environments, and developing a monitoring system are key components of preventing the students with ASD from being bullied. An illustrative example and practical suggestions and approaches are provided.
Intervention in School and Clinic 01/2014; 50(3). DOI:10.1177/1053451214542047 · 0.40 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous research has shown that children with autism often have deficits in deception, both in the ability to lie to others and in the ability to detect when they are being lied to. Additionally, children with autism are frequently the victims of bullying and difficulty with understanding deception likely makes the population more vulnerable to bullying. The purpose of this study was to teach individuals with autism to identify when others were lying to them, specifically to exclude them or to take their possessions. The treatment package consisted of multiple exemplar training, including rules, modeling, role-play, and immediate feedback. The results indicated that the procedure was effective for all three participants. Additionally, generalization was demonstrated to novel, untrained lies and to same-age peer confederates who were not involved in training.
Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders 04/2013; 7(4):503–508. DOI:10.1016/j.rasd.2012.12.001 · 2.96 Impact Factor
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