A nationwide, online survey launched today by the Interactive Autism Network (IAN Project) is examining how bullying affects children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD)

The project is in conjunction with October as National Bullying Prevention Month, and it is meant to highlight the ways in which autistic children are particularly vulnerable to the emotional, physical, and social effects of bullying.  Children with autistic disorders, including Asperger's Syndrome, face a particular set of social challenges that can make it difficult for them to form and maintain friendships.  Combined with behavioral issues that are also part of autism, autistic kids can be seen as "different" in ways that tempt bullies to target them.

The results of the survey will help the IAN Project better advise educators and parents on how to prevent bullying and its consequences for autistic children.

Families who want to participate in the survey, which may involve sharing stories of their kids' experiences with bullies, can click this link to join the Interactive Autism Network.