Bullying is an intentional behaviour designed to harm victims. Youth with physical disabilities are more likely to be bullied, especially those with mobility restrictions.
We’re exploring bullying experiences and perspectives of youth with myopathies and Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). To date, 14 individuals have completed interviews. Stigma-based bullying, the overlap of bullying and discrimination which can be intentional or non-intentional, is commonly experienced by participants. Participants describe receiving helpful support through non-school-based initiatives as well as unhelpful supports.
We’ve learned that youth with myopathies and SMA experience unique circumstances when encountering bullying, often at younger ages when their differences begin to show. Earlier screening for bullying is recommended. Additionally, families of children with myopathies and SMA have strategies to minimize bullying and these should be shared.
Nurin Chatur, Clinical Fellow, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
Christina Ippolito, Research Coordinator, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
Laura McAdam, MD, Clinician, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital