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How Does Bullying Affect Children with Developmental Disabilities?

Bullying is commonly defined as aggressive behavior and/or words between two or more people, often unprovoked or unwanted in its nature.
When an individual is picking on another child or children, they are considered the bully in the situation. When a child is the victim of bullying, he or she has become the target for other children to pick on them or make fun of them. Bullying can range from physical, verbal or social. The different types of bullying are as follows:

  • Verbal bullying is when the bully says mean, hurtful or degrading things to their victims. This can range from name calling to threats being made against their well-being.
  • Physical bullying is when the bully physically injures their victim and hurts them, often causing bodily harm. This type of bullying ranges from hitting, scratching and punching to breaking someone’s possessions such as their eyeglasses.
  • Social bullying happens when the bully’s sole intention is to harm their victim’s social life and cause them embarrassment in a public or social setting, excluding them or making rude comments in front of a larger group of people with the sole intent to cause harm.

Bullying can take on several different forms, but often happens in the school yard or in a school environment, as that is the time where the bully is around their victim the longest. It has been stated that a bully will find their victim in the schoolyard, but the bullying may start to happen outside of school such as on the Internet or during after school activities.

Why are Children with Disabilities Targeted?

When children with disabilities are put into a school environment, they are more likely to be picked on and victims of bullying due to the differences they have from the other children. For children with disabilities, they may not have been fully aware of the extent of their differences until they were exposed to different types of children in the school yard, leaving them vulnerable and shocked that they stand out from among the rest. For example, for a child with a mild form of Autism, he or she may enjoy sitting and reading books rather than playing at recess. For them, this may have never caused an issue in the past, but in their new environment of a school yard, they suddenly stand out like a sore thumb.

Children with disabilities are put at a higher risk for bullying because they are different from their peers. When children are faced with people of a different race, origin or even different personalities, they may not know how to respond. In the eyes of the bully, an individual with disabilities is ‘weird’ and is not fitting in with the other children in the classroom. This causes them to pick on the child with disabilities because he or she is different from the others.

How to Detect Bullying in Children

Unfortunately, bullying is incredibly common in the modern day school environments, as reports have stated roughly 20% of students from ages 12-18 has experienced bullying and roughly 19% of students in high school has experienced bullying on school property in the past calendar year (12 months). Although that is a staggering and sobering statistic, that does not mean that it has to be a widely accepted part of school yard culture. Children and their parents alike should never turn a blind eye from the problem, as it is best faced head on and early in the issue. Knowing the signs of a bullied child can allow a child’s support system to offer them care and support when dealing with bullies.

There are several different signs that can point to a child being bullied, most of which are easily detected by their loved ones and especially their parents. Depending on the type of bullying the individual is facing, they may be exerting different signs that they are falling victim to a bully at school or in their neighborhood. These warning signs of bullying not only can trigger their loved ones to take action, but it is important to recognize that they impact the child’s daily life as they are dealing with the issue of bullying. Common warning signs of a child being bullied includes:

  • Trouble sleeping or bad dreams through out the nighttime.
  • Grades slipping or bad reports coming home from the teachers in their school.
  • Unexplained or mysterious injuries such as cuts, bruises, scratches and tender parts of their body that hurt to the touch.
  • Anxious behavior, especially right before they are supposed to go to school.
  • Afraid of socialization with their peers or meeting new people.
  • Shift in their mood, including increased anger or depression or moodiness.

Each of these warnings’ signs of bullying impact their daily life and can fester into long term effects of being bullied. The more a child with developmental disabilities is bullied throughout their time in school, especially in their pivotal years as a growing child, the more it will impact them in negative ways in the long run. There are several long term side effects and issues that victims of bullying may experience. These long-term effects include:

  • Higher risk of suicidal tendencies
  • Higher risk of depression
  • Higher risk of anxiety
  • Higher risk of social disorders
  • Struggles in an academic environment
  • Trouble dealing with intimate and personal relationships/friendships
  • Low self-esteem
  • Low confidence and self-worth

Unfortunately, bullying can bring about several psychological issues that can stay with a child in the long run. For those with developmental disabilities, bullying may haunt them and scar them more, as they may not fully understand why they are being bullied and why they are such easy targets for the bully. Not only will the child with developmental disabilities face the long-term side effects but they may also suffer from short term setbacks as well, especially when it comes to their education. These hindrances include:

  • Decrease in their grades
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of interest in their social activities
  • Dropping out of school all together.

It is important to note that children with developmental disabilities are more susceptible to being bullied and to be a target for children their age, as they often stand out amongst the crowd. In order to prevent these children from feeling the psychological long-term effects from bullying, it is important for parents and educators to keep their eyes and ears open so that they can catch any signs of bullying in it’s earliest forms. Bullying does not have to be the norm for children with disabilities and they can break free of the cycle and grow into successful young adults, branching away from their past experiences in the school yard.

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Client Reviews

24 Hour Home Care review summary

Reviewer: Patricia
Patricia 2020-09-18 via Google
I like working for 24hr home care because they allow me to have a flexible schedule and I can take advantage of how far away from home I'd like to travel for work.
Reviewer: Liliana D
Liliana D 2020-09-18 via Google
Improving getting better and better really listen to our voice send us a recognition letter congratulating us as frontline workers, send us a little gift for our performance, send us an gift certificate from amazon for school supplies pack of $30 dollars for our children looking forward for more improvements feels good to be recognize as a great frontline worker helps us get more motivated afterall thats going on. Ive never got anything or a congratulations from them ever its the first time in the 3 years ive work with them and today they call me to say happy bday i feel special. Thank you 24hr homecare
Reviewer: Tatyana
Tatyana 2020-09-18 via Google
Pros: It’s nice working here. With this agency, you have a very flexible schedule. There are a lot of 4-5 hour shifts, although they do offer overnight shifts as well from 8 hours, maybe 12. You can qualify for employee benefits after 1 year of working here. They have “emergency rate” wages as well, these are last minute shifts that can raise from $1-5 an hour; if they hired you at $14hr and they give you an (e-rate) emergency rate then it’ll probably be from $15, $16, $17+ depending on the case. Traveling is required and they did have a virtual interview with me. They have employees working 24 hours if you decide to call them. They use the CC-Go app to clock in and clock out. They also give you a link to a corporate perks website that will give you discounts on phones, plane tickets, hotels ect. Cons: Communication with the office/managers can be difficult at times because when you call, anyone/random person can answer. My personal recommendation as a company request for employee(s): Sending each caregiver a “care package” in a ziplock bag with gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, ect. in case a facility or client doesn’t have the supplies needed. Having these “care packages” would help the company prevent any further sicknesses when dealing with urination and bowel movements if anything were to happen.
Reviewer: Samantha
Samantha 2020-09-13 via Google
Highly recommend!
Reviewer: Samantha
Samantha 2020-09-13 via Google
Great, award-winning company!
Reviewer: Samantha
Samantha 2020-09-13 via Google
Great company! Highly recommend.
Reviewer: CAROL
CAROL 2020-08-01 via Google
Reviewer: Laura
Laura 2020-06-12 via Google
Our care givers are loving, friendly and devoted. They are family! Thank you for being here for us.
Reviewer: Richard
Richard 2020-06-09 via Google
Our Care-giver Mudrakat is a blessing for us, with a big heart, and a very professional approach and skills - she will go far...
Reviewer: Raul
Raul 2020-05-28 via Google
Great place to work for!

The Most Trusted Caregivers

The success of our clients and company is entirely dependent on the quality of our caregivers. We make certain to find and provide our senior clients with the industry's best caretakers so that they have a positive in-home care experience. We submit all of our caregivers through nationwide background checks, assessment tests, and verify multiple references. All of our caregivers are required to be compassionate, reliable, experienced, and above all else, TRUSTWORTHY. We understand that you are entrusting your loved one's home and well-being with our company, and we take that very seriously.

24 Hour Home Care® is committed to improving the lives of our senior clients. By assisting seniors with their daily living activities, we are able to keep them at home where they are comfortable and allow them to thrive during this chapter of their lives. Not only do we strive to exceed customer satisfaction, but we strive to exceed employee satisfaction. We want all of our caregivers to be proud and happy to work for 24 Hour Home Care® so that they will provide the best senior home care possible!


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