If you have an autistic child or family member by now you will know that autism disorder especially affects the person’s ability to relate to others or have appropriate social skills.As we all know socializing is particularly important during teenage years so supporting and helping your child during this time would help with transitioning into a healthy adulthood. It is important for you as a parent or family members to understand that while your adolescent has a hard time socializing he or she is also developing a sense of identity and independence. It is important to not pressure your teenager into being “more sociable” when he or she is not ready. At the same time, you can foster opportunities to help facilitate socialization, seeking for activities or support groups in which other autistic adolescents will participate. Also, seek for outside activities that match your adolescent’s abilities and interests. Do not limit them based on their diagnosis but take in consideration their limitations in order to help them succeed.
We all know autistic children are particularly special, you can help your adolescent discover their hidden talents by encouraging them to join sports or art activities that can help improve their self-esteem and develop self-confidence.
By Gigi Reyes, LPC