Wednesday, July 7, 2010
According to keynote remarks by Kevin Jennings, director of Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, at the CSEE Institute yesterday, kids with Asperger's Syndrome are six times more likely to be bullied in school. If you're a parent of a child with Asperger's, this is no surprise.
There is absolutely no reason to let this happen. Every administrator and every teacher should be trained in what to do to protect kids with disabilities. There are many programs out there. One simple step overlooked by many schools is a bullying prevention plan for lower grades so that as they progress in school it's the expectation that every child will be respected.
What about the lessons we're teaching at home? Are kids getting the message at home to be good to everyone, including and especially, kids with disabilities? Parents of children with Asperger's need support. When parents don't talk to their kids about how to treat others, we are the bystander who lets bullying happen. We are all somewhat responsible.
And if we do, what a beautiful and opposite result. We can also be responsible for providing joy in a child's life and peace for their parent.