Autistic children and their families have told us they need more support with bullying. 13% of children who attend Kidscape ZAP workshops for children going through a bullying situation have a diagnosis of autism. A survey by Ambitious about Autism's Youth Council found that 75% of autistic young people have experienced bullying and only half of young people said they felt safe at school.
We want to make sure that we are taking action to ensure autistic children and their families feel supported by our programmes and services and will work with autism specialists Reachout ASC over the next 12 months on a series of steps to improve our practice. This will include:
- Training for staff and Trustees
- Audit of our ZAP programme and development of supporting resources using visuals and stories.
- Development of further advice for parents and carers
- Development of a bespoke training programme for Kidscape volunteers and freelancers that will form an integral part of induction.
- Co-delivery of a webinar for parents and carers during Anti-Bullying Week
Reachout ASC are autism specialists providing support, training, and resources to schools, charities and workplaces. Lynn McCann is the author of 'How to Support Children with Autism in Primary and Secondary Schools' and other books. Their team have many years of experience of working with autistic young people and supporting the issues, anxiety and trauma associated with social relationships and bullying.
Lauren Seager-Smith, CEO Kidscape says:
‘We must make sure that our programmes and services reach the children and families most impacted by bullying. We have more work to do to make sure we are inclusive of autistic children and their families and are looking forward to working with Reachout ASC to improve our practice in the coming months.’
Lynn McCann, CEO of Reachout ASC says:
‘We are excited to be working with Kidscape and are thrilled that they are committed to supporting autistic children who are experiencing bullying. We have been concerned that our autistic young people are often more vulnerable to being bullied and to not being believed when they are. This work is going to benefit so many autistic young people.’