Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

October 21, 2014

October is Bullying Awareness Month: common signs in a bullied child

“Be on the lookout for bullying, and if you see something, say something, do something.”

–U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Whether they are the perpetrator, the victim, or the observer, bullying impacts almost every child at one point throughout their schooling. Bullying episodes on average last only 37 seconds and between 40-75% of incidents occur during transitional periods of the school day (i.e., cafeteria, hallways, or bathrooms). Not surprisingly, school professionals only notice or intervene in one out of 25 incidents.

These statistics can be alarming to any parent. For parents of children who have learning disorders or ADHD, their children are at even more of a special risk. Children with these difficulties may have difficulty understanding social cues, self-regulating their behaviors, appropriately problem-solving, etc. These social miscues can be misconstrued by peers causing the child to be the victim of bullying.  

If you suspect your child is being bullied, here are some common signs to look out for:

  • Unexplainable injuries
  • Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
  • Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
  • Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
  • Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
  • Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem
  • Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide

Learn more about bullying at:

Stop Bullying –

The National Center for Learning Disabilities –

Look for their parent toolkit entitled, Bullying: What’s a Parent to Do?

The psychologists and educators at Child and Family Development can help children who have been the victim or are the perpetrator of bullying.  Contact us at (704) 541-9080 or (704) 332-4834 if you would like to schedule a session to talk with one of our highly skilled psychologists and educators.