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Wednesday, 5 December 2012

School bullies on autism children

Research published in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine shows that children with autism spectrum disorders, who typically have difficulty in communicating and forming relationships, are far more likely to be bullied than their non-autistic peers.

 “I would call it a profound public health problem,” said Paul R. Sterzing, lead author of the new study and an assistant professor at the school of social welfare at the University of California, Berkeley. “The rate of bullying and victimization among these adolescents is alarmingly high.”

The children at greatest risk, it turns out, appear to be those who also hold the most promise for leading an independent life. The researchers found that the risk of being bullied was greatest for high-functioning children who end up not in special education programs, but in mainstream classes, where their quirks and unusual mannerisms stand out and they are more exposed to bullies.

Many parents of children with autism already are well aware that their children are taunted and tormented at school, but the new study suggests the problem is pervasive. Dr. Sterzing’s data, collected from a nationally representative sample of 920 middle- and high-school students with an autism disorder, shows that 46 percent have been bullied.  By comparison, in the general adolescent population, an estimated 10.6 percent of children have been bullied.

The findings are based on data collected in 2001 from a larger 10-year study of more than 11,000 special education students. Parents of autistic children and school administrators were asked to report on instances of bullying that occurred in the previous year.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Carly's autism girl express her feelings by computer

Carly Fleischmann has severe autism and is unable to speak a word. But thanks to years of expensive and intensive therapy, this 13-year-old has made a remarkable breakthrough. Two years ago, working with pictures and symbols on a computer keyboard, she started typing and spelling out words. The computer became her voice.