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Helping Your Child with Special Needs Deal with Teasing and Bullying


Children with disabilities can be at a greater risk of being teased or bullied. These tips can help you and your child deal with it in a healthier way if it does occur:

  • Talk with your child about bullying and harassment. Make sure your child understands that he or she must avoid confrontations - no matter how hard it is to walk away. Sometimes role playing can help your child figure out the best response to specific situations.
  • If your child agrees, talk with your child's class. Ask the teacher if you might have the opportunity to tell the class about your child and answer any questions the students might have.
  • Give your child the information he or she needs to respond to questions about his or her disability.
  • Help your child develop friendships with children from class or school.
  • Give your child tools to help deal with teasing. Help your child learn to ignore it or to tell the teaser to stop. If that doesn't help, your child should tell his or her teacher.
  • Let your child know that it is OK to tell an adult when he or she is being teased or harassed.
  • Talk with your child's teacher and/or the school psychologist or social worker. Sometimes children with disabilities are not included in activities because it is assumed they cannot participate. Make sure the teacher, school psychologist, or social worker understands what your child can and cannot do so they can encourage your child to participate when appropriate.

If you believe that discrimination at your child's school has occurred, it is important for you to take action. Do not assume that it will stop if it is ignored, or that you'll "only make it worse" if you speak up.


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