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Teaching Children Social Skills and Emotion Management can Help Prevent Bullying

School age children can be cruel sometimes. Their behavior is not always intentional…..but unfortunately, sometimes it is. Bullying, defined by  “is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.”

There are different types of bullying that can include, verbal, social (including cyber) and physical. Cyber bullying has become more popular in the last several years as social media proliferates our lives and children/youth are joining groups such as Facebook, Twitter and texting on phones. Parents need to be involved in monitoring their children’s social media pages and restrict privacy levels on them.  Be sure to listen to your child and let them know they can talk to you about anything.

Some children, especially those with Aspergers or other Autistic Spectrum disorders, lack social skills and are often the victims of bullying, according to Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management, by Mark Hutten, M.A.

1.   Aspergers children take things very literally.  This may mean that it becomes difficult for
them to follow a lot of what their peers are talking about.

2.   Neurotypical peers may get the Aspergers child into trouble because, while often bright in
some subjects, he/she is gullible when it comes to social behavior.

3.   Some children and teens with Aspergers learn that they have to ask a question to start a
conversation, but then, instead of listening to the answer, they ask question after question, in
effect drilling their peers and making them feel uncomfortable.

4.   Their difficulties reading social cues cause them to irritate peers. Difficulties in reading
social cues range from (a) trouble understanding the zones of personal space, causing them to
stand too close to others, to (b) a lack of basic conversation skills.

5.   They have passions, certain things that they focus on, but they may have a hard time talking
about anything else, which is often annoying to peers.

6.   They may not understand social banter, and so they become easy targets for bullying.

All children, and especially children on the spectrum, can benefit from a Social Skills class.  Some social skills don’t come naturally to children and they need to be taught.  Learning these skills can help boost your child’s self esteem and help improve their social behavior and prevent bullying.  Brock’s Academy will be offering a Social Skills class this summer.  For more information click here:

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