(September 4, 2014) – We at Autism Speaks are sadly well aware of this week’s horrific incidents that have taken place around the world and included the abuse and bullying of individuals with autism, including those in Ohio, Florida and the United Kingdom, among too many others.
The victimization of individuals on the spectrum and with other disabilities has become far too prevalent. The safety and wellbeing of the autism community is Autism Speaks’ priority and as advocates, we must protect our loved ones. We are committed to providing resources and information to our community to help recognize, prevent and respond to such terrible incidents.
Autism Speaks provides information from experts in the field explaining what abuse is, the signs of abuse, what to do if someone has been abused and how we can take steps to reduce risk. A separate page was created specifically for sexual abuse resources.
Our Combating Bullying web portal includes a Special Needs Anti-Bullying Toolkit full of resources and information specifically tailored to parents, educators and students dealing with bullying.
If you suspect someone you know with autism is being bullied or abused, we encourage you to call your local child/adult protection agency or law enforcement agency. Click here for resources for reporting abuse. Contact your state Protection and Advocacy agency to receive legal assistance and disability rights services. Find your local listing here.
To help inform first responders in your community about autism in an effort to keep your loved ones safe, visit the Autism Speaks Autism Safety Project for resources.