Don’t be a Bully

In a world full of horses, don’t be afraid to be a unicorn

According to, around 49% of kids grade 4-12 admit to having experienced bullying at school at least once in the month preceding the survey.1 Bullying can happen to anyone, although youth with special needs are at increased risk for bullying.1 This could be because the child is perceived as different because s/he potentially cannot participate in the same physical activities as others, may have difficulty with self-regulation, may find it hard to communicate, and/or may present with behavior that makes him/her stand out from typically developing peers.

Recognizing the signs and taking action:

  • Only 20-30% of kids report bullying to an adult1
  • Bullying isn’t always physical. The most common types of bullying are verbal and social1
  • Lack of peer support can lead to increased instances of bullying- ask your child about his/her friends, who s/he interacted with that day at school, and encourage friendships outside of the classroom1
  • “If you see something, say something”: Encourage your kids to stand up for others. Studies show that “when bystanders intervene, bullying stops within 10 seconds 57% of the time”1
  • Educate the teacher and classroom on your child’s disability. Have the child explain as much as s/he can and allow kids the opportunity to ask questions with you present
  • Some children may not recognize that they are being bullied. Encourage open communication with your little one by asking questions about his/her day. You could start with, “Tell me about lunch today? Who did you sit with?”, or “What is it like to ride the school bus?”2
  • Point out the positive things about your child regularly and help him/her to self-identify the good: you could ask questions like, “What do you like most about yourself?” or “Tell me 2 things you think you are really good at”. Remind your kids that it’s okay to be different!2
  • Have tough conversations with your kids before they become tough situations. Discuss the difference between good friends and bad friends. Have your child help you make a list of positive and negative qualities in a friend so s/he can make good choices in peer relationships
  • Encourage your kiddo to participate in special activities or have hobbies outside of school. This can help boost the child’s confidence and lead to friendships2
  • Be a good role model: treat others with kindness and respect. Your kids learn from how they see you interact with others2
  • Encourage your kids to talk to you about their interactions with their peers. If a child is being verbally bullied, recognize that they may be embarrassed to tell you exactly what was said3
  • Be consistent with attending therapy appointments and following through with homework. We are here to help your kids succeed! We recognize the little things that may make their day tough, and we strive to provide them with techniques to help them achieve their goals and promote positive peer interactions

For more information on bullying, prevention, and additional resources, please visit:




Information retrieved from:

  1. Facts About Bullying. (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2019, from
  2. How To Prevent Bullying (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2019, from
  3. Warning Signs For Bullying (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2019, from
  4. Images retrieved from Bing Images
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