We all struggle with self-love/self-esteem regardless of age or ability. But when children recognize themselves as damaged-either with an autism label or negative comments from a teacher or other individual or an expectation that can’t realistically meet-the ability to love themselves can be very difficult.
Our autistic son struggles with anxiety and self-esteem on a daily basis, so we make sure to tell him every chance we get how valuable he is to this world and to our family. This is especially difficult in a world that still struggles with how to support adult autistic individuals in their everyday lives and especially into their later years. But even more so when we live in a society that makes it a point to embrace “perfection” versus “imperfection”.
How does a child learn to love themselves? Unfortunately, our social media and society as aforementioned, inundates children with messages and images comparing themselves to unrealistic expectations. This makes it extremely difficult for children to get in touch with and accept their true selves. Helping your child explore how he/she feels about himself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually will help him/her fulfill a sense of worth.
Here are two activities that can help with boosting your ASD Child’s Self-Esteem:
1. Have your child list some positive traits he/she has such as honesty, kindness, patience, care, etc. Then have other people in your family write down other positive traits of your ASD child. As time passes, have this list handy so your ASD child is able to read and visualize how awesome he/she truly is, especially during those times when he/she feels very sad or depressed and starts to be negative about who they may be as a person. The more that they read this list of positive traits a more positive image will start to emerge full of positive, loving energy.
2. Some autistic children/individuals are visual and think in pictures. Research pictures that signify the affirmation of positivity and warmness. You can also have your ASD child/individual look for pictures that are important to them and that they like. As you gather all of these pictures together begin creating a vision board of photographs and pictures. Doing this activity together will not only increase a connection with your child, but it will also give you some insight into his/her likes, dislikes interests or passions. Everyone deserves a chance to learn to love themselves better and also to give each other grace.
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Mandu Usoro is a lifestyle blogger, freelance writer, experienced homeschooler and US Army Veteran with a BS Degree in Social Work and AA Degrees in Psychology as well as Health Care Administration. She enjoys spending time with her family, advocating for her special needs son and writing for fun and inspiration. You can get in touch with her on Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and at https://www.homeschoolspecneedstidbits.com/contact-us
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