Thursday, August 15, 2013

Facts about Bullying

Bullying has many faces and consequences and it’s difficult to define it. However, if you wanted a basic definition, this one developed by a well-known bullying expert is helpful: “Bullying is when someone repeatedly and on purpose says or does mean or hurtful things to another person who has a hard time defending himself or herself and is repeated over time.” Here are few interesting points about bullying:

•  While we may be familiar of how commonplace bullying is in our in our schools and playgrounds, bullying is also now being found in social media websites such as Face book, Twitter and in texting.  This is known as cyber bullying (or online bullying) and uses the Internet, computers, smart phones and I Pads to cause harm. Cyber bullying can be especially difficult on individuals with special needs because many of them use the Internet as a major form of communication and interaction with others and where they can feel just like their friends, unless someone decides to bully them;

• Children who are bullied are more likely than their peers to suffer from anxiety, depression, loneliness, and post-traumatic stress, and they are at heightened risk of suicide;

• Children who bully are more likely than others to experience peer rejection, anxiety disorders and academic difficulties;

• Children who both bully and are targets of bullies (known as “bully/victims”) who, unable to control their anger and frustration at being bullied, turn to bullying others and tend to have all of the problems of the bully and the victim plus are at greater risk for psychiatric disorders and criminal offenses in young adulthood.

Although anyone could be bullied, the targets are often children who are perceived as being different or vulnerable in some way, including kids who are sick or have special needs. It is clear that children with disabilities are especially vulnerable to bullying. This is shown by numerous studies, including one that found that up to 94 percent of students with disabilities report experiencing some form of bullying. Bullying has increased for students with disabilities as more are included in classes with non-disabled students. For instance, students with disabilities may demonstrate a lack of social awareness that makes them vulnerable to bullying.

The Metropolitan Parent Center of Sinergia will be addressing these and other issues at our annual anti-bullying event that will take place on Wednesday October 2, 2013 from 10AM-1PM. October is also National Bullying Prevention month so please check our website for further details about this event.

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