Hope for Bullied Kids on the Spectrum


by Leslie Burby

Bullying is a very real and very prevalent problem among kids and teens on the spectrum.  However, a new study released by Autism Research Group (ARG) and Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) was able to prove that autistic children are able to “detect and respond to lies told by others attempting to bully them.”  This is great news!  Often parents feel helpless when trying to help their bullied child, but knowing that this type of lie detection is teachable is quite reassuring to hear.

Bullied Autistic Children

By using Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy, “children with autism are able to understand the difference between truth and lies, as well as assert themselves when someone lies to them.”   The executive director of Autism Research Group and director of research and development at CARD, Jonathan Tarbox, Ph.D., BCBA-D says, “The findings are encouraging and highlight the need for further research and treatment on procedures for teaching skills that involve complex language and cognition.”  Hopefully, this research stirs up some programs on how to teach these deception skills.  In the meantime, there are tons of books, and videos to help increase social skills in autistic children. Below are some great resources to check out:

http://modelmekids.com/bully.html – Videos and demonstrations

http://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/bullying – Toolkit and what steps parents should take




University of Rhode Island performs research study


As caregivers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, you face many challenges.

Let your voice be heard!

A doctoral student at the University of Rhode Island is conducting a short survey to find out the experiences you have had in schools, healthcare settings, and within your communities. Help the field of Autism research by taking 15 minutes to respond to this survey AND be entered to win a $25 cash prize!

Please go to: https://www.research.net/s/FEASDSurvey

Adam Moore, M.Ed.
Doctoral Student
The University of Rhode Island


Leslie Burby

    Leslie Burby

    Leslie Burby is the former Editor-in-Chief of Autism Parenting Magazine and a public speaker on autism related issues. She is the author of three autism related books: Emotional Mastery for Adult's with Autism (2013); Early Signs of Autism in Toddlers, Infants and Babies (2014); and the children's book Grace Figures Out School (2014).