4 Tips to Improve your Child with Asperger’s Self-Esteem. Many people with Asperger’s Syndrome have low self-esteem. This can come from any number of factors. Some include, bad parenting, ridicule from peers, teachers who tell them how unsuccessful they will be, and many more. The cause does not matter as much as the solution. When I was younger I had very low self-esteem due to the constant backlash and ridicule I received from my peers.
My mother was my biggest supporter. Without her I probably would not be able to speak in front of crowds of thousands of people. Self-esteem is a total evaluation of one’s self worth and value to the world. Self-esteem can be affected by external conditions but we all need to learn not to rely on what other people say and work on knowing how special we are as an individual. Asperger’s Syndrome is characterized by difficulty with social interaction, communication, sensory sensitivity (light, sound, touch, taste), and imagination (imagining what other people are thinking).
The latter imagination is a key factor when it comes to self-esteem. Sometimes your biggest enemy is yourself when you try to surmise what others think of you. I have done this in the past. I believed the whole fourth grade hated me especially the children in my class. This effected my self-esteem in a negative way. One thing my mother always told me when I was little was no one can make you feel an emotion.
An emotion is the reaction to an event or circumstance. This would make me so mad when I was younger too. It was not until I was sixteen that I truly understood what she meant. It was a horrible day that day. I was late to class and it snowballed downhill from there. When I got home I was so angry about the day I took it out on my family.
When my mother asked me why I was so grumpy, and I said the horrible day I had. It all clicked together. I finally understood that it was my reaction not the day itself that caused my anger. It was not all my imagination about my peers, but I did over dramaticize because of it. Self-esteem may seem like it is impossible to change but it’s not. You just need to do a few simple things to change your whole perspective.
First you need to change you I cant’s into I do’s. The next time you think to yourself I could never do that, change it to, I may not be able to right now, but I can do anything I set my mind to. I’m sure you have heard this before, but the reason is it really works. Your mind is a powerful tool. It can either work for or against you. When you think positive thoughts about yourself you start to feel positive about yourself. When you think negatively negative things happen to you. It is practically Newtonian. If you have someone who can help you to change your negative self-talk all the better. If my mother would catch me saying something negative about myself, she would correct me and tell me that you can too do that. Whatever you can do to stop negative self-talk is just fine.
Second focus on what is awesome about you instead of what is negative. You can spend your life worrying about what you can’t do and what you failed at instead of the opposite. If you focus on the negative, you are only left with regret and grief but if you focus on the positive you feel that your life is charmed and absolutely wonderful. This probably sounds like the first tip but repackaged but it’s not. This takes it a step further. Instead of just worrying about what you say about yourself you must worry about your whole perception. You need to live as if you are wearing a pair of rose colored glasses. That way you can only see and feel the positive. You don’t have time to worry about the negative. This is hard to do, I know. Just take it a step at a time. Remember not to be so hard on yourself. I can be my worst critic at times, I gave up sketching because of it. Learn to lighten up and laugh at your mistakes. This was so hard for me but as I have gotten older I have learned to laugh at my mistakes.
Thirdly hang around people who build you up instead of tear you down. When I was in First grade I would play with the kids in the neighborhood but the whole time they would tear me down. One time I brought my Gameboy Advance in its carrying case to play with my friend Jordan but Grant another of my so-called friends laughed at me while walking to Jordan’s and started chanting Teddy has a purse, Teddy has a purse. He kept chanting it incessantly until finally I had had enough and went home. None of the children on my street were true friends of mine. They made me feel worse about myself upon leaving their company. If you have people in your life like that, the best thing you can do is eliminate them entirely from your life. Life is hard enough without hanging around people who hurt you. When you hang around people who truly support you, you start to feel loved and accepted. Feeling loved and accepted is a natural incubator for good self-esteem. Your whole world starts to change when you hang around with the right people.
Finally Learn to let go of striving for perfection. For the longest time I strived for perfection in everything. From homework to my bedroom. I needed everything including myself to be perfect. Some of the most perfect objects in the world are not perfect. The Mona Lisa hanging in The Louvre in Paris is a painting of the most ordinary woman you could imagine but it is her ordinary qualities that make her a perfect masterpiece. We are all perfectly imperfect. Life is messy nothing in life is perfect. The only person I believe to have reached perfection is Jesus himself and I do not plan on being him ever in my life. There is too much pressure in perfection. When I stopped trying to be perfect and be happy with just living, it was as if a giant weight was lifted off my shoulders. You should realize that perfection is an impossible goal to reach. Just be happy with doing the best you possibly can in all things. Your best is perfection in my opinion.
In conclusion Self-Esteem is a fickle thing and is different for everyone. Some grow out of low self-esteem as they grow older, but others need a little extra push to raise theirs. Asperger’s Syndrome can affect a person’s self-esteem negatively but with hard work and determination things can change. Whether you are five or sixty-five we can all learn to be a little less critical of ourselves. I may have not given you a total solution to self-esteem, but I have given someplace to start. Lao Tzu put it best the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Now is the time to begin your journey to better self-esteem there will be challenges along the way, but it will all be worth it in the end.