Unfortunately, children with disabilities are all too often the target of bullying. Parents, teachers, and caregivers all have a duty to protect children who are vulnerable to bullies. An estimated 22 percent of children were bullied in school. However, when children have cerebral palsy or other disabilities, the rate of bullying shoots up to 60 percent.
Why Do Bullies Pick on the Disabled?
Bullies target children with cerebral palsy because they stand out due to their movement, coordination issues, and other symptoms they may experience depending on the type of CP they have Source: https://birthinjurylawyer.com/cerebral-palsy-lawyer/types/. Worse, bullies see children with cerebral palsy as weak and unable to defend themselves. Bullies don’t like to pick on people who are stronger than they are.
In school, children with disabilities often have lower social standing, and because these children have a lower frustration tolerance, they have a higher likelihood of a meltdown. Bullies love things like this.
The Psychology of a Bully
Bullies like hurting and humiliating others. Usually, a visible pattern of abuse can be seen where the bully feels a need to bully others. Many times, bullying happens as a group activity, rather than a one-on-one attack. The bullies feel spurned onward with the approval from the group. This adds to the bully’s self-esteem.
Bullying and Disability: What You Need to Know
Cerebral palsy, especially if the other children will notice it, makes your child a target. Many times, children with cerebral palsy feel excluded from social groups and activities.
In some cases, teachers bully children with disabilities, which makes it look socially acceptable to bully a child with a disability despite this being the most despicable type of bully. A child might tell the teacher about the bullying, but the teacher ignores their pleas.
Bullying needs to be squashed. Bullying victims have two to nine times the risk of committing suicide. Especially when they can’t find help from anyone, they may see it as the only way out. Take action if you believe that your child has become a target. Don’t stand idly by and watch it happen, because things can turn tragic quickly.
Emotional Scars That Never Heal
Bullying leaves long-lasting scars that don’t heal. Your child may develop social anxiety disorder or depression. Victims of bullying have a higher likelihood of poor grades and dropping out of school. What can you do to lower the burden? First, watch your child closely for signs of bullying. Don’t put up with it.
Too many parents who have lost children to suicide wished that they had done more. Include your child in as many extracurricular activities as possible, but don’t force them to participate if they don’t want to. If they don’t want to do it, they may have a reason.
You want to build up your child’s social network and their confidence in themselves. Doing things to improve the quality of their life can mitigate the negative effects of bullying. This can take work finding the right places to build your child up, but it will have a positive long-term impact on their mental health.
Many times, bullying doesn’t relate to physical abuse like punching or kicking. Emotional bullying can also wreak an equal level of havoc. This type of bullying is often remembered decades later, and in many cases, brings up intense anger and tears, which shows pain that never healed.
If your child with cerebral palsy is being severely bullied, you have cases where taking them out of school could save their life. That’s not to say that’s the best choice in all cases, but you have to think of the wellbeing of your child and truly listen to what they tell you. Don’t take it for granted.