I like this article by Ellen Mossman-Glazer and would like to share her simple strategies. It is very important to be conscious about words you use in communicating with your child or student with autism. When we are praised there is no hardship or obstacle we feel is too difficult. The child with autism responds to words of praise and especially your tone of voice because they may not understand the words themselves. If you find yourself getting frustrated with them try stepping back and taking a break to regain your center and return when you are more together. Watch how they blossom when you practice encouragement. They have gifts and talents in many areas and you may need to start thinking out of the box to see them to acknowledge them. Many children on the spectrum love all sorts of animals like chipmunks and racoons and bugs like caterpillars so learning how to appreciate some animals you may have thought are a menace may be helpful. Bugs and beetles can fascinate them for long periods where they have a short attention with other things you may feel are more important. Try looking at the world from their perspective and you never know you may find more joy in your life….Caroline
Social Skills and Self-Esteem: Nine Strategies to Help Your Kids See Their Greatness
Some kids and adults need clear information about the strengths and talents you know they have. This is especially true for children and many adults who have Asperger Syndrome, Autism, or ADHD. They may need to get their knowledge about where they shine, in a more direct way than you have been communicating so far. This knowledge is the nourishment of a healthy self-image.
Here are ten strategies to help your challenging loved ones to believe in themselves:
1. Give them a mental picture so they can ‘see’ what you mean. Instead of “That is a great story!” try something like: “The characters in your story seem like real people.”
2. Be sincere and specific. ‘Very good!’ is very good to say but when you can, compliment the action. “You are a whiz at finishing puzzles.” “You really know how to swing a bat.”
3. Compliment ‘in the moment’. Don’t wait. Tell her now so she makes the connection between a positive behavior and the good feeling of praise.
4. Be on the watch for unrecognized strengths. You may be overlooking some subtle but nonetheless strong qualities in your child. Think creatively and you will find them! If your teen avoids friends who do drugs, alcohol or smoke, he has good judgment. If she plays chess, she has good analytic skills, if he connects easily with people he is a good conversationalist. If she is involved in sports, she is a ‘team player.’ You can use these qualities as springboards to build more.
5. Help your child keep his weaknesses and ‘failures’ in perspective. Point out real life situations to illustrate that “everyone makes mistakes” and “everyone is learning all the time”. Find stories about famous people who worked around their limitations to become famous inventors, artists and authors. Continue reading “Social Skills and Self-Esteem: Nine Strategies to Help Your Kids See Their Greatness By Ellen Mossman-Glazer”