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Preventing Social Victimization of Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Part of the Autism and Child Psychopathology Series book series (ACPS)

Abstract

Social victimization by peers is known to be a common occurrence in schools. Furthermore, youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are at heightened risk for social victimization, which often occurs in the form of bullying or cyberbullying. Both victims and perpetrators can suffer short-term and long-term psychological distress and social relationship difficulties as a consequence of their experiences. In spite of the scope and seriousness of this problem, social victimization prevention programs have not yet become an established part of the curriculum for youth with ASD. Therefore, continuing investigation of the complex dynamics of bullying in individuals with ASD and the development of effective prevention programs and curricula for youth with ASD warrant serious attention. Overall, we recommend continuing to explore the potential of the following approaches: (1) comprehensive social skills programs for youth with ASD, (2) friendship-building programs for youth with ASD and their nondisabled peers, (3) adaptations and modifications to generic schoolwide programs with a bullying component, (4) self-protective decision-making programs for youth with ASD with an emphasis on differentiating between positive and negative peer relationships and resisting negative peer pressure, and (5) continuing to develop and evaluate broad-based social victimization prevention programs designed to address the core deficits associated with ASD. In addition, the chapter offers a curriculum framework that can be drawn upon for the design and evaluation of effective strategies tailored to the needs of youth with ASD.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Teachers College, Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.St. John’s UniversityQueensUSA

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