For some students with ASD, difficulties with social understanding and a focus on the immediate details rather than the 'big picture' means explicit teaching of being safe and environmental changes may be required.
While all students have variable understandings of danger dependent upon their skills and life experiences, some issues may include:
- hazards due to poor coordination or proprioceptive feedback while using equipment such as scissors, rulers and other sharp items
- inadvertently harming others through poor awareness of others such as stepping on children's fingers, playing too roughly or 'walking through' others
- safety concerns due to limited awareness of more extreme safety hazards such as traffic, running away, hurting others when upset, and damaging property in a way that puts themselves and others at risk
- everyday hazards while moving within the school (such as bumping into furniture, edges or others)
- emotional safety due to extreme anxiety or stress, bullying or exclusion.
What is bullying?
Bullying is repeated verbal, physical, social or psychological behaviour that is harmful and involves the misuse of power by an individual or group towards one or more persons.
There are three types of bullying:
- Overt bullying, often referred to as face-to-face or direct bullying, involves physical actions such as punching, kicking or verbal actions such as name calling.
- Covert or indirect bullying is a subtle type of non-physical bullying which isn't easily seen by others and is conducted out of sight, and therefore can often be unacknowledged by teachers. It does harm by damaging another's social reputation, peer relationships and self-esteem.
- Cyber bullying occurs when someone is using information or communication technologies to anonymously or directly bully others.
Bullying incidents typically involve three categories of individuals: the bully, the target and the bystanders.