Managing Frustration & Boosting Self-Esteem
They may be asked to complete 25 math problems on a page that was handed out to the entire class. The child looks at the paper, and although he/she may know the answers to the first few questions, after that, he or she will simply stop. They are simply overwhelmed by the writing on the page. To us, we see 1 page of problems, where the child with special needs sees a mountain of numbers that they will never be able to figure out. In an effort not to become frustrated, they simply choose not to do the work.
Although this keeps them from becoming frustrated at themselves, it also leads to low self-esteem, a sense of failure, and self worth. To compensate, they may act out with inappropriate behavior, or complain of not feeling well, in an effort that allows them to be dismissed from completing the task.
To deter the child’s feelings of inadequacy, a simple modification can be done to insure the completion of any task. Teachers in the classroom can use this modification to complete expected work. Parents can use this modification in the home, for certain chores that may be expected of the child, but never get completed.
This form of modification, for a child who has difficulty focusing on a task, allows them to attain set goals, which leads to confidence, and a higher-level of self-esteem. This in turn leads to a child, who in the future, can make these modifications on their own which will allow them to be productive and successful adults.