Social and Emotional Wellbeing
In this section of the Toolbox we consider the how understanding and responding to the needs of autistic learners can support their social and emotional wellbeing.
Everyone working in an education setting should have a shared understanding of health and wellbeing as the responsibility of everyone.
Some autistic learners may require support to develop an awareness of self by recognising their strengths and needs, likes and dislikes, emotions and feelings. This can help develop coping strategies to manage anxiety and stress and anxiety as well as increase resilience. Some learners may also benefit from having more information and discussion around their identification as autistic. Learners may need support with relationships in and out of school, perspectives, and issues relating to bullying.
Social interaction and emotional wellbeing
An autistic learner may be less comfortable than peers to engage in shared experiences which may impact on their motivation to join in group activities, such as social games and sports. Misunderstandings may arise with the social use of language and in interpersonal engagement and unspoken aspects of communication.
A lack of understanding of social interaction skills and missing the social contexts of situations often leaves the autistic child or young person on the periphery and can cause isolation and loneliness; for some autistic learners this may contribute towards a mental health difficulty.