50% of Children with Special Needs Are Bullied at School. Let’s Stop This!
Childhood bullying is every parent’s worst nightmare, and yet for many children worldwide it’s a daily reality. Some estimates suggest that nearly half of all school-going children will experience bullying at some point. What makes this even more frightening is that children with special needs are often more likely to be bullied than their peers.
For special children, the consequences and damage this can cause may be long lasting and often further impairs an already withdrawn child’s social skills. But the severity of this situation only becomes clear when you consider a survey we conducted in 2015.
The survey, which targeted parents of children with special needs, sheds a light on just how dire the situation is. The 218 survey respondents also draw our attention to the fact that measures need to be put in place to keep children with special needs safe. Ideally parents should collaborate with schools to ensure effective anti-bullying policies are implemented. But is that enough?
How serious is the bullying of children with special needs?
The survey found that half of the parents surveyed have a special needs child who had been bullied during school hours. And of those parents, 94% admitted that there had been multiple incidents of bullying. Not only was the bullying extensive, but it seems from the survey that nowhere in school is it safe for a child with special needs.
According to the survey, 64% of parents said their children were bullied on school grounds, 50% said bullying was confined to classrooms while another 50% said their children were bullied on the school bus. Children also experienced different types of bullying from physical bullying (12%) to verbal bullying (50%) to a combination of both (38%). This paints a terrifying picture and is a wakeup call to parents and caretakers alike.
When you consider that only 17.7% of those surveyed said they were confident their child had not been bullied, you can understand why parents are so concerned about bullying. Not surprisingly, the survey found that 80% of parents worry their special child will be bullied while on their way to school or during school hours.
How can we keep our children safe?
Even if you know your child is being bullied, it isn’t always that simple to put a stop to it. Some of the parents surveyed (74.8%) said that they talked to their child’s teacher, and in most cases this helped. But this isn’t always effective.
Dialogue with teachers and raising awareness is important, but it only goes so far. Parents need to be proactive in their fight to keep their special children safe. And AngelSense can help with that, as our unique GPS and voice-monitoring solution was specifically designed to help parents keep their special child safe throughout the day and gain peace of mind in return.
With AngelSense, parents see where their child is in real-time and get immediate alerts if their child may be in danger. Our customized communication features allow parents to listen and even talk to their child at any time, and therefore help their child whenever they need them most.
Listen-in Feature – This feature lets you hear what’s happening around your child at anytime. If your child is in danger, you’ll be able to hear and respond immediately. Having the ability to listen-in whenever you want will give you and your child tremendous peace of mind. Thanks to this feature many parents have been able to save their children from bullying.
Another mom was able to prevent her 15-year-old daughter with Asperger’s Syndrome from being assaulted by using the listen-in feature. While on a walk around the block after school, the young teenager was lured into a stranger’s car. AngelSense alerted the mother who was then able to see in real-time where her daughter was. She also used the listen-in feature to hear what was happening to her daughter. When the attacker realized the young girl was wearing a tracking device, he told her to get out of the car. “I am convinced her AngelSense device saved her life,” the mother said. Read the full story.
AngelCall – This feature lets you communicate with your child without them needing to click anything or answer. Using AngelCall you can be there for your child should anything happen and talk them through it. This can help keep your child calm, and also makes it easy to scare suspicious strangers away from your child. Learn more.
Special needs parents react
“Parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are in constant worry about their child’s safety. On the way to school, during school hours and on the way home, children with ASD are unfortunately targets for bullies, mostly because of their different social skills and because the bullies know they won’t be able to report them”, said Natasha Cornin, mother of a 7-year-old boy with low verbal Autism Spectrum Disorder, an AngelSense user and an AngelSense customer support representative.
Cornin added: “We want to create a community where parents can voice their concerns about the safety of their children, and where parents together with schools will make an effort to reduce this epidemic.”
What are you and your child’s school doing to prevent the bullying of children with special needs? Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.
AngelSense is committed to creating a safer world for children with special needs. We designed the AngelSense GPS tracking solution to give parents the peace of mind that their child is safe at all times.