Disabled Children Bullying Claims

More than 90% of children with learning disabilities are bullied, according to a report from Enable Scotland. The charity said most of these children faced a lonely summer holiday in their homes, afraid to venture out to the park or even go out in the street.

The UK-wide research, based on 564 children, 12% of whom were in Scotland, found that more than a third said telling an adult made no difference.

The study came as the charity launched a campaign to tackle the issue.

Norman Dunning, Enable chief executive, said the results showed a real need for action.

“It is unacceptable that so many children’s lives are being made a misery and we need to do something about it,” he said.

“It’s time for the bullying of children with learning disabilities to be taken as seriously as other forms of discrimination, such as racism and homophobia.”

The research suggested that in more than half of the cases bullying had continued for two years or more.

Many of the children surveyed said they were afraid to go to the places where they had been bullied, such as school.

Some of the young people reported that it was not just other school children who bullied them, but parents and younger children had joined in, calling names and throwing stones.

The report’s recommendations included a call for organisations that work with children to develop good practice in dealing with the problem.

It also suggested making information about bullying and how to deal with it more accessible to children with learning disabilities.

The launch of the Speak Up campaign coincides with Learning Disability Week, which runs from 18-24 June.