Bullying. We all know someone who has been bullied, been the victim of a bully ourselves or know of a bully. This week marks Bullying Prevention week in Ontario where schools (staff and students alike) are encouraged to learn about the effects of bullying.
The stress and anxiety caused by bullying can have profound effects on a student’s ability to learn, retain information and concentrate. Being bullied can be painful and embarrassing, the hurt causing physical and emotional pain and sometimes, leading a student to withdraw from family, friends and activities. To gain some insight into bullying, what it is defined as and how we can all recognize and help, take a moment to review the tips on the Bullying Canada website: https://www.bullyingcanada.ca/get-help/
For students with learning disabilities, a wider discussion needs to be had, specifically how to recognize, respond and report it. There is some helpful advice in the article “Part 1: The Bullying of Kids and Teens with Disabilities”: https://disabilitycreditcanada.com/bullying-kids-teens-with-disabilities/
Whether it is bullying that takes place online or in person, the effects can be serious. ‘Students who experience bullying are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, lower academic achievement, and dropping out of school’. (Centers for Disease Control, 2019)
‘Students with specific learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, emotional and behavior disorders, other health impairments, and speech or language impairments report greater rates of victimization than their peers without disabilities longitudinally and their victimization remains consistent over time.’(Rose & Gage, 2016)
It is important that kids know there is help out there and how to deal with bullies. Having this information will allow them to gain the confidence they will need: https://www.parents.com/kids/problems/bullying/bully-proof-your-child-how-to-deal-with-bullies/
If you need help or support around bullying, please don’t hesitate to call Bullying Canada at (877) 352-4497.