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Asperger's Syndrome and Self-Esteem

  • Published: 2014-03-01 (Revised/Updated 2017-06-28) : Author: Thomas C. Weiss : Contact: Disabled World
  • Synopsis: Information relating to people with Asperger's Syndrome and their self-esteem a disposition that represents their judgments of their own worthiness.
Asperger's Syndrome

Also known as Asperger disorder (AD) or simply Asperger's, is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development. Although not required for diagnosis, physical clumsiness and atypical (peculiar, odd) use of language are frequently reported.

Main Document

"Every person has a, 'script,' that is both contributed to by our own evaluation of our self and the judgments made of us by other people."

'Self-esteem,' is a term used in psychology to reflect a person's overall emotional evaluation of their own worth. It is a judgment of oneself, as well as an attitude toward the self. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs such as, 'I am a worthy person,' or, 'I am a competent person,' and emotions including despair, triumph, shame and pride. The self-concept is what we think of ourselves; self-esteem is the positive or negative evaluations of ourselves. Self-esteem is also known as the evaluative dimension of the self that includes feelings of pride, worthiness and discouragement. A person's self-esteem is closely associated with self-consciousness.

Self-esteem is a disposition that a person has that represents their judgments of their own worthiness. Self-esteem might be defined as a personal worth or worthiness, or as the experience of being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and being worthy of happiness. Self-esteem is the sum of self-respect and self-confidence. It exists as a consequence of the judgment that each person has of their own ability to:

Chart showing self-esteem as a result of our judgment of our own abilities
About This Image: Chart showing self-esteem as a result of our judgment of our own abilities
Every person has a, 'script,' that is both contributed to by our own evaluation of our self and the judgments made of us by other people. What is written in this script? Does it say positive things about the person? The internalized script a person lives their life by may either promote a healthy sense of self, or a very unhealthy one. If a person feels welcome and valued, the image they have of themselves and their worth should also be one of value. Some practical tips on self-esteem for people with Asperger's syndrome include:

People with Asperger's Syndrome, School and Self-Esteem

Building self-esteem at home is great, yet it needs to happen at school as well. Knowing what a student's study skills are is a good place to start to know what skills they will need the most help with. Designing a student inventory for social interaction and study skills is needed at the beginning of each new term. For example; have the student complete a questionnaire such as the one below related to study skills and social interaction:

Study Skills -

Social interaction -

When you relate with people who have autism it is important to remember the keys to understanding autism. People with autism:

It is good to check out the person with autism's perception of what is being asked, said, or demonstrated. Teach that behaviors, emotions and desires may have certain bodily or facial expressions and explain what these are. Rote learn rules for specific situations, such as hugging family members but not strangers.

Provide time, whenever possible, to acclimatise to change; do not suddenly spring things on the person. When the person is anxious use space, dance, relaxation, reassurance and breathing exercises, a calm voice and other acceptable anti-stressors. Place expectations into context through social stories which provide the person with a bigger picture of the, 'wherefore's,' 'why's,' 'how's,' and so forth. Patience is always appropriate.

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