Use Positive Strategies to Protect Your Child with Disabilities from Bullying

PACER Center, Inc.,
PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center
Year Published: 2012
Number of Pages: 
PACER Center, Inc.
PACER Center Action Information Sheets, ACTion Sheet: BP-16

While any child can be a target of bullying, children with disabilities can be especially vulnerable. Although few studies exist concerning children with disabilities and bullying in the United States, the available data indicate an increased risk for children with special needs. Like other children, those with disabilities who are bullied may grow angry, resentful, frightened, or apathetic at school. Consequently, these students are at risk for low self-esteem, school avoidance, depression, lower grades, and increased violence. In this issue brief, the authors suggest ways parents can help protect their children with disabilities from bullying and its damaging effects by 1) promoting effective strategies such as PACER’s Peer Advocacy Program, 2) using the Individualized Education Program (IEP) as a tool, 3) working with the school, and 4) knowing their child’s rights under the law.

PACER Center, Inc., 8161 Normandale Boulevard, Bloomington, MN 55437; Telephone: (952) 838-9000, or (888) 248-0822, TTY: (952) 838-0190, Fax: 952.838.0199, E-mail:, Website:
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