Tips to Build Self-confidence in Children with Special Needs

Confidence is something all of us need to really thrive, but for children who have special needs, it can sometimes be harder to find self-worth and value. Any limitations or disabilities your child has, may make them feel less confident and as if they are not really understood by other children who don’t have any challenges.

You don’t have to sit on the sidelines when it comes to your child’s confidence levels. There are some things you can do right now to help build upon their confidence and your communication with them at the same time.

Spend quality time with your child regularly

This may sound easy. After all, you’re around your child each day, so how could you not be spending time with them? However, just being around your child and actually spending quality time with them are two different things. Engage your child directly in one-on-one activities. This will show them that their world does matter to you, and your full attention also makes them feel cared for and loved.

Employ positive reinforcement

Most people respond better to positive messages than negative ones, and this is true of children in schools for children with special needs, too. When your child receives a positive message about something they’ve done, it releases “feel good” chemicals in their brain. When you send positive messages to your child on a consistent basis, they will feel better and more empowered as a result.

Positive reinforcement can be done in simple ways: a hug, a pat on the back or a big smile when you and your child are together. You want to help them feel good about what they can do and what they try to do; celebrate efforts, too!

Identify hobbies outside and inside schools for children with special needs

No one enjoys having to do something over and over, particularly if they’re not good at it. A child with special needs may become frustrated faster than other children, which can make simple tasks more difficult. Explore the activities your child enjoys doing, helping them feel more capable. If, for example, your child loves drawing, engage with them when they are drawing and let them know how great their art is. Ask other people in your child’s life to get a complete list of what your child likes–there may be something you have missed, like a subject they discovered in school.

Give them minor responsibilities

Give your child a task you know they can complete easily. This will help them experience the feeling of doing a good job, and it also gives you a chance to use positive reinforcement. Just be sure to limit the tasks to things they can do on their own without relying on help from you.

When you focus on your child’s talents instead of what they can’t do, it will send them a message that indicates you want to see them succeed and believe in what they can accomplish. When you work to help them build up their self-esteem, self-worth and confidence, you’ll see many positive changes in your child inside of schools for children with special needs and in everyday life.