Saturday, May 22, 2010

Clinic Notes: Bullies and Asperger's

I always worry about the Asperger's kids that I see who are mainstreamed. In the early grades other children are kind to them, but is middle school and high school the bulling starts, especially in schools where there is poor supervision. A recent article on a program in Toronto caught my attention. The program takes a novel approach, deprogramming bullies by Teaching Kindness 101. The school was concerned after the suicide of a15 year old in Massachusetts that was caused by bullying. After reviewing all of the anti-bullying the school found that the programs that worked the best taught positive behaviors such as kindness and empathy. The program starts in the early grades and includes bringing a mother and baby into the classroom to help children understand empathy and the perspective of others. If the baby cries the teacher helps the children understand the reason and what could be done to help the baby. Google Roots of Empathy (ROE) for more information and see if you can get an anti-bullying program started in your school.

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