3 Ways to Support Neurodivergent Children in your Community
We know just how necessary it is for neurodiverse folks to have full support from all those involved in their daily lives. It’s vital to be understood and accepted for our true selves in the early years.
Children desire to be loved for who they are, but it may be more of a wish for a child who feels different from their siblings or peers. As parents and guardians, it is important that we make all children feel safe whether we have a neurodivergent child or our neurotypical children are interacting with them.
We’ve curated a list of 3 tips to accept, embrace and support the neurodivergent children in your life.
1. Celebrate Neurodiversity
Neurodiversity deserves to be honored and celebrated. As awareness and acceptance increase, we see more folks open up about their neurodivergent minds and ways of thinking. Embracing neurodiversity takes the pressure off children to behave in a neurotypical manner, which is good for mental health, well-being, sense of self and identity.
As a parent, you can find meaningful ways to embrace neurodiversity daily:
- Speak to your children about neurodiversity, and acceptance
- Use books to learn and discuss neurodiversity
- Look for appropriate ways for your child to communicate with neurodivergent friends
- Seek meaningful ways to include neurodivergent children in your social activities.
2. Encourage their interests
Many neurodivergent children have particular skills and strengths. Rather than focusing on weaknesses, work with your child to build upon those strengths. We’re not saying to ignore any struggles they may have but, it's equally important to support something they are naturally skilled in.
Special interests immediately come to mind, one way to incorporate a child’s special interests is incorporating them into daily tasks:
- Choosing books focused on a special interest that inspires reading
- Using objects to encourage counting
- Selecting a time period and writing a script to perform
Children are more likely to be passionate about something they’re good at, these skills are likely to mature into a positive outcome, such as friendships, meaningful careers, and most importantly joy!
3. Learn from Autistic voices
It is important that we seek out inclusive advice from autistic folks, and listen to #actuallyautistic voices that provide insight into the autistic experience.
There are autistic adults who have walked this journey before, along with parents of those who have lived it firsthand. It can help to find a support group (online or in-person) where you can share your worries, ask for ideas and support for your neurodivergent child. It is important to remember that we’re better together – we can go beyond awareness and acceptance of neurodiversity and celebrate how special their differences are.
We want to encourage you to accept, embrace, and celebrate the neurodivergent children in your life. Let’s strive to create environments where neurodivergent children are encouraged and uplifted.
Our team aims to empower neurodivergent youth and professionals to grow, play, and learn toward social-emotional success and self-advocacy through our game series and companion application platform.
Interested in getting Ava for your therapy center or school for engaging, empowering social-emotional learning? Schedule a chat with us!