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A National Survey on Bullying and Autism Spectrum Disorders

Researchers are collecting data on bullying and ASD.

On October 18, the Interactive Autism Network (IAN Project) launched a national survey to study the impact of bullying on children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Bullying, a pervasive problem among youth, has attracted the national spotlight in recent months because of the lasting, and sometimes tragic, effects on children and teenagers across the country. Children with ASD are believed to be especially vulnerable

From this new survey, researchers hope to answer such questions as

  • How does bullying affect children with ASD?
  • Compared to typically developing children, how frequently are children with ASD bullied?
  • How often do bullies purposely trigger an affected child's "meltdown"?
  • What, if any, anti-bullying strategies are in place in schools, and do they make a difference for children with ASD?

"We hear so often from parents that children with ASD are easily targeted by bullies," said Dr. Paul Law, Director of the IAN Project at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. "We want to hear from thousands of parents of children with ASD so that we can help policymakers and educators understand the extent of this problem and give the autism community a voice in our national conversation on bullying."

Families of children with ASD, ages 6 through 15, are encouraged to take part in the "Bullying and School Experiences of Children with ASD Survey" whether or not their child has been bullied so that researchers can assess a wide range of experiences, make comparisons, and evaluate risk factors. Survey participants must have a child with ASD and be enrolled in the IAN Research project. To enroll, visit

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