“I don’t think I get bullied because I am different or because I have autism”: Bullying Experiences Among Middle Years Children with Disabilities and Other Differences

  • Amanda Ajodhia-Andrews School of Early Childhood Studies, Ryerson University
Keywords: disability, autism, bullying, victimization, difference, minority children, middle years


This study explores conceptualizations and experiences of bullying and victimization from the perspectives of 6 Canadian children (ages 10-13) with intersecting differences of race, ethnicity, language, and disability.  Utilizing narrative and critical discourse analysis designs, alongside multi-method data collection approaches with creative participatory techniques, participants shared bullying experiences and theirre influence on school belonging.  Participants highlighted (a) characteristics of bullies; (b) physical, verbal, social/relational aggressive experiences; (c) various strategies for managing bullying occurrences; and (d) notions of difference and victimization.  This paper speaks to the importance of listening to the voices of children from traditionally oppressed groups, particularly those with autism and other disabilities, as their insights expand traditional understandings of categories of normalcy and difference within school spaces.

Author Biography

Amanda Ajodhia-Andrews, School of Early Childhood Studies, Ryerson University
Amanda Ajodhia-Andrews received her PhD at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/ University of Toronto.  She holds an Honours Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto (Specialist in Psychology), and a Master of Arts from Ryerson University (Early Childhood Studies).  Some of her research interests include, inclusive schooling, notions of difference and normalcy, and young people’s participation in research.  She is currently an instructor in the School of Early Childhood Studies, Ryerson University.