Why Self-Esteem is Important to Those With Down Syndrome

Self-esteem is about accepting who you are!

Many teenagers and young people including people with Down syndrome may struggle with self-esteem. Your son or daughter may have begun to notice the difference between themselves and their peers causing a greater impact on their self-esteem. This is where the importance of developing a healthy self-esteem will help them understand and accept who they are as a person rather than only seeing “Down syndrome”.

Here are 5 clever tips from Down Syndrome Association to developing healthy self-esteem:
1) Now is the time to tell your son or daughter about Down syndrome if you haven’t already. Make it simple and concrete and be realistic, but emphasis that they are more than Down Syndrome.
2) Your son or daughter may be focusing on what they can’t do. Point out the things they can do rather than the areas they find difficult.
3) Support your son or daughter to take as much control over their life as possible. Help them make as many of their own choices and decisions as they can
4) Encourage friendships, independence and social interaction with people their own age
5) Support your son or daughters to develop friendships with peers with or without learning disabilities. Having a mixture of friendships, including people with learning disabilities, can help your son or daughter accept and feel happier with who they are

The experience of being a much loved and valued member of the family results to self-esteem- and self-confidence. In return, will influence your son or daughters academic and social progress through their school years and as well in adult life. Believe in your children, and provide them the opportunities to have their own experience and challenges. Remember to encourage independence, stand back and allow your child to show you they can do it!!

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