Self-Acceptance and Autism: Why is it Important?
Self-acceptance and Autism are not commonly connected. Young individuals with Autism often avoid social interactions because they regularly experience social failure and rejection by their peers. Due to this, they can develop negative attitudes about themselves and others. To develop stable relationships and independence for themselves, self-acceptance is essential. My Aspergers Child discusses the importance of encouraging high self-acceptance and autism and provides 5 strategies to do so.
High Self-Acceptance Versus Low Self-Acceptance
A teenager with low self-acceptance may:
- Put down their own talents or abilities
- Blame others for their shortcomings
- Feel unloved or unwanted
- Avoid trying new things
- Be unable to tolerate a normal level of frustration
A teenager with high self-acceptance can
- Assume responsibility
- Offer assistance to others
- Act independently
- Tolerate frustration
- Handle positive and negative emotions
A teenager with high self-acceptance can understand and embrace all of the good or bad qualities about themselves. Self-acceptance and Autism educates teens on how to recognize their weaknesses but understand that it is a part of who they are. These skills allow them to build stable relationships, handle their emotions, and act independently.
Strategies to Promote Self-Acceptance and Autism
- Be supportive during a conflict. If your teen has a conflict with another peer, listen to their side of the story without being judgmental. The conflict may be minimal to you, but to them it could be a major cause of stress in their life.
- Encourage your teen to ask for what they want assertively, while pointing out that they may not always get what they want.
- Help your teen focus on what goes well for them. If they typically focus on their problems, have them write down three good things about themselves a day or three things that went well that day.
- Show your teen that there are alternative options and possibilities rather than depending on only one option for satisfaction.
- Let your teen know that they are responsible and create their own emotions. They are not responsible for others’ feelings.
For more information about helping your teen on the spectrum struggling with self-acceptance, check out Talisman Camps.