The current events in the world have shown that now more than ever that there needs to be consideration for minorities. Blacks, asians, women, children and even the disabled need attention, love, support and equal opportunity. The black community has seen immeasurable stigmatization and injustice for years but could you imagine being black and disabled? Blacks with mental illness face such difficult situations that sometimes include total homelessness. Others however, are fortunate to live on welfare. Disabled children from families living below certain income levels face inadequate access to technology and tools that could make their lives easier.
In honor of Autism Awareness Month, we are going to highlight minority children with autism and the valuable skills parents and caregivers must teach them to help them survive in society.
In addition to learning social skills, self-regulation, sensory adjustment and communication skills, minority autistic children should be taught self-esteem. This may be a complex topic for autistic children to learn, but the effort put forth to meet the motive behind this goal will be worth it.
Here are some tips for building self esteem in minority autistic children:
1. Reinforce their strengths
Every child, whether neurotypical or neurodiverse, has strengths. It could be a love and care for animals, a jovial spirit, musical talents or for special needs kids, just perfecting that one favorite breakfast cereal for themselves is something to celebrate. Reinforce these good qualities no matter how insignificant they seem. We advise, however, not to overexaggerate reality. Be genuine.
2. Build new skills
If your child can make oats cereal, try to teach him or her to make a simple cheese sandwich. If they can tie their shoelace, teach them to tie a bow tie, and then praise them. This principle can be applied to many other examples. The point is self esteem comes from learning and mastering new skills. Minority children, even those on the spectrum, can benefit from boosted self esteem through boost skill repertoire.
3. Build their identity
Your child may be on the spectrum, they may be a minority ethnic origin, but that is not their identity. Their identity is based on being a unique, loved individual by their parents, friends and if they are faith based, by an ultimate creator with an infinite measure of compassion. Minority children need to be told who they are: strong, beautiful, bold, unique, special and loved. When children are affirmed, their self esteem rises, which is so important for minorities in the disability population.
4. Demonstrate self love
A great way for a child to learn to love themselves is by seeing how their parents love themselves. When you neglect your hygiene, speak poorly about yourself, or neglect exercise and nutrition, your child picks up on these behaviours and naturally imitates them. The only way to teach a child to love themselves is to first love yourself and put yourself first. This is not selfish but instead compassionate, as you are demonstrating a key concept so many parents fail to teach their children. Disabled children more than anything need to see the proper attitudes toward self being practiced by their parents so they can learn in their own way how to love themselves.
We hope you read through these points again and again, then take these tips and apply them! And let us know of some ways that you would teach skill sets to someone in the special needs community.
Email us at email@example.com with any questions or comments, we would love to hear from you!
Until next time!