Building Strong Character and Self-Esteem in your child with Autism

School is back in full swing and your child is making new friends, meeting new people, and experiencing a new classroom. All of this can come with a little self-doubt, worry, maybe even some slight anxiety. Not everyone adjusts well to change and if your child is having a hard time getting settled into school, just know you they are not the only ones.

Although it is perfectly normal for your child to have a period of adjustment, no parent wants to see her child with autism suffer from low self-esteem, but unfortunately this can be a reality for many parents who have children on the spectrum.

Here are some ways you can help your child with autism boost their self-esteem and keep their confidence high:

1. If you have a child who is on the spectrum and is struggling with their self-confidence it is important to ask them why they are feeling down. Some may be able to tell you, but if your child can’t communicate this with you, keep a close eye on their behavior, and talk to their teachers, their therapists, or anyone who works closely with your child to find out what could have caused a shift in their self-esteem. Once you know the root of the problem, you will be able to help your child on the spectrum find effective ways to cope with their lack of self-esteem and offer effective solution.
2. We tend to be our own worst critics, and that’s especially true of children. But when they can’t meet the impossible standards that society sets for them (no matter what age they are), it affects the way they view themselves and can cause a decrease in their self-confidence. By offering an optimistic view on the situation, you can quickly turn their frown upside down and get them thinking positively about the situation, and, in turn feeling better about themselves and their abilities
3. The best place to start working with your child on their self-esteem is at home. Home is supposed to be the safest place for a child, so by creating a safe space for them to talk openly, cry, and express their fears, feelings and doubts, you can get past the negative and start working with them on the positive things that are around them and the good they bring to every situation. It’s important to get past the doubts and fears and focus on your child’s strengths.
4. The best way to focus on the positive is to compliment your child on the spectrum when they do something right, when they try extra hard, when they say or do or act a way that make you proud of them. It’s also great to share these moments with family and friends so that your child with autism hears praises from their entire support system on their improvements. By humbly bragging about your child, you prove that you aren’t just saying these things to make them feel better, but that others see their accomplishments as well and believe in their strengths and abilities. When you, your family and friends, your child’s teachers etc. show they are proud of your child with autism, it will make them feel better about themselves and will give them the confidence they need to boost their self-esteem.