Teens with Autism: Self-Esteem and Self-Identity

Adolescence is a decisive stage full of turbulent moments due to the physical and psychological changes young people experience. For this reason, the development of self-esteem and self-identity is extremely important for achieving greater confidence and feeling comfortable in this modern society.

Being different is what makes us special

Explain to your children in a casual conversation that all people are different, and that is what makes each of us unique and unrepeatable. Every human being is valuable and interesting for their peculiarities.

Help them see themselves as a valued and active part of society. You can also help them understand that people around can see, talk, think, and act in many ways.

Tell them that people are free to think and act differently, and we must accept it.

Kids within the autism spectrum may feel different from others at school because, in many cases, their classmates make them feel that way. Tell your child that no one in the world is completely equal to another and that he or she should not pay attention to others’ mean comments.

Getting to know others

Allow your children to join activities that they like, such as a sports club, a painting group, or a band. This will allow them to realize each of their strengths, discover what they like to do, and find a place where they feel safe.

This way, they will develop social skills by sharing with others who aren’t within the spectrum. In turn, it will be a great practice to start interacting with all kinds of people.

But promote activities in which they can share with other children with autism as well. Getting involved with people within the spectrum can help them understand more about their condition and the different ways in which it can affect people.

Sharing experiences with an audience that understands their situation is also helpful. The State Autism Association and the local council may recommend some local groups. These agencies are responsible for providing information on the places where children can meet others of the same age and condition.

Thinking about me

Encourage your children to explore their interests and discover what they love and what they don’t. Talk about the positive aspects of their personalities, for example, their good manners, generosity, solidarity, tolerance, among others. Also, ask them how they would describe themselves.

An effective strategy for kids to express what they think about themselves is teaching them how to write a journal. You could call it “All about me” and include photos of all the activities your children like and entries about their achievements.

Teens within the autism spectrum remember past events better through images, photos, and other documents. For example, school reports can help them remember their triumphs at school.

Knowing about the family

To help your children develop their self-identity, you should show them photographs of family members, build a family tree, and explain to them where their last names come. Tell them how the experience of watching them grow up to become teenagers has been for you.

If your children don’t have the support of their friends or classmates, let them know that their family will always be there for them, no matter the circumstances.

 

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Check out the importance of self-esteem and self-identity for the teens with autism.

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Teens with Autism: How Can They Notice When Someone Is Being Nice?

Teens with autism can’t always know whether people are being nice, mean or if they are trying to bully them. This is why they must receive the necessary guidance to avoid unpleasant situations with those they meet.

In addition to this, they should also be taught how to recognize when someone is being friendly, and how to reciprocate those actions. When making new friends, you should choose a person willing to be kind.

How to know if someone wants to be your friend?

When people want to be nice, they usually smile and look you in the eye. They may use some phrases to let you know that they enjoy your company.

Phrases such as: “I like going out with you” and “I like talking to you” indicate that they feel comfortable around you. If someone likes spending time with you, they will answer affirmatively when you ask them to do something together. But sometimes they may tell you no if they are busy, not feeling well, or they are simply not willing to go out.

In this case, you could wait for a better time to ask them again to do any activity, either after school or on any other day. If the person doesn’t want to be your friend or hang out with you, it is better not to insist.

How can I know when someone is being mean?

There are kind and mean people everywhere. In time, we can learn to recognize them and know with whom it is better to interact. If you notice any of these signs: they interrupt you when you speak, they don’t include you in their activities, use nicknames to refer to you, or hurt you physically, walk away from them.

On the other hand, if someone laughs when you are close by, they can either be laughing with you or at you. If they laugh at you, they are not being friendly.

How can you tell the difference? People will laugh with you when something funny happens or if you make a joke. On the contrary, if someone laughs at you, it is because they are making fun of the way you look or talk. Mocking other people is never kind or friendly.

What should I do about it?

If someone behaves badly, walk away from him/her immediately. If they try to make fun of you on social media or send you text messages you don’t like, simply don’t respond to any of his/her comments.

Contact an adult you trust and tell them about the incident. It can be a family member, a teacher, or a friend.  They will help you decide what to do in these situations. Most of the time, it is best to ignore the people that are trying to mock you and find someone else to start a friendship.

Don’t forget that you are a valuable human being who deserves respect, consideration, and kind treatment. Those who don’t treat you kindly do not deserve your company.

Source: kidshealth.org

 

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Preparing the teens within the spectrum to face new challenges specially in the social aspect is important.

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Autumn Activities for Children with Autism

The arrival of autumn brings with it a cold and agreeable atmosphere full of colors and fresh air ideal for going out and enjoying the outdoors. There are many activities perfect for children with special needs this season of the year. Do not miss the opportunity to take advantage of an extraordinary sensory experience!

1. Roll down a hill

Choose a hill and roll downward! This develops large motor coordination, motor planning, and vestibular orientation.

If your child is not interested in rolling, get a square piece of cardboard, and throw yourself with him/her down a grassy hill and the fun begins!

2. Heavy feet

In autumn, gardens are full of dry leaves. Encourage your child to look for leaves, pile them up and jump on them! Sounds and smells stimulate the senses and serve as sensory integration therapy.

3. Heavy work in the garden

Collect leaves from the garden! Take tools like rakes, brooms, and bags and ask your children for collaboration to clean the yard.

Activities such as raking, sweeping, picking up leaves, dragging the branches and placing them in the bag strengthen muscles, activate circulation, and promote good practices in children with autism.

4. Walk

You can not miss a healthy walk through trails. Create the route yourself! You can investigate the trails in the community where you live or nearby areas.

Remember to wear appropriate and comfortable walking shoes, take bottles of water to hydrate, a package with snacks, a mobile device and go on an adventure!

5. Treasure hunt

All kids enjoy the search for treasure. Start the training by developing a list of things to find, such as rocks, red leaves, sticks, and other surprises.

Tell them to tell you where they got them and everything you can think of.

This activity stimulates language, communication and the development of fine motor coordination, as well as encouraging the search for information, research, and organization.

6. Ladder launch

Use the outer ladder to implement a game. Hang the numbers 1 to 5 on each step.Then tell your children to throw balls through the steps. Each time they cross a step, they will accumulate points. This is a great strategy for visual monitoring and progress in visual-motor skills.

7. Carve a face!

October is the month of pumpkins! With great care, you can carve a face or take out the guts in the company of your son or daughter.

It is a sensory activity that stimulates the sense of touch. You can ask for suggestions on where they will place the pumpkins. Ask them to count and separate the seeds. Motivate them with a delicious pumpkin pie at the end of the activity!

8. Camping

Many people think that this activity is exclusive to the summer season, and it is not so! The autumn weather is fantastic for kids with sensory sensitivity. Prepare your tent and sleeping bags, flashlight, hamburgers and choose a nearby and safe camp.

Do not deprive yourself of enjoying one of the best times of the year, the sensations, the joy of sharing with your child, the colors, the smells, and the autumn landscape – an oasis of great sensory activity!

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The new season is here, check these amazing activities for your children.

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