Children and Young people with ASD can be more at risk of being bullied compared to their peers due to the following reasons:

  • Young people with ASD are more likely to provide a significant reaction to bullying (can be immediate or after excessive targeting). This can be reinforcement and entertainment for bullies.
  • Some are easily manipulated by their peers and may not even be aware they are being bullied e.g. by being asked to say inappropriate statements by others.
  • Some young people with ASD can tolerate higher levels of ill-treatment from others in exchange for perceived friendship or inclusion in groups.
  • Some young people with ASD may not have the social skills and support networks to counter bullies, thus becoming targets.
  • They may be unaware of the need to ask for assistance; they may think teachers know about all incidents (without them being told) and are thus choosing not to intervene.

The National Autistic Society provides some clear and helpful guidance on how to spot and manage bullying.

You can also access further information and support from Bullying UK