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Autism: Celebrating Your Child's Uniqueness

26 March 2024

Susan Gill, Head Teacher of our Bridgeway School explores looking positively at the uniqueness of autistic children and young people, developing well-being and self-belief, and promoting positive communication.

Celebrate the positives

You can encourage and celebrate your child's identity by focusing on the positives. Autism comes alongside many skills and attributes, including, attention to detail, deep focus, observational skills, absorb and retaining facts, visual skills and creativity. Promote your child's strengths and encourage them to use these to their advantage.

Understand your child

You must understand that your child might struggle with self-worth and self-identity, especially if they have a diagnosis of autism, as they might struggle to regulate their emotions.

Celebrate the strengths that your child has and encourage their interests. If they have key interests, encourage them to pursue them. You could join them in doing some of their favourite activities, or ask if they would like to join a club or team. This will help your child to develop their self-worth as they are celebrating something they are good at and they enjoy.

Using celebrities to empower their identity

Explore neurodiverse influential public figures with your child. This exposure can show your child that their diagnosis is not a barrier to success. This can inspire them by providing relatable role models and reinforcing the idea that they too can achieve their goals despite any challenges they may face. Aim to choose figures that your child can relate to. For example, if your child is interested in sports, try picking an influential sports person, your child will be able to relate to this person more and will benefit the most from this.

Supporting self-regulation

It is common for autistic individuals to regularly experience mood changes, or heightened emotions. Try to find an outlet for your child that will help them regulate their emotions. They might enjoy exercising or doing creative activities. This will become an outlet for your child to help regulate their emotions. Regulating your child's emotions will help them to become more confident, as it will minimise the impact on their self-worth that they may experience when they are feeling low.

Managing emotions

There are many things you can do to help your child manage their emotions. Be an outlet for your child. It is important that your child knows they can come to you and can talk about their feelings. Explain to your child that it is okay to feel sad and low. Give your child space, let them know that you are there for them but allow them to figure out their emotions in privacy. Teaching your child to manage their emotions will prevent them from feeling low as often which will prevent their confidence from being affected.

Encourage problem solving

When your child is facing challenges, although it can be great to offer solutions, it is important to include your child in this. Sit down with them and discuss what ideas they might have to solve their problem. This will promote confidence in your child by teaching them that when they have a problem or are feeling low, they can help themselves.

Find out more

Click below to watch the recorded webinar.

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