Trauma Reactions to Bullying: Voices From Kids With Autism Spectrum Disorders

Trauma experiences leave people feeling hopeless, helpless and potentially fearing for their safety and survival. Being the target of bullying behaviors can produce trauma responses for many young people, and this can be especially debilitating for children and teens who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). This webinar will feature Sarah Slamer, who is the Assistant Director with the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children. Sarah will provide an overview of trauma and how specific aspects of ASD (such as increased anxiety, social difficulties and misperceptions) become the private logic of these youth that drive their behaviors. Using case examples and images, Sarah will highlight what adolescents diagnosed with ASD have shared about their trauma experiences with bullying situations. She’ll also provide strategies adults can use to support these young people.

The webinar will also explore connections with the Michigan State University Extension Be SAFE: Safe, Affirming and Fair Environments curriculum, which is designed to help young people aged 11 to 14 and adults work in partnership to create environments that are physically and emotionally safe. While the primary audiences for Be SAFE are young people and adults involved in out-of-school time settings (such as after-school programs, 4-H, Boys and Girls Clubs, Scouts, Y’s, sports programs and faith-based programs), it also applies to middle school settings. Be SAFE focuses on education and prevention of bullying, bias, harassment and other hurtful behaviors – as well as provides suggestions for intervening when young people are affected by these issues.

Pre-registration is required and there is a $10 registration cost. There is an additional $5 cost for 1.5 Social Work Continuing Education Hours. (The webinar has been approved by the Michigan Social Work Continuing Education Collaborative.)

Created by Janet Olsen

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