Students with special educational needs and disabilities are far more likely to experience bullying in their lives than
mainstream students. The bullying these students experience is different to the bullying experienced by mainstream
students and often more chronic in nature.
Currently we have great strategies for tackling bullying in mainstream settings. Strategies which not only combat
the problem but also equip students with skills for life.
Sadly the same cannot be said of special needs settings. Schools have said that because bullying does not occur at school
there is no need to tackle it. People have said that individuals with special needs cannot understand the concept of bullying
and so there is no point in addressing the topic with students.
Start from a position of need, not ability:
If students need to know about bullying, then it is our job as practitioners to find ways of enabling them to understand
what they need to know.
what happens when students with special needs leave school without the strategies they need.
In the documentary Simone, aged 19, reacts to the abuse she experiences in 2 ways:
First: she squares up to her attacker and threatens to hit back. This is a natural instinct. She was not taught this.
Second: she tells her parents, and sadly is not believed.
That's it, she has just 2 strategies and they don't work.
Beatbullying have given me the opportunity to create a resource to be used in special schools. I want this resource
to be soundly founded in research.
I am looking for support in several ways, if you are able to help please use the contact form to reach me.
1) Funding. Currently I am seeking to fund this work via the other work detailed on this site.
2) Testimonies. - I need testimonies about the bullying of individuals with special educational needs and disabilities.
I am also very interested in hearing from people who work with young people with special needs and disabilities
about the sometimes grey area between being firm with a student, and bullying a student. Names and identifying
details will be removed from the testimonies to ensure anonymity.
3) Pilots. - Ultimately I will need schools willing to pilot the resource and give me vital feedback.
Thank you for taking the time to read this page.
[The arguments presented on this page are based on current research - if you are interested in the citations please contact me and I will forward you as
many as possible.]
This piece describes my personal background in SEN&D and then looks at the bullying faced by individuals with special needs and disabilities and questions how we are equipping them to face what life is likely to hold for them.