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  1. Essential “Plays” for Bully Prevention: Teaching Social Competence and Building Connections for Students with Disabilities at School Sara Egorin Hooper and Kay Holman Safe Schools Conference June 27, 2013 Secondary Schools

  2. Bully Prevention Playbook: Keep the bullies from scoring!!

  3. Score Points for Today’s Workshop • Keep bullies out of play! Join us as we create a culture of kindness and build a school community that respects the differences of ALL students. • Initial workshop for Honestly Autism Day conference, same important focus--social connections with others! • Symbols to hold on to your learning as you go back into the community… • Together, we will discuss strategies from our “playbook” for : • promoting a culture of kindness and respect • teaching social competence • creating connections between students and everyone in the school community • And how to integrate this knowledge and skills to prevent and respond to bullying in our schools • “Give Us a High Five”—Five doable ideas to take back to your school to prevent bullying and make your school more inclusive

  4. Keeping Bullies out of Play Promoting a Culture of Kindness and Respect • Student with Disabilities • Creating Connections • Teaching Social Competence

  5. Bully Prevention • What is Bullying • “Bullying” is repeated aggression, harassment, threats or intimidation by a stronger or more dominant child to a more vulnerable child” • Bullying is intentional, it happens more than once, and there is a marked unbalance of power between the bully and the victim • Many forms of bullying • face to face, by a single student or by a group, take or damage possessions, intimidate or threat,, intentionally exclude others, spread rumors, cyberbullying, etc.

  6. Bullying Prevention • Bullying Facts and Figures • Almost one in three children nationwide is involved in bullying, either as a bully or as a victim • 15-20% of all students are victimized by bullies at some point in their school career • 90% of 4th through 8th graders report being victims of bullying • 160, 000 children miss school every day in the USA for fear of being bullied • 71% of teachers or classroom aides either did not know about or ignored bullying incidents in their classes • Bullying will typically stop in less than 10 seconds if another student intervenes • Victims of cyber bullying show more signs of depression than other bullying victims. • Cyber bullying is on the rise in dramatic numbers; it is relentless and more frightening if the bully is anonymous. • About 47 teens are bullied every five minutes. • Every 30 minutes a teenager attempts suicide due to bullying. • Almost half of all students fear harassment or bullying in the bathroom • The leading cause of death among children under the age of 14 is suicide. • “Bullycide” is the new term for suicide as a result of being bullied. • Source: National Institutes of Health, SAFE, Tony Bartoli

  7. Bullying and Disabilities • Characteristic that makes them different from the majority. • Targeted more frequently • The person being bullied does not know how or does not have the power to make it stop. • Kids with autism spectrum disorders are three times as likely as their non-affected siblings to experience bullying, 2012 national survey finds (IAN survey,, KKI)

  8. Bully Prevention Strategies • Be proactive • Know the facts • Know your student’s rights under the law • Disability harassment is a civil rights issue • Use IEP as a tool • Bullying can sometimes be an obstacle to FAPE • Bullying based on a student’s disability may be considered harassment • Create a partnership with families • Share your school district’s written policy on bullying and harassment • Make families aware of your school’s written response to bullying reports • Keep and document all correspondence and concerns • Share resources with families (Pacer Center-handouts)

  9. Bully Prevention Strategies • Raise student, educator, and family awareness • Start planning in advance for ways your school can be actively involved in BCPS’s Annual Anti-bullying Program • Promote Cooperation and Caring-Positive Social Culture • School-Wide Positive Behavioral Support Program • Expect Respect • Remember bullying is a “behavior”, not a trait and it is maintained by social rewards (victims and bystanders)

  10. Response Routines • Teach and Practice “Response Routines” STOP-WALK-TALK • Stop routine • Bystander routine • Stopping routine • Recruit help routine • Don’t use label “bullying”, use “respect language” • Teach how to respond if someone is NOT respectful


  12. “Stop” means stop. The rule is:If someone asks you to stop, you stop. Scott Ross, University of Oregon

  13. Bully Prevention Strategies • Peer Advocacy/Network Groups • PACERS’ Peer Advocacy Program • Http:// • The Importance of Self-Advocacy • Student Action Plan (handout) • Partner with your school and surrounding community • Town Hall meeting • PTA • Local disability support groups

  14. Bullying Prevention Strategies • SUMMARY • Bullying is a real problem and is best addressed proactively • The school social culture and stance on bullying should be very transparent • Bullying is a behavior • Bully prevention requires changing how student label and respond to disrespectful behavior from their peers • The key to bully prevention is school-wide agreement about appropriate responses • Teaching bully prevention routines is effective

  15. Promoting a Culture of Kindness and Respect Keeping Bullies out of Play • Student with Disabilities Teaching Social Competence • Creating Connections

  16. Promoting a Culture of Kindness and Respect • Three Essential “Plays” from our playbook: • Inclusive attitudes Bows • The three R’s • School Culture (Universal Educators) • Administrators set the tone

  17. Creating a Successful Inclusive School Culture

  18. The REAL three Rs • Relationship: building connections with students • Respect: fostering mutual trust • Relevance: showing usefulness in what is learned • Fourth R (one for good measure): reframing our picture – seeing the student from a different angle, focusing on students’ gifts, strengths, capabilities, and possibilities rather than on deficits and limitations

  19. Promoting a Culture of Kindness and Respect Every human being who touches the student’s life is to be viewed as a “universal educator”, including families who are integral and must be valued for their connection to and understanding of the whole student. Universal educators live and foster the message that we are “all students and teachers to each other”, and learning is about taking in and making sense of experiences wherever we are and with whomever we are in life.

  20. Promoting a Culture of Kindness and Respect • The best universal educators don’t see a “disability” as a deficit, but rather as a difference. These educators recognize, honor and celebrate these differences. Attitudinally, they use these differences as tools to motivate, teach, support and actively engage each student in learning. • The best universal educators model sincere, genuine appreciation, and acknowledgment of each individual with whom they work, and then act intentionally, using their intuition and a myriad of opportunities which exist, to put purposeful strategies and supports in place.

  21. Promoting a Culture of Kindness and Respect • The best universal educators provide opportunities for students to “give back” or contribute to the total class – rather than always being the ones who are helped. These educators have empathy as human beings to understand that being useful is more often about giving than receiving. • The best universal educators respect, acknowledge and consider ways to make learning accessible to students through choice which empowers students, contributes to their success, and encourages them to take risks.

  22. Promoting a Culture of Kindness and Respect • The best universal educators feel comfortable enough in themselves to be flexible and to maintain structure while “reframing their picture” of whom the students are and what they need individually and collectively.

  23. Promoting a Culture of Kindness and Respect • “Get out on the Court and Move!” • What are the important elements of a positive school culture and of creating a supportive & nurturing school community? • How does the school help each student feel welcomed & valued?

  24. Awareness of Greatest Obstacles for Students with Disabilities • Anxiety!!! • Rigidity • Communication • Lack of self-regulation • Social misreads • Social isolation • Not knowing what happens • Not knowing what to do • Not knowing what to say • Difficulty with self-soothing/self-calming

  25. Essentials to Support All Students Preparation/Priming Predictability Familiarity Choices • Routine • Structure • Consistency • Extreme Clarity

  26. Promoting a Culture of Kindness and Respect Keeping Bullies out of Play • Student with Disabilities Teaching Social Competence Creating Connections

  27. Teaching Social Competence • Two Essential “Plays”~ • What is Social Competence? • Social Skills vs. Social Competence • Thinking about what and how we teach these skills • Teaching Social Competence in the classroom • Social opportunities embedded throughout the day • Cooperative Learning strategies

  28. What is Social Competence • Acomplex, multidimensional concept consisting of: • Social behavior (pro-social, skills) • Emotion (affect regulation) • Cognitive (executive functioning, perspective taking) • Motivation • which are integrated together to successfully interact with others • Learn from past experiences and apply that learning to change/improve future social interactions • Foundation upon which expectations for future interactions with others is built • AND

  29. Social Competence Judgments about the individual’s successful display of social skills by others

  30. Social Skills Learned behaviors that enable a person to interact with others Who, What, Where, When, and How???

  31. Authentic Social Context • Social Interaction in the Classroom: • Occurs in streams, not in isolation • Highly context dependent • Difficult to identify a clear antecedent to or a clear consequence of behavior • Inconsistent responses to clumsy initiations • Inconsistent positive social behavior by typically developing children • Decreased frequency of occurrence in academic setting • How do we get from social skills to social competence???

  32. Teaching Social Competence • Some “Plays” from our Playbook~ • Begin creating connections early—solidly and consistently in place in elementary school • Greater social engagement with peers in elementary school predicts improvements in adaptive behaviors and social skills in later adolescence (McGoven and Sigman, 2005) • In-classroom social competence • Teaching pragmatic language, prosocial behavior, and group interaction skills in context • Cooperative groups • Social goals embedded within curriculum

  33. Integrating a Social Skills Goal (working in a group) Handout: Cooperative Groups • Common Core-Collaborative Learning • Staff Members-counselor, social worker, inclusion teacher, etc., • Introduce visually, model, guided practice • Share rules and steps in activity • Provide opportunity to engage in group activity with peers-scaffold, support • Reinforce all students for both positive academic and social behavior • SCORE • Share Ideas • Compliment Others • Offer Help or Encouragement • Recommend Changes Nicely • Exercise Self-control Role Cards Role and What to Visual do and say • SEE • Sound, how our voices sound • Expressions on our faces • Eye contact, where we look

  34. Promoting a Culture of Kindness and Respect • Keeping Bullies out of Play • Basketballs • Student with Disabilities Teaching Social Competence Creating Connections

  35. Teaching Social Competence • Navigating a more complex social environment: Secondary Schools • Challenges • Multiple changes in schedule throughout day, Loud cafeteria and bathrooms with less monitoring • Difficulty initiating and engaging in teenage-appropriate topics • Understanding teasing and humor • Increasing frustration and inappropriate social behaviors • Strategies • Peer-Mediated/Peer Networked Interventions (Thiemann-Bourque, 2010) handout • peers “drive” intervention • identify social targets and trained to support social communication • Determine schedule (when “chat”-before choir, at locker, etc.—became routines) • Peer support/debrief meetings • Monitoring throughout naturally occurring social interactions in day (e.g., hallway transitions) • Educators must be able to impart a clear understanding of how fostering positive relationships among students with disabilities and typically developing peers is essential to their success as young adults • Best Buddy Program, Peer Ambassadors

  36. The Importance of Creating Opportunities for Connections with Peers

  37. Challenge • Students with disabilities often remain isolated or excluded from peer groups • Reduced opportunities to make connections • Reduced opportunities to practice social skills and improve social competence • Reduced self-esteem, self confidence • Reduced initiations/desire to interact with others • “They told me I would have friends but the playground was a nightmare of noise and fighting, lying, and cheating and people going fast, all knowing what to do but me. It was like a flock of birds, wheeling, surging, changing direction at a whim, all knowing what to do, and all in unison except for one at the back. Me. I had to watch and anticipate and follow so I was never quite in harmony. Sometimes I got left behind and there are hawks out there. I didn't know how to tell who was a friend.” ~ Tony Attwood

  38. What it means to be Socially Connected • Socially respond AND initiate with others (Successfully) • Use learned social skills (behavior) across settings-independently (generalize) • Shared interest and shared experiences • Group identity (group/team activities) • Peer acceptance • Feeling appreciated for being you-sense of self-meaningful contributions (the 4 Rs)

  39. Creating Connections • Five Essential “Plays” (five finger clapper)~ • Priming for Student with disabilities • Planned and supported opportunities to develop connections with others • Direct guidance for peers to successfully interact with students with disabilities • Acknowledgement and celebration • Shared experiences that are motivating for students with disabilities and peers • Continued growth of peer networks

  40. Creating Opportunities-Feel safe, feel competent, trust environment-clarity of understanding the expectations, trust peers, motivating experiences- Seek out interactions with peers in a variety of environments “If you don’t become the ocean You’ll be seasick everyday.” --Leonard Cohen “If we are to achieve a richer culture, we must weave one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.” ~ Margaret Meade

  41. Social Connections • Peer Network (Kamps) • supportive network of peers may motivate attitudinal change toward individuals with disabilities among students not directly involved in the program and provide more opportunities for networked social opportunities in school • • Afterschool Clubs • Circle of Friends-peers supporting peers with adult facilitation • • Peer Buddy Programs-social activities and/or training • Best Buddies • Lunch – PMI to improve conversational skills

  42. With Gratitude!!!!! • Sara and Kay • “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~Margaret Meade