“Research conducted by the University of Warwick suggests that children and young people with disabilities are more likely to be bullied at school compared to those students with no known disabilities.”
According to the Anna Freud Centre, bullying can happen for a number of reasons, but if a child is different in some way they can be more at risk. Bullying can be harmful and affect children’s mental health in a number of ways including; depression, anxiety, angry outbursts. Bullying can have long-lasting effects on children’s academic performance.
During Anti-bullying week it is right to pause and think…
How can we address this problem?
· Raise awareness and fly the neurodiversity flag.
· Ask a pupil what does it mean to have a physical disability/learning difference?
· Audit the school’s position on raising awareness of difference and review anti-bullying policies
· Seek to evaluate how love, kindness, mutual respect and tolerance are embedded into the wider life of the school.
· Teach your children about differences
· Celebrate unique strengths and talents
· Discuss things they and others find tricky and why that might be
· Check in- on a scale of 1-10 how was your day?
· Use wonder statements; I wonder if your day was difficult today?
· Use how questions; how can I support you with this?
· Promote kindness and tolerance by modelling kindness to your children and value the quote “Do right. do your best. Treat others as you want to be treated (Lou Holtz)
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