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Survey: Bullies prey on autistic kids
By Laura Crimaldi
Boston Herald

November 13, 2009

A shocking new online survey has found that nearly 90 percent of autistic children in the Bay State have been targeted by bullying so violent and ruthless that a state lawmaker says teachers and school systems must be held accountable.

The survey conducted by the Massachusetts Advocates for Children includes painful testimony from parents of autistic children who felt so tortured they stayed home from school for extended periods and even considered suicide.

“We were frankly shocked by the magnitude of the problem,” said attorney Julia Landau, director of the Autism Special Education Legal Support Center at MAC. “It took our breath away.”

About 400 Massachusetts parents responded to the online survey between Sept. 23 and Oct. 12. The survey was prepared as part of an effort to pass legislation requiring that autistic children be taught bullying coping tactics as part of their individual educational plans.

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