Every individual must overcome difficulties, obstacles, and challenges throughout life. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from these adversities. Mastering overcoming challenges and using a proactive approach to build confidence are the primary aspects of becoming resilient. 

Building Resilience: Guiding Your Child With Autism Through The Adolescent Years

You contribute to positive feelings of self-esteem and support your child’s mental health plus personal growth when you do so. What is incredible about resilience is that it is a self-replicating skill. What do we mean by this, you ask? The more you overcome challenging situations, the more confident you will feel in overcoming challenging conditions.

This article is dedicated to building resilience in your autistic child and shows how to help them grow into robust adults. Let us begin! 

What Are the Positive Aspects of Resilience?

You will be pleasantly surprised by how resilience can help an autistic person: these include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The transition from childhood to adolescence to adulthood
  • Builds the confidence to take on new challenges
  • Fosters a sense of place in the world and a feeling of belonging
  • Understand social-emotional boundaries and limits, plus work within those.
  • It sets the stage for a more independent adulthood.
  • Understanding the requirement for practice to develop a new skill
  • Succeed in challenges and also accept and learn from failure plus mistakes
  • Reduce anxiety and stress
  • Recover from disappointments and setbacks
  • Manage unpredictability and change

What Hinders Resilience in Children?

Some factors can make it more challenging or get in the way of acquiring resilience; these include but are not limited to the following:

  • Invalidation
  • Assuming incompetence
  • Overprotection
  • Negative messages
  • Past failures
  • Perfectionism

How We Build Resilience?

It is important to remember that building resilience takes time and patience. Only with practice can you and your child become better at handling obstacles and coming out on top

Try thinking of resilience like sports training and increase your challenges daily while doing different exercises. Additionally, when your kids master one challenge, this will build their strength and allow them to take on the next set of challenges confidently. 

It is incredibly challenging for parents to witness their kids struggle with simple tasks, but if the adult always steps in, the children will never grow and learn. 


Examples of Resilience in Children

When Julia and Marc were 11 and 13, they volunteered at a farmers market for their parents. The market was owned by a group of adults who owned and operated a figure skating conglomerate.

Each child knew the volunteers from the ice rink, so they had some predictability. These kids were given basic tasks, and more were added in small increments once they had mastered the previous jobs.

Both children were also given specific expectations about the job, such as taking instructions from the manager only, wearing a uniform, and not using tech devices while on the job.

Their confidence grew in several areas over the nine years they worked in the market. Both kids’ diets grew from less than ten foods to eating every vegetable and fruit they were exposed to. Understanding how to take instruction from various individuals, learning how to report to a manager, earning points for every shift, and coping with seeing dogs on leashes (an expected phobia of autistic kids) were all part of the children’s success.

Julia and Marc were exceptionally supported in trying new things at the market, but at the same time, the adverse effects were well supported, too. Providing support meant mistakes were seen as a learning experience, and anxiety levels were controlled.

Because of all the skills they gained, volunteering in a controlled and low-pressure environment led to other job experiences that the kids could do with greater ease.

Key Concepts Around Resilience to Share with Your Children

Here are some primary concepts to mention to your children about resilience:

  • If you don’t get it right the first time, it’s fine
  • Overcoming challenges will make you feel outstanding and will mean you do it again in the future; plus, it will probably be more manageable.
  • It’s okay to compete, and it’s also okay if you don’t win
  • When trying something new, it is acceptable to ask for help from a parent or someone you trust
  • No one masters a skill immediately; they have to practice. Don’t give up just because a skill takes practice to learn
  • With some help, you will be able to overcome any difficulty
  • Just because something seems challenging, that isn’t a reason not to do it

Building Resilience In Your Autistic Child

Building self-esteem and resilience early will be a protective factor for long-term growth and well-being. These are also the building blocks for independence and resilience, the foundation for successful adulthood. 

Fawn Design has been helping adults and children make the most out of their lives by providing them with the mental tools and physical accessories they need to succeed.

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