I’m looking forward to this week, even though it’s crazy busy and I have twenty tabs open on my screen and I can’t remember what I was going to do next, I am grateful be to working in an area that is making a difference. It’s a joy to see families and parents opening up to new ideas, with a new confidence, looking WITHIN for answers to some of their most difficult challenges.
I didn’t deliberately miss the word ‘autistic’ from the headline, as we know all too well, how the education and health care systems can batter our autistic ADHD children’s confidence. But the issue of low-self-esteem is widespread and growing. It’s too simplistic to pin the problem on one specific issue – social media, for example. There are a slurry of things swirling round in young peoples’ minds that can make it impossible to for them see anything clearly.
It’s easy to feel helpless when faced with so many issues – young people are trying to fit into their peer group, define and refine their sexuality, work out their likes and dislikes, focus on their changing appearance, become positive about their body, it can be totally overwhelming. The sheer sense of overwhelm and overthinking is exhausting and relentless. When a young person doesn’t feel they match up to a societal standard or more importantly, a peer standard of beauty, intelligence, size or shape, this is when the self-doubt creeps in. The anxiety about one thing, leads into worry about another and before they know it they are drowning in a sea of low-self-esteem.
All of this applies to young autistic and ADHD people – they carry the weight of not fitting in every, single day. Some individuals will rise above the clamour and revel in their own uniqueness, and individuality. Others won’t. Some will veer wildly between feeling great and loved one day, to down and unloved, the next.
It’s distressing to see your child struggle with their emotional well-being, which is why I’m so passionate about helping families to work together to develop ‘survive and thrive’ strategies for young people’s self-esteem. I know some amazing people who are working in a range of sectors to bring a sense of balance and calm in our young people. These therapists, who I’m proud to call friends, are presented with a range of issues which they manage skilfully and sensitively. There is always something new to learn from their practice.
This week, I will be giving a talk for ADHD Richmond & Kingston about this issue. Self-esteem is vital to our sense of who we are, how we fit in and belong – and it is fundamental to all of us. Developing self-esteem is an important process that defines us an individuals. I am excited to share what I know, and encourage families and parents to open up to new ideas, with a new confidence, looking WITHIN for answers to some of their most difficult challenges.
Sharing stories and ideas is part of the healing process – everyone has a part to play.
“Importance of self-esteem and how to build it in ADHD children and young people.” Thursday 12 March, Twickenham, see link for details: