Three quarters of autistic pupils say they have been victims of bullying

By Neil Puffett

| 21 May 2012

The majority of children with autism have been bullied in school and more than 20 per cent say they have no friends, a study has found.

The National Autistic Society wants more support for autistic children. Image: Jim Varney/posed by models

The National Autistic Society (NAS), which carried out the survey, said it revealed a “troubling picture of isolation” that many children and young people living with autism face.

Of the 2,938 people with autism who completed the survey, 1,380 were 17 or under.

Sixty three per cent of all respondents said they have been bullied in school. Of those taking part who were secondary school age, the proportion increased to 75 per cent.

Meanwhile 82 per cent of children with high functioning autism or Asperger syndrome said they have been bullied in school and more than half of children responding said they wanted to have more friends than they do. 

A total of 78 per cent of young people with autism said they felt that people outside their family don’t know enough about autism and one in ten said that their friends are mainly adults. 

Mark Lever, chief executive of the NAS, said: “We want to see a school system that supports young people with autism both academically and emotionally.

“Reforms to the education system must ensure that children with autism have the support they need to thrive, enjoy school life and access the same opportunities as other children. 

“Two out of three children told us they have been bullied, which is unacceptable. A child with autism might be less able to articulate their pain and fear, so we must work hard to ensure no child suffers alone.”

The full report will be available online on the NAS website at the end of the month.


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