Rebecca Duffus is an Advisory Teacher working with students and educators in mainstream and specialist schools, plus local council and education services. Here, Rebecca discusses the importance of supporting young people to understand their autistic identity.
Research shows that having a positive understanding of your autistic identity is an indicator of higher self-esteem and wellbeing as an adult. (Corden, Brewer & Cage, 2021 and Cooper, Smith, & Russell, 2017). Yet, when do we teach this?
So often, autistic young people are told to stop stimming, taught neurotypical ‘social skills’ and disciplined because of characteristics directly related to their autistic identity. We need to be actively promoting autistic pride and creating communities where autistic young people can understand their strengths and have their needs catered for.
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