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Disabil Rehabil. 2012;34(2):101-9. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2011.587086. Epub 2011 Aug 26.

Experiences of social exclusion and bullying at school among children and youth with cerebral palsy.

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Bloorview Research Institute, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Although bullying amongst typically developing school-aged children has been well explored, it is under-researched for children with disabilities. The purpose of this study was to understand the experiences of exclusion and bullying among children with disabilities.


We draw on qualitative in-depth interviews and a focus group with children and youth with disabilities (nā€‰=ā€‰15) to explore their experiences of exclusion and bullying.


Our results showed that restrictions in the socio-contextual environment influenced the social exclusion that children experienced. Youth encountered social exclusion from both teachers and peers. Children reported that teachers' attitudes toward children with disabilities often influenced the social exclusion experienced by peers. Bullies engaged in both implicit and explicit forms of social exclusion toward children with disabilities which often lead to verbal and physical bullying.


Children with cerebral palsy are victims of bullying and social exclusion within the school context. More opportunities for social inclusion are needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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